Here’s Why You Should Keep Quinoa in Your Kitchen

Do you remember, Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump? Shrimp was everything to him. “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey’s uh shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir fried (shrimp). For Yáll shrimp lovers, you may get some ideas from Bubba. As for me…

I am that vegan chick.

Bubba loves shrimp.

Tanya loves quinoa!

In less than 15 minutes, I cooked two cups of quinoa. I kept it simple by only using vegetable broth (16 oz.), olive oil (1 Tbs), garlic powder (1 tsp), black pepper (1 tsp), and granulated ginger (1 tsp).

These days, quinoa is the God of grains for me. The mild flavor of quinoa makes it a solid foundation for countless dishes. Quinoa fried rice, garlic mushroom quinoa, quinoa avocado spinach, Mexican quinoa, quinoa salad, Mediterranean quinoa salad, grilled chicken (not for me) and quinoa burrito bowls, quinoa cakes, vegetarian quinoa chili, banana quinoa muffins, and more!


I love quinoa’s texture!


This dish may not look like much, but let me tell you, this meal is popping! My bowl is an example of why I begin the week with a large pot of quinoa. Using quinoa as a base, I can still create a variety of meals.  The variety prevents boredom. Boredom is your enemy because, with any attempt to change, boredom will take you off course. Keep it fresh!

Yesterday I cooked two pounds of split peas. Today I topped the grains with the split peas. I also like to add roasted veggies like the ones below over it.  Your options are endless, and for vegans, it is an excellent source of protein. One-quarter cup of quinoa has six grams of protein, which is equivalent to a medium-sized chicken breast. Who said you can’t get protein from a plant?  They don’t know.

My favorite Vegan go-to in Jersey is a place called Greens & Grains (GG).  GG needs to come to Georgia ASAP.  If not, I need to open my own restaurant.   I recreated my version of one my treasured menu items from the restaurant. Quinoa and kale.  Their plate also includes broccoli and hemp parm, but I’m still working on finding the hemp parm.  I did find a recipe that I’m going to try. Although this wasn’t GG’s dish, it was similar and delicious and yet another example of pairing the grain with other foods. IMG_8074

Four months have passed since I started my Vegan journey and I haven’t looked back on my omnivore lifestyle.  I’m not conflicted about becoming a vegan and embarked on this journey purely from intrinsic motivation and I laugh often at others knee-jerk reaction to veganism.

There’s this idea of eudaimonia–being true to one’s inner self.  You identify your values. You cultivate them. And you live in accordance with your virtues. When you make the choice to live this way, you are practicing wellness.

Alike veganism and wellness are not a destination.  The two are a pilgrimage, where you challenge your attitudes, values, and beliefs. And if you are honest with yourself, you notice the need to make changes in your life such as the type of foods you put into your body, your environment–the people, the places, your job, and the energy around you, and finally your mind–the activities you engage in–what you read, your choice of tv shows, and your conversation with others. The journey is cyclical and worthwhile but you will experience change and growth.

Pleasure usually comes when called, but not happiness.
                                                                                     -Mason Cooley

Whatever your journey, stay inspirited.  Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you.  Know that you will experience setbacks but that this par for the course, so get back up and keep it movin’.

Thanks for stopping by.  Smooches!





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