Dancing Queen: Quinoa Power Bowl

This queen-oa power bowl will give you all of the energy you need to be the queen of the dance floor!  Roasted chickpeas, tri-color quinoa, and fresh avocado are the three main ingredients of this dish, and it can be made in 30 minutes.

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First start with the roasted chickpeas.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Open and rinse a can of chickpeas.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Place the chickpeas on the parchment paper.  Grind black pepper on top of the chickpeas.  Drizzle olive oil on the chickpeas and make sure they are thoroughly coated.  Roast for 30-35 minutes.

While the chickpeas are roasting, start the quinoa.  Rinse 1/2 cup quinoa in a small sieve.  Place in a small pot along with 1/2 cup water, plus a little extra splash of water.  Bring this to a fast simmer.  Then reduce to a low simmer and place a lid on top.  Cook for 17 minutes.

Place quinoa, roasted, chickpeas, and avocado in a bowl.  Mix throughly.  Add sea salt to taste.  Enjoy!

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Healthy Noodles: Easy Meal Edition

This summer, I had a full time internship, with an hour and a half commute to and from work.  By the time I got home, I wanted to work out, and then eat a quick, healthy meal.  At the beginning, I mostly made monotonous salads.  But I soon grew bored of spinach leaves, and tried to be more creative.  Here are three quick and easy noodle ideas… that do not use traditional pasta!

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs 

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Have you ever heard of spaghetti squash before?  It is an oval shaped squash that produces stringy threads when baked, which are reminiscent of thin spaghetti!

This meal is really easy because all you have to do is bake the squash.  My mum had made the meatballs in bulk beforehand.  And the sauce is Rao’s Marinara.

To bake the squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Sprinkle salt and black pepper on top of the fleshy side of the squash halves.  Then rub olive oil so the fleshy side is completely covered.  Then lay the squash flesh side down (The “fleshy side” is the interior of the squash).  Bake for 1 hour.  Then, using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash to create spaghetti!

Top with warm marinara and meatballs.  Add some grated parmesan on top.  Then you are all set!

“Puttanesca” Spaghetti Squash

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While puttanesca sauce is now popular, and an esteemed dish, that was not always the case.  Puttanesca translates to as “in the style of a whore.”  There are theories as to where this tarnished relation came from… Puttanesca sauce is very easy and quick to make.  The intense aroma of the pasta would lure men off of the street.  Etc, etc.

Puttanesca generally consists of tomatoes, garlic, olives, and anchovies.  It has a saltier bite than a traditional marinara.

This version is not a traditional puttanesca, but it has similar salty, briny flavors.  I used Rao’s Artichoke sauce, which is very similar to their marinara, but artichokes are added!

Prepare the spaghetti squash following the above recipe.

Chop kalamata olives and remove the pits.

Mix the spaghetti squash with the sauce.  Add the chopped olives.  Crumble feta on top. And serve!

Butternut Squash Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas 

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Start with the roasted chickpeas. Preheat your over to 400 degrees.  Open one can of chickpeas, wash thoroughly, then pat dry.  Lay parchment paper on a baking pan, and put the chickpeas on top.  Salt and pepper the chickpeas.  Then drizzle olive oil on top and mix all the chickpeas together. Bake for 30 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil in a sauce pan that is on medium high heat.  Place the sweet potato noodles in the pan and cook until the potato is cooked through.  Around 3o minutes.

I used Seggiano Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.  Toss the pasta in the sauce.  Sprinkle the chickpeas on top.  And enjoy.

 

We Got the Beat: Beat Brasserie

Walking around Harvard Square, there is an abundance of eclectic restaurants, that create a unique atmosphere.  Beat Brasserie is one of these restaurants, with a retro sign that illuminates at night.

Beat Brasserie is the sister restaurant to Beehive in the South End.  It has a beautiful interior of crystal chandeliers, luxurious fabrics, different height tables, and bright colors.  A stage is towards the back of the restaurant where live music plays, creating a hip vibe.

Beat Brasserie serves dinner, week day lunch, and week end brunch.  Their menu changes seasonally, and has both carnivore and vegetarian options.  The menu has a lot of original pairings that distinguishes it from other local restaurants.

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To start, I ordered the Chickpeas with a Romesco Sauce.  The chickpeas were beautifully baked so they became crispy on the outside, while maintaining a creamy interior.  Romesco sauce is made out of red peppers and nuts, so it is very similar in form to a traditional basil pesto.  It just has a more smoky flavor.

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For my main course I ordered the Bowl Azteca, consisting of Adobo-Spiced Quinoa, Tomatillo Salsa, Corn, Squash, Green Beans, Avocado, and Baby Spinach.  It was fresh, well seasoned, and satisfying.  The Tomatillo Salsa was really great.  Tomatillos look like green tomatoes and have a more tart flavor.  The shrimp was perfectly cooked and the seasonal vegetables added a brightness to the dish.

Beat Brasserie is one of my favorite places.  The food is guaranteed to be good, and you’ll enjoy the ambiance.

Romaine Greek Salad

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Romaine Greek Salad

romaine salad

chickpeas, washed and drained from a can

feta cheese

fresh tomatoes

cucumber

kalamata olives

sunflower seeds

lemon juice

olive oil

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together to make the dressing.  I went 1/4 parts lemon juice 3/4 parts olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the tomatoes and add salt to help counteract their juiciness.  Let them dry a little on a towel.  Chop the cucumber.  Chop and pit the olives.

Place the romaine in a large salad bowl.  Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives.  Crumble the feta cheese on top.  Sprinkle on the sunflower seeds.

Drizzle on the dressing and toss the salad.

 

Roasted Vegetables with Tahini Dressing

This is such an easy side dish to make and not only is it healthy, but it is packed with flavor!  The vegetables would be fine on their own, but I think the dressing adds some extra pizzazz to the plating and taste.  I used chickpeas, asparagus, and squash, but you can substitute in your favorite vegetables.

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Roasted Vegetables with Tahini Dressing (serves 6-7 as a side)

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 bunch of asparagus, tough end parts removed

half a butternut squash, peeled and seeded, chopped into 1 in. cubes

olive oil

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup lemon juice

6 tablespoons of water

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the vegetables onto sheet trays.  Drizzle over olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Bake the asparagus and squash for around 1 hour.  The chickpeas take only 30 minutes.

Combine, the tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the vegetables are done, plate, and drizzle on dressing.