quinoa snack bars

quinoa snack bars

quinoa snack barsSo, I will confess to you all that I haven’t been cooking up any new recipes this past month, total lazy mama here.  Hey, I’ve been trying to juggle my new full-time job, crazy kid’s schedules and basically life in general, and at the end of the day I just want to come home and whip up something quick and easy, but nutritious as the same time. I’m seriously so happy that I created this blog because all I have been doing is cooking from it this past month. Yep, Marin mama is totally cooking from her blog.

I’ve come to realize that I initially created this blog to share my favorite recipes with friends, but in the end I think I actually created this blog for me, because I’ve come to rely on it so much for easy, healthy and tasty weeknight meals.  I’ve been digging into my old archives and finding recipes that I had forgotten about, but totally love!  You’ve all been super supportive lately with my limited posting, and I’m receiving so many emails from those of you that have gone back into my recipe archives and made something and loved it!  I know lately I’ve pretty much been just posting quinoa and uber healthy recipes, but for those of you that are looking for some tasty family friendly savory recipes, I have some recipes in the work. I’m looking to make up an easy skillet rosemary chicken dish this week and plan on serving it up with some sweet potato wedges with a lime yogurt dip. So, I do have some new recipe ideas folks, but I just need the time to cook and photograph the recipes (with some natural light at night please, daylight savings can you any come faster). Ok, enough about me, lets move onto these bars.

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quinoa wrap with black beans, feta and avocado

quinoa wrap with black beans, feta and avocado

quinoa wrap with black beans, feta and avocadoSo, I have to tell you that I’m totally obsessed with this wrap, like when I say obsessed, I mean I’ve had this wrap for lunch everyday this past week as well as dinner on a few occasions,  and I’m still craving it.  I’m just as obsessed with this wrap as I was when I first tried my lacinato kale salad, and for those of you that know me or have been following me for a while, you know that is my all time favorite salad ever!  I would put this wrap right up there in the same ballpark as my lacinato salad, and that’s saying a lot.

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acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almondsSome of you who have followed my blog from the beginning may recognize this recipe, as it’s one of the first ones I posted on the blog.  I decided to re-post it as I made a few changes to the recipe and updated all the photos, plus I feel like it’s a wonderful recipe to share with you all this time of year as acorn squash is in season and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  This is a great meatless alternative for Thanksgiving or you can serve these up as a healthy side dish.  You can even make these vegan by adding nutritional yeast in lieu of the feta.

I love this recipe and make it up quite often for lunch in the fall.  I say lunch because my kids are not fans of quinoa and squash, so I really can’t make this up for dinner as my kids would not be happy campers.  This is more of a “mommy and daddy” meal in my house.

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quinoa, tuna and corn salad

quinoa, corn and tuna salad

quinoa, corn and tuna saladQuinoa, quinoa, quinoa.  I’m sure you’re seeing that word everywhere these days and that some of you are tired of seeing recipes with quinoa, but here’s another recipe just incase you’re not tired of it yet.  I admit I did go on a hiatus from cold quinoa dishes for about a year, as I was tired of eating it day after day.  I discovered new and unique ways to enjoy quinoa like sautéed in a patty or cheesy cake, perfect for lunch or as a side dish to your favorite soup or salad.  I also discovered I liked quinoa in the morning mixed in with some steel-cut oats or quinoa flakes mixed with goji berries.  In fact I’m having a bowl of my 5 minute hot quinoa cereal as I type this post, so good!… 

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5 minute hot quinoa cereal

5 minute hot quinoa cereal

5 minute hot quinoa cerealOk, here’s another quinoa cereal that I tell you is super simple to whip up, like 5 minute simple. I love my other quinoa and steel-cut oat cereal, but I have to plan ahead the night before in order to make it, and sometimes I just want to wake up and have some hot cereal, like NOW!  I’m not the type of person who likes to fuss a lot when it comes to breakfast.  I like to have my coffee and cereal ready within 10 minutes of waking. That’s just how I roll. I’m finally getting tired of my traditional cold cereal fix (after 20 some years) and have been experimenting with some new hot and healthy (ooh, I really like the sound of that) cereals. I recently saw these quinoa flakes (see below photo) at the grocery store (in the cereal section, next to the oatmeal) and decided to try them. I mean the package said it could be ready in minutes, and that sentence alone sold me.

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quinoa cakes

quinoa cakes (1 of 1)

quinoa cakes (1 of 1)Ok, so remember when I was obsessed with kale and everything kale?  Well, I’m still pretty obsessed with kale, but now I’m obsessed with quinoa as well.  I have figured out my favorite way to eat quinoa, and that is warm, liked warmed up in patties or a cereal rather than cold like in a salad.  I’ve made more quinoa dishes in the last few months than I have in the past year that I’ve been blogging.  First, there were these quinoa patties.  Super yummy, easy to make and healthy.

quinoa patties

Then I tried quinoa for breakfast with steel-cut oats and goji berries. Say what, quinoa for breakfast?  Oh yes, try it!  It’s my new favorite way to start the day.  It’s a power house of a breakfast.

hot quinoa and oat cereal with goji berries

Now, I ventured into a crispier and cheesier quinoa cake.  Hey, I was thinking of my kids here, because they were not the biggest fans of the other quinoa patties. Kid verdict?  Zoe liked them better than the other ones, (that’s a step in the right direction, still working on her) and Eli LOVED them, so I would say that this recipe was a success. Dry toasting the quinoa before simmering it in the broth adds such a depth of flavor, and the quinoa gets all browned in color and forms into these tiny little balls. The mozzarella cheese gets all melty and crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. These cakes remind me in a weird but healthier way, of mozzarella cheese sticks. I know that’s a strange way to describe them, but they are crispy, cheesy and chewy cakes. I mean who said that healthy foods have to taste healthy, right?  Just give them a try and if you like quinoa and cheese, then you will love these.

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hot quinoa and oat cereal with goji berries

hot quinoa and oat cereal with goji berries

hot quinoa and oat cereal with goji berriesMove over grape nuts, there’s a new cereal in town. Seriously, this is by far my newest cereal obsession.  I mean I’m literally OBSESSED!  I’m now substituting my regimented daily bowl of grape nuts for this warm and comforting cereal. This is a big deal folks because I have been eating grape nuts since I was 17.  Yes, it’s the honest to goodness truth, I kid you not. I explain more about my cereal habit/obsession in this old, what I ate last week post.  I’m really just a creature of habit, especially when it comes to my breakfast routine.  I’m a carb junkie and always have been.  I need carbs to get me going in the morning, and eggs or pancakes just don’t cut it.

This is seriously the easiest hot cereal (besides instant) to prepare. What’s even better is that it can be made the night before.  Whoo hoo! All you do is bring the quinoa, oats and goji berries to a boil, then shut off the heat, cover the pot, and let it sit till morning. Overnight the grains absorb the water and cook through perfectly.  All you have to do in the morning is get up (of course) and re-heat the cereal.  I love it because on a cold winter morning, it’s the perfect comfort fuel to start the day.  I love steel-cut oats and to mix them with the protein power and nutrition of quinoa and the antioxidants of goji berries, well you have yourself a breakfast fit for champions.  You could ski for hours or run a half marathon after eating this breakfast concoction.

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quinoa patties

quinoa

Happy day after Halloween!  Are you all candied out?  Are you putting yourself on a diet of kale salads and quinoa dishes till Thanksgiving? I’m not going to go that far, but I do need some sort of cleanse from all the sugar I’ve been eating lately. It’s not candy that I need a break from, but baked goods. I have been baking way to many pumpkin muffins, cupcakes and bundt cakes lately, and I need to stop!  Maybe with all of this new candy in the house, I won’t be asked to bake anything. I think the trick-or-treat candy will give me about a week off before the kids start getting sick of it and start asking me what I’m going to bake up. 

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