The family that I cook healthy meals for recently received a new cook book for the holidays. It’s by Dr. Andrew Weil and Sam Fox who opened True Food Kitchen restaurant of which there are 2 in Arizona and they did so with a two-fold mission: every dish served must not only be delicious but must also promote the diner’s well-being.
While I haven’t been to a TRUE FOOD restaurant yet, I’ve definitely been cooking based on their awesome recipes. I do change a few things up for my particular taste but not only are these recipes delicious but that are nutritionally sound and chock full of healthy goodness.
Which brings me to this recipe. I was asked to make this recently and not only did I make it for my clients but I ended up making it for the hubby and I last night because it’s THAT GOOD!
This recipe is just for the soup because it’s Paleo and vegan but in the cookbook, they pair this soup with these incredible Bison Turkey Meatballs which I also made separately so if I’m not in the mood for meat, I just leave them out.
This recipe really is one of the healthiest and by far tastiest soups I’ve made thus far. It’s my new soup addiction and considering that it was unseasonably cold in Arizona this past week, the timing was perfect. But I’ll be making this soup all year long for sure!
The best tip I can give you is to chop and puree everything prior to starting because it all goes pretty fast which makes this recipe all the better.
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa with Broccoli and Blue Cheese
It’s no secret that I love quinoa. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. It is packed with clean protein and adaptable to any flavors you incorporate into it. This recipe is no different.
This recipe is chock full of buffalo sauce flavor not to mention lots of protein from the chicken and the quinoa. With the broccoli, carrots and cabbage, there is a great dose of veggies in it.
To bring the flavors up a notch, I topped it with some crumbled blue cheese. I always loved buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing so I get the same flavors now but with healthy ingredients and dramatically less fat.
4 green onions (the white part) chopped. Reserve the green parts for garnish
2 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil (separated)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup buffalo wing sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Make the quinoa first. I use the pre-rinsed kind but if yours is not already rinsed, rinse thoroughly and drain before cooking.
Put 1 cup uncooked quinoa and 2 cups chicken broth in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring every 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil and add broccoli. Saute on low for 5 minutes, stirring so that it does not burn. You want the broccoli to still be somewhat crunchy, not soggy. Once cooked, set aside.
Using the same pan, add the other tablespoon ghee or coconut oil and saute chicken on medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes. Turning occasionally so all sides are cooked.
While the chicken is cooking, mix up the dressing. In a medium bowl combine olive oil, buffalo sauce and seasoned salt. Whisk until mixed thoroughly. Set aside.
Add broccoli, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, onions and half of the dressing mixture to the chicken and combine.
Add quinoa next and the second half of the dressing mixture. Mix everything well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 7 - 10 minutes or until the liquid has cooked off.
Stir in blue cheese crumbles or save them to use as garnish and mix them in one serving at a time.
Serve on a bed of shredded cabbage or in lettuce cups.
I love a challenge. So while I’m planning my recipes for the week I will ask the hubby if he is in the mood for any particular meal. Of course he didn’t pick something easy like salad, he picks paella. Thanks hubby. Challenge accepted.
Of course I wasn’t going to make the traditional paella that is made with rice. Since I replace rice with quinoa in my other recipes like paleo “faux” fried rice, I knew it could be done. The secret is in the spices. I found this awesome recipe on www.skinnyms.com as a great starting point.
Since quinoa is so versatile and absorbs any seasoning or flavoring you incorporate into it, I was pretty sure this would work. Off to the laboratory (kitchen) I went.
We used shrimp and sea scallops for the protein but by using quinoa, the protein levels gets kicked up even more! Quinoa is just so super awesome. I could eat it every day (and almost do).
Before starting anything, place the shrimp and scallops in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of seafood seasoning, mix it around so all of the seasoning touches everything. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Start your quinoa. I use the pre-rinsed kind but if you don't, make sure to rinse your quinoa so it doesn't have any bitterness.
Put 1½ cups of uncooked quinoa and 3 cups of chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, add ½ teaspoon of saffron threads, spanish paprika, black pepper, a dash of salt and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 4 or 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, in a LARGE skillet (I used a heavy cast iron one), heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute your diced onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once your onion has been sauteed add another tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, red bell pepper and tomatoes, stir and continue to saute for 3 or 4 minutes.
Add quinoa, 3 cups chicken broth and bay leaf to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the other ½ teaspoon of saffron threads, 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low boil and cover for 10 minutes.or until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add peas, shrimp and scallops. Sink them down into the quinoa mix so that the seafood is surrounded by the quinoa. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes while still covered.
Posting from South Dakota again. Today we have a vigorous 10K hike up Harney Peak. Very excited. Yesterday we visited the Badlands and the view was absolutely breathtaking. I’ve never seen this part of the country.
This picture above was taken at the prairie dog park where we got to hand feed little prairie dogs. There were tons of babies too. After that we moved on down the road to an unbelievably vast site. So why not do a little yoga? Made sense to me. Yoga is awesome anywhere.
Onto today’s lean clean protein machine recipe. This is a super fresh, filling, low-fat, paleo salad. Clean protein from the shrimp and the quinoa. Tons of flavor too.
I made a lime walnut version of quinoa which complimented the lime shrimp perfectly. I love quinoa period and one of the main reasons is that it is so versatile that you can adapt it to pretty much any recipe and it always turns out great.
1 cup dried quinoa (rinse according to box instructions if not using pre-rinsed)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon chopped green onions (the green part)
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped walnuts
dash of salt/pepper
Optional: ½ lemon, sliced into wedges
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup dried quinoa and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Fluff with fork.
Add zest of a half of a lime, juice of a half of lime, olive oil, ¼ cup of chopped walnuts, chopped green onions and dash of salt/pepper to the quinoa. Stir to combine.
While the quinoa is simmering, get the shrimp started.
In medium saucepan, heat ghee and saute shrimp.
In a small bowl combine zest of ½ of a lime, juice of half of a lime and coconut palm sugar. Pour mixture into saucepan on top of the shrimp and continue sauteing shrimp in lime/sugar mixture until shrimp is thoroughly pink.
Serve shrimp with quinoa on a bed of mixed greens. Squirt lemon wedge over everything.
This took me a while to write because I kept taking taste testing breaks. This dish is so delicious. I literally walked around the kitchen telling myself “I am so awesome”! This is exactly the reaction I expect you to get from anyone you cook this for.
This recipe was very easy and straightforward. Just a few slices of an eggplant and onions and some can opening. Just be careful not to get crazy with the knife like I did.
It’s a good idea to salt the eggplant and let sit for 30 minutes to prevent any bitterness from the eggplant. I sliced mine (carefully) and sprinkled with a little sea salt while I prepared everything else. Then I rinsed the slices in a colander and laid on top of the other ingredients. Topped with olive oil and it was ready to bake.
You can easily make this paleo or vegan by omitting the feta. Instead you can top it with more fire roasted tomatoes or vegan cheese. Either way you choose to top it, you will love it.
With or without the cheese, the sherry vinegar, vegetable broth, fire roasted tomatoes, onions and spices really make this recipes flavor explode.
I’ve been eating the leftovers for every meal since I made this yesterday. I have never loved eggplant more than I do in this recipe.