Vegetarian Quinoa Recipe

My daughter, Leigh, had to make a Peruvian Quinoa recipe for her advanced Spanish 2 class, which gave her and I the chance to come up with a new quinoa recipe. We experimented with many recipes, but we loved this Vegetarian Quinoa. Luckily, for me, my three kids love quinoa, and it’s a fabulous ingredient because it’s gluten free, rich in protein, contains all 9 of the essential amino acids and so much more. Quinoa is high in iron which helps our red blood cells stay healthy, high in lysene, essential for our tissues growth and repair. This superfood is also high in Riboflavin (B2) which is super important for our brain health and improves our energy and metabolism. It also has twice as much fiber as other grains. Need I say more? Enjoy this for lunch as a side dish or afternoon snack. I spooned it over fresh arugula with some crumbled feta cheese, and it was a great, healthy lunch. Here’s to a great and healthy week ahead!

Kale Almond Pesto

If you like kale and pesto, you will love this Kale Almond Pesto recipe. I thought is was so funny. My youngest son came home from school and started eating this as a dip with crackers. Proud mom moment! I love that my 3 kids are kale fans! See my post on MindBodyGreen on the health benefits of eating kale. This recipe is perfect served with fish, chicken or steak or mixed with pasta. It’s super easy to make too, and I think I just may make it to serve alongside our Thanksgiving turkey. Happy Friday everyone! So grateful for everyone of you who came by to read this post. Love, Alison

Easy Spinach Lasagna

While I am still digging out after my move late last week, I somehow have managed to get dinner on the table the past two nights. Last night, I made a roast since I think the kids and I were craving comfort food. Then yesterday I made an Easy Spinach Lasagna. I have to be honest. I have never used oven-ready lasagna noodles. Since I knew my schedule was tight, I thought that this is the best time to give them a try. The kids didn’t notice (and ate it all) so I am thinking that is a good sign. Feel free to add anything to this recipe such as other vegetables, beef, shrimp or even substitute fresh kale of the spinach. Here’s to a fabulous week ahead! Cheers!

Vegetarian Pasta: Clean out the Freezer

I cleaned out the freezer this weekend, and I created the most awesome Vegetarian Pasta dish. My kids loved it, and they asked me if we were having company coming over. This is so easy and quick, under 30 minutes to prepare. Feel free to use any frozen vegetables in this recipe or add leftover cooked chicken or shrimp if you wish. People tend to forget that frozen foods and vegetables are picked at their peak and then flash frozen so they are just as nutritionally healthy and sometimes even more economical. Read more about the use of frozen food tips on Easy Home Meals and NFRA.

Also, check out my television appearance last week in New York on Fox & Friends First and  Fox & Friends on “What to Toss and what to keep”. It was such a blast! Video is here.

Quinoa Recipe and Quinoa Cookbook Giveaway

If you love quinoa like I do, you will adore this Quinoa Cookbook (part of the Idiot’s Guide) by Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef. I was lucky enough to travel with Susan to Italy a few years ago. Susan is an energetic, talented woman, Author, Radio Show Host of Bikini Lifestyles on AM 790 KABC in Los Angeles and on PBS Televison. This cookbook has over 180 quinoa recipes from energizing breakfast options, lunch soups, salads and sandwiches, finger foods, snacks, appetizers, main dishes and even an array of desserts. If you want to know more about quinoa and have access to great recipes, check it out.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me your favorite way to use quinoa in cooking. Winner will be drawn on February 13 at 8 a.m CST.

For more entries do the following below and leave another comment for each:

1. Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest

4. Like The Bikini Chef on Facebook

5. Follow The Bikini Chef on Twitter

Arugula-Tomato Pizza

Instead of going out for pizza, try this Arugula-Tomato Pizza, an easy 30 minute vegetarian option. I love using Mama Mary’s Pizza crusts which you can typically find near the deli section of the grocery store. They are quick and easy and not too high in calories, fat or carbohydrates. Arugula is so healthy for you, full of Vitamins A, C, K, Calcium and Iron. Arugula is said to be great for your eyesight and full of antioxidants which can help prevent cancer. It’s my daughter’s newest favorite salad green, so try to get your kids to taste it too!

Kale Lasagna

Lately, lasagna has been on my brain. Since my three kids eat kale, I thought I would create a Kale Lasagna which turned out to be an absolute hit. Kale is so healthy for you, being called “the new beef”, full of vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron and antioxidants. Cook it like spinach, or you can always make my kid’s favorite, Kale Chips. Enjoy this recipe as the temperatures get cooler for a healthy and hearty weekend or weeknight dinner. It would also be fun to serve on Halloween night.

Crustless Kale Quiche: Gluten-Free

Who loves breakfast for lunch or dinner? I do. I was craving something with kale, and I thought to myself, why not  a Crustless Kale Quiche? My daughter, Leigh, decided to help me  (payment for a new comforter she’s been wanting). I jotted down a recipe that I thought might work, and I gave it to her. Amazingly enough, it worked. We sat down and ate half of it for lunch, and she said, “The kale is what makes this so good.” (music to a parent’s ears). She took it upon herself to add turkey bacon, but you could easily prepare it without it. It’s great with the mix of mushrooms, kale and bacon, egg whites, eggs and cheese. Later, my boys were skeptical about having quiche for dinner, but before I knew it, the entire Crustless Kale Quiche was devoured. For information on the Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale, see a post I wrote for Mindy Body Green

Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are a must-have in the South in Alabama, and my kids beg for me to make Fried Green Tomatoes. Since this week’s Summerfest with the Food Network is featuring tomatoes, I thought these Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes were worth sharing. These are super easy to make and make a great appetizer or side dish. My children love them dipped in a homemade ranch dressing or just on their own. Enjoy them this summer while they are at their peak. Now, be sure to check out the fabulous tomato recipes below:

Cooking With Elise: Fresh Tomato Sauce 
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Tomato Gazpacho Salsa
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato Cobbler Anyone? 
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Fresh Corn
What’s Gaby Cooking: Chicken Kebabs With Romesco Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Salmon Spaghetti With Plum Tomatoes and Avocado
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Fresh Tomato Puttanesca Sauce
Chez Us: Easy Tomato Tart
Made By Michelle: Tomato and Pesto Pizza
Ingredients, Inc.: Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
Delicious Lean: Creamy Light Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Tomato-Tomatillo Chicken Tenders
From My Corner of Saratoga: Tomato Jam
Dishin & Dishes: Tomato Zucchini Frittata
And Love It Too: Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato Paleo Tart
Healthy Eats: The Fresh-for-Once Tomato
Sweet Life Bake: Pico de Gallo
Zaika Zabardast: Grilled Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Thursday Night Dinner: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Cooking Channel: How to Prepare Summer Tomatoes
FN Dish: Tomatoes Go Beyond Salads

Travel Tuesday: Spinach Quinoa from Westside Market NYC

This recipe from comes from the Westside Market NYC, a top market in New York, which has been in business for almost 50 years. Their market has seen a rise in the number of people purchasing quinoa at their four locations. Quinoa’s health benefits include it being a gluten free grain, boosting brain power and having high levels of iron and calcium. Maria Zoitas, wife of Westside Market’s founder John Zoitas, the creator of the “made by Maria” line of prepared foods at the market. Here is one of Maria’s healthy creations.

About Westside Market NYC:

Established in 1965, Westside Market NYC has been deeply engrained in the fabric of Manhattan’s Upper Westside life. A rare find in the food market business, Westside Market NYC is family owned and operated in the truest sense. Born and raised on a farm in Roupakia, a village on the island of Lefkada, Greece, John Zoitas arrived in the U.S. from Greece more than 45 years ago. He brought with him a love of fresh-grown produce, authentic cooking, and a steadfast commitment to service and quality. Each of our locations enjoys a remarkably loyal following, which is no surprise; it’s a direct result of the fact that the Zoitas family takes great pride in every aspect of their business. Under the tutelage of his father John, George Zoitas has taken the reigns of Westside Market NYC and made it into the premier market it is today. Our mission is simple: to become your favorite neighborhood food market and caterer of choice by offering the highest quality foods and hard-to-find products supported by friendly, personalized, efficient service. Discover Westside Market NYC, and experience the difference! For more information visit www.wmarketnyc.com