Easy Garlic Quinoa Salad

This recipe is adapted from Cynthia Lair's Feeding the Whole Family cookbook. I first made this recipe in Cynthia's Whole Foods Production class at Bastyr University. It is an easy recipe to make and works great for leftovers! Eat cold, hot or room temperature. 

Quinoa has an excellent nutritional profile with 10.5 grams of protein per cup. This unique whole grain, which was a staple food of the Incas, is also rich in calcium and iron.


1 cup dry quinoa
1 3⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 cup carrots, chopped
1⁄3 cup parsley, minced
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
4 clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tamari 


Rinse quinoa with warm water and drain through a fine strainer. Place quinoa, salt and water in a 2-quart pot. Bring water to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Tip pan to the side to make sure all the water has been absorbed. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes uncovered, then fluff with a fork.

Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add carrots, seeds and parsley to quinoa. Mix thoroughly. Combine garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tamari; pour over quinoa and toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

What's for Dinner? Pasta!

This is a simple and delicious recipe to make for lunch or dinner. Serve with a spinach salad for the perfect combo! Quinoa pasta is an alternative to whole wheat pasta. You can also use corn or rice pasta as a wheat alternative but I have found that quinoa pasta cooks similar to wheat pasta and doesn't fall apart or get sticky. When possible, buy organic ingredients. 

Preparation time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 

1 box of quinoa pasta shells
1 cup marinara sauce
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons basil, chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional) 

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan combine tomato sauce, tomato, onion, asparagus, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, pepper, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. 
  2. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
  4. When simmering time is nearly over, boil a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Add quinoa pasta to boiling water for 14-18 minutes (or follow directions on package).
  6. Serve sauce over pasta. Add cheese if desired. 

Banana Nut Oatmeal

This bowl of oatmeal is packed with healthy nuts and fiber. It's a quick fix and will keep you full for the morning hours.


1 1/2 cups quick cooking plain oats  
Small handful of walnuts
Small handful of pecans
Small handful of sliced almonds
Small handful of banana chips
Pinch of chia seeds
Pinch of hemp seeds
1 small banana 
1- 2 tablespoons maple syrup 

Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl, add hot water to preferred consistency. 

Green Smoothie Breakfast

Need a new breakfast / snack idea? This one is packed with nutrients and filled with love!

Kale, Parsley & Spinach (equal parts) 
1 small carrot
1 small banana
Frozen strawberries, blueberries & melon equal to 1 1/2 cups
Pinch of chia seeds 
Pinch of flax seeds 
Water almost to the top of the mixture 
Apple or peeled orange 
Almond milk or honey to sweeten

Easy Taco Salad

This is an incredibly easy, filling and healthy lunch or dinner option. Serves 4. 


1 lb ground turkey
1 can refried black beans
1 can whole black beans
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 onion
6-10 cloves of garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 & 1 /2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons oregano 
2 tablespoons cumin
Cherry tomatoes
1 cup grated cheese (Feta or cheddar)
1 Lime
Sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: salsa
PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 15 min

Start cooking ground turkey. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped red bell pepper, oregano, cumin salt and pepper to ground turkey. Combine both cans of beans into one saucepan and add cayenne pepper. Cut all other ingredients including tomatoes, lime and cilantro and grate cheese. These raw ingredients go on top of the dish. Add a spoonful of sour cream and salsa and you're ready to eat.

Oh, and don't forget the wine!