Favorite Quinoa Salad

The best quinoa salad recipe, made with chickpeas, red bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, parsley and lemon! This healthy quinoa salad is sure to be a hit. (gluten free, vegetarian, vegan)

This post is brought to you by Bota Box Wine.

Introducing my favorite quinoa salad! I’ve published more than a few quinoa salads over the years and I genuinely love all of them, but this recipe is officially my favorite.

This quinoa salad is refreshing, crisp and delicious. It’s made simply with fresh cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, fresh parsley and a garlicky olive oil and lemon dressing. The salad sort of reminds me of taboulleh, an herbed Lebanese salad with tomatoes and bulgur.

quinoa salad ingredients

This quinoa salad recipe is also very easy to toss together, especially if you use leftover quinoa. It packs great for lunch, picnics, road trips and plane rides. Bring this allergy-friendly salad along to your next potluck—it’s vegan/dairy free, gluten free, and nut free, for all to enjoy.

Basically, it’s perfect for all everyday occasions. It doesn’t taste “basic,” but it has a lot of merits that make it a staple recipe in my kitchen. I hope it becomes your go-to quinoa salad recipe, too!

Continue to the recipe…

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Honey & Soy Tofu with Sweet Potato ‘Noodles’

Soy & Honey Tofu with Sweet Potato Noodles-2

Honey & Soy Tofu with Sweet Potato ‘Noodles’

Sweet potato is one of the few vegetables (side from potatoes) that my boys love. Needless to say, I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use the sweet spud.

While chopping into chip shapes and roasting in coconut oil is my go-to move, these spiralized ‘noodles’ are a close second. They do take a little more active time to prepare, but I’ve found little fingers love getting the spiralizer out. And they only take 10 minutes in the oven so they’re pretty quick.

I was surprised how much they both love tofu. It’s a great staple to have in the fridge for when you need some last minute protein. My favourite ways to use tofu are in an easy tofu scramble, as a tasty ragu, these tofu ‘steaks’ or pan fried and given a flavour boost with some honey and soy like in the recipe below.

Make sure you buy firm tofu (rather than silken) and organic so there’s less likelihood of the soy being genetically modified.

enough for: 2-3 children
takes: 20 minutes
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 pack firm tofu (about 175g / 6oz)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small bunch coriander (cilantro)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Scrub sweet potato and spiralize into medium ‘noodles’.

2. Place noodles on an oven proof baking tray. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until ‘noodles’ are tender and cooked through.

3. Meanwhile slice tofu into 3 bricks about 1cm (1/3in) thick. Pan fry on a medium high heat with a little oil until golden brown on both sides.

4. Mix honey and soy sauce in a medium bowl. When the tofu is cooked, chop into bite sized chunks and toss in the honey and soy sauce.

5. To serve, divide warm sweet potato between 2-3 bowls. Top with tofu and sauce and coriander leaves (if using).

Variations

extra crunch – serve with roast cashews or sesame seeds.

green-free – skip the coriander or replace with cashews or sesame seeds.

soy-free – replace with chicken thigh or breast fillets and adjust cooking time as needed.

carb-lovers – toss in cooked noodles or spaghetti with the sweet potato. Or serve everything with steamed rice.

low carb – replace sweet potato with 2 medium zucchini. And consider the chicken instead of the tofu. For more low carb ideas, see my other website Deliciously Diabetic. If you’re keeping things super low carb use a pinch of stevia instead of the honey.

no spiralizer – chop the sweet potato into shoestring fingers and increase the cooking time until they are tender (about 20 minutes depending on your knife skills). If you’re thinking about investing in a spiralizer, you might enjoy this article: Do You Need A Spiralizer?

other veg – carrots are also good.

sweeter – feel free to increase the honey.

gluten-free – use tamari or other gluten-free soy sauce.

different sauces – oyster or hoisin sauce can be used instead of the honey and soy.

more grown-up – toss in a little grated ginger and/or finely chopped garlic with the soy. And chopped green onions add lovely colour to the noodles. A few finely chopped red chillies wouldn’t go astray either. Or serve with Marco’s Chilli Oil.

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

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Mexican Green Salad with Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing

This amazing Mexican green salad recipe is the perfect healthy side for your favorite Mexican dishes! Get the recipe at cookieandkate.com

Meet the next edition of my giant salad challenge! This “Mexican” green salad recipe is quite possibly the prettiest salad I’ve ever had the chance to photograph, too. Romaine lettuce and mixed spring greens, purple cabbage and cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion combine to create one stunning and delicious salad.

The idea behind the salad challenge is that I’m challenging you (and myself) to make an enormous green salad and some homemade dressing to go with it. If you store the salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator, you’ll have salad to last you all week long. I find that I eat a lot more greens and veggies this way, and I’m more likely to grab salad as a snack than a regrettable handful of chips.

I’ve enjoyed quite a few renditions of this salad over the past few months. It was inspired by a local restaurant called Taco Republic‘s “Al Verde” salad, which includes Tuscan kale, roasted golden beets, and mayo-based dressing. I always get their salad to balance out the queso and chips I inevitably-but-not-regrettably order beforehand.

salad ingredients

I ultimately decided on some ingredients that are a little easier to find at a regular grocery store and prepare for my salad. Freshly toasted pepitas offer a savory, nutty crunch, and creamy feta and avocado make this salad irresistible. This salad isn’t the quickest salad you’ll ever make, but it pays off in sheer quantity and flavor.

I also made my dressing lighter, although it’s still deliciously creamy, thanks to an olive oil and lime juice emulsion plus a tablespoon of tahini (which is optional). The dressing is based on the jalapeño-lime dressing in my cookbook (page 53). In the book, I offered four of my favorite make-ahead salad dressings, plus a simple five-step guide to creating an epic salad. You might want a copy (wink).

Continue to the recipe…

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No-Cry Roast Onion Soup +Can You Help Out?

Roast Onions-2

When someone subscribes to the weekly Stonesoup email newsletter, I ask a couple of questions so I can get to know my new readers better.

One of them is how they discovered my blog. Every now and then I get an email saying they were looking for soup recipes and that for a blog called StoneSOUP, there weren’t as many soups as they would expect.

I take my reader feedback very seriously. So this year I’ve been on a mission to make more soup.

My plan is pretty simple. Monday night has become ‘soup night’.

It’s been brilliant for many reasons. Of course I’ve been making loads more soup. But it’s also made meal planning easier. Now I love Mondays!

But before we get into this week’s soup recipe (which is a total winner), I have a quick favour to ask.

I’m toying with the idea of making some changes to the focus of Stonesoup but before I do anything rash, I’d love to get your input.

So I’ve created a quick survey.

To share your thoughts go to:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GCJGSTJ

It would mean so much to me to get your input to guide the direction of Stonesoup.

With love and thanks!
Jules
xoxo

ps. If you need more reasons to start upping your own soup intake, you might enjoy 7 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Soup.

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No-Cry Roast Onion Soup

I did toy with the idea of calling this soup ‘Aussie Onion Soup’, as opposed to the French variety. But the idea of roasting the onions first so you’re avoiding all the pain and tears involved in slicing your onions is just too brilliant (if I do say so myself) not to allude to it in the title.

Beef stock is traditionally used with French onion soup but I prefer the milder flavour of a chicken stock here. Of course vegetarians are welcome to use vegetable stock.

enough for: 2
takes about 60 minutes
4 red onions
1/2 cup white wine OR 1-2 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar
3 cups stock
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Cut the onions in half lengthwise. Remove any papery skins that are easy to discard but don’t worry about peeling.

2. Place onions cut side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle generously with oil and roast until well browned and soft – about 45 minutes.

3. When the onions are soft allow to cool for a few minutes before slipping them out of their skins. Slice cooked onion and place in a medium saucepan.

4. Add wine or vinegar and simmer for a few minutes before adding the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes.

5. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Serve in deep bowls with parmesan grated over.

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Variations

different onions – use whatever onions you like. I prefer red for their sweeter flavour and because they look so pretty.

short on time – peel and slice onions and cook on the stove top with lots of butter or oil on a medium heat until soft. Then proceed as per the recipe.

herby – some thyme or rosemary can be lovely.

hot! – serve with a good drizzle of Marco’s Chilli Oil. OR add some chopped red chilli with the stock.

carb-lovers – toss in some cooked pasta, croutons or cooked beans or lentils.

more traditional – melt some cheese on slices of sourdough toast and float these on top before serving.

more veg – feel free to wilt in some greens jsut before serving. Fine ribbons of kale are lovely as is baby spinach.

dairy-free – replace parmesan with grated brazil nuts or roast pine nuts.

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How to Make Tzatziki

Learn how to make authentic tzatziki (Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce)! It's so easy. Get the recipe at cookieandkate.com

Tzatziki! Tsaht-ZEE-kee! Otherwise known as that yogurt and cucumber sauce you love at Greek restaurants but worry about mispronouncing (hear the pronunciation here). Tzatziki is a refreshing, chilled sauce or dip made simply with yogurt, drained cucumber, olive oil, fresh herbs (usually mint or dill), garlic, lemon juice and salt.

I tend to associate tzatziki with Greek food, but you’ll find it served across the Mediterranean and Middle East, sometimes under different names or in slightly different forms. Tzatziki is often served with grilled meats and gyros, but I can’t think of a grilled or roasted vegetable it wouldn’t play nicely with. Bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus and green beans are all fair game. I might even slather it on grilled corn on the cob. Why not?

tzatziki ingredients

You can also serve up some tzatziki with your next appetizer spread. It would go great with toasted pita wedges, crisp raw vegetables, hummus, olives, cheese and crackers. Its many uses don’t end at cook-outs and cheese plates, though.

Tzatziki is also fantastic dolloped on falafel and spread inside pita sandwiches (you could use it instead of the avocado in that recipe). And, I don’t get mad when tzatziki lands on my tabbouleh, lentil salad or chickpea salad.

Continue to the recipe…

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Crunchy Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad

You're going to love this colorful, crunchy Thai peanut quinoa salad! It's made with carrots, cabbage, snow peas, and quinoa, tossed in a delicious peanut sauce. It packs great for lunch. Vegan and gluten free. cookieandkate.com

I tend to keep to myself, especially in yoga class. It’s not a very social form of exercise, you know? Last year, when I walked into my usual Tuesday evening yoga class and my instructor shouted, “COOKIE AND KATE,” I froze. Kim, a regular in the class, had learned about my blog through her co-worker, and she said, “I know her! I go to yoga with her!”

Then Kim told Christina, the teacher, and then everyone found out. Including Amie, one of my favorite instructors, who is great friends with Kate Kasbee of Well Vegan. Kate lives in Chicago and was working on a cookbook called Frugal Vegan at the time.

ingredients

Through the Amie-Kate connection, I got a sneak peek at Frugal Vegan and wrote a blurb for the back cover. “Frugal Vegan offers an incredible array of fresh and simple vegan recipes. Every single one of them manages to be easy to make, affordable and accessible, too.”

Kate came to town for Amie’s birthday party, so I met her for drinks, and a giant green bug landed in her herbed green cocktail. Are you still following? I can’t make this stuff up.

Kate and I bonded over the trials and tribulations of cookbook-making, our love for our funny-looking pups (meet Rex), and the green bug experience. We practiced our half-moon poses at Amie’s backyard birthday party the next day. Maybe I shouldn’t be so shy about my work, since it opens so many fun doors.

Continue to the recipe…

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3 Reasons I LOVE Eating Low Carb

Avo on Toast with Smashed Olives & Tahini-3

Do you ever feel confused by nutrition? I know.

Even though I’ve studied nutrition at university as part of my Food Science degree, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. When I read the latest study comparing different diets it can be a bit much. Low fat, paleo, vegetarian, LCHF, plant based, low carb?!

What’s a girl to eat?

When I start to feel that overwhelm I come back to some simple principles to guide my eating: (adapted from Michael Pollan).

  • Eat real food
  • Eat lots of veggies
  • Watch the carbs
  • Experiment with what works for you.

Since being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and then Type 2, I’ve found that for me, eating Low Carb with a generous dose of healthy fat works best.

3 Reasons I LOVE Eating Low Carb

1. Low Carb is Delicious!
As a huge huge food lover, there is no way I could stick to a Low Carb lifestyle if it didn’t taste amazing. The pleasure of food is a non-negotiable in my world.

Luckily I’ve discovered that it’s super easy to really enjoy Low Carb food, especially when you include all the delicious, flavour-carrying fats. I never feel deprived.

2. Low Carb Keeps My Blood Sugar Stable
I still test my fasting blood sugar every morning and it’s easy to tell when I’ve let the carbs creep in (hello whole bottle of Proscecco!). But a day of Low Carb eating easily puts the old glucose back on track.

3. Low Carb Helps Manage my Weight.
Apart from the year I spent backpacking around the world and living on beer and bread, I’ve never been really overweight. But I have always struggled with a bulge around my waistline.

When I started eating Low Carb and my body shape stopped being a constant struggle. Maintaining a healthy weight became so much easier.

I really noticed this with my pregnancies. For my first I wasn’t diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and I gained 20kg (40lb). With my second I really focused on eating Low Carb and monitoring my blood sugar after every meal and guess what? I only gained 15kg (30lb) even though I was exercising less.

Are you looking for EASY Low Carb recipes?

Then check out my NEW website, Deliciously Diabetic!

Make sure you don’t miss the FREE eCookbook with 24 EASY Low Carb recipes!

Grab your FREE copy at:
https://www.deliciously-diabetic.com/

Enjoy!
Jules xoxo
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Avo on Toast with Smashed Olives & Tahini

Avo on Toast with Smashed Olives & Tahini

We Australians love to abbreviate everything. In case you’re wondering ‘avo’ is actually avocado. While there aren’t many things I miss being Low Carb, ‘Avo on Toast’ was one of them. So happy to have found a Low Carb bread that means I can enjoy my avocado AND keep my blood sugar happy. Of course you’re welcome to use whatever bread you prefer.

You don’t really need a recipe for this idea but the contrast of the salty piquant olives with the creamy avo and tahini really takes this to the next level!

enough for: 2
takes: 10 minutes
1 slice broccoli bread
1 small avocado or 1/2 large
squeeze lime
4-5 kalamata olives, smashed
2 tablespoons tahini

1. Toast your bread.

2. Halve avocado and scoop flesh onto the toast. Smash roughly with a fork to cover the surface. Sprinkle generously with black pepper and some sea salt flakes (remembering your olives will add salt too).

3. Squeeze over lime. Smash olives with the side of your knife and remove stones. Scatter smashed olives over the avo and drizzle over tahini.

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Variations

more simple – just use avocado and lime with lashings of black pepper.

no tahini – just skip it or try sprinkling with dukkah, roast pine nuts or sesame seeds instead.

carb-lovers – use your favourite bread. True carb lovers might like to spread their toppings over 2 slices!

another fave avo on toast topping – sprinkle with Shicimi Togarashi.

no avo – replace with regular hummus or my Low Carb Roast Cauliflower Hummus and skip the tahini.

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Mango-Rita Green Smoothie

This refreshing green smoothie recipe features frozen mango and pineapple and fresh orange and lime. You can't taste the spinach, but it's good for you! cookieandkate.com

I’m still giggling about the time I shared a green smoothie on Snapchat and one of my good guy friends told me it completely disgusting. That’s what good friends are for, right? I laughed because I was nine-percent confident that he would have loved it if he had actually tried it.

It was mostly made of raspberries, but I added some spinach for some extra nutrients. While the raspberry-red and spinach-green colors didn’t combine to produce the most appetizing shade of frozen treat, it was nutritious and seriously delicious.

I’ll never get on the expensive fresh juice bandwagon, but smoothies are a great way to get some extra servings of fruit (and even some greens). With smoothies, as opposed to juice, you get all that goodness without losing the fiber content, which keeps blood sugar levels stable.

green smoothie ingredients

When I discovered that I could portion smoothie ingredients in a mason jar or bag to blend later, I started making a lot more smoothies at home. I’ve been rotating through the three make-ahead green smoothies in my book, but it’s about time to change things up.

I recently got a chance to chat with Jen from Simple Green Smoothies. She’s a pioneer of the green smoothie concept. Somehow, I’d never gotten my hands on a copy of her book of the same name, so she offered to send me a copy. It’s beautifully designed and photographed, with over 100 recipes for green smoothies of all varieties—green smoothies for beginners and kids, post-workout, dessert, and even green smoothie bowls.

Continue to the recipe…

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Chilaquiles Verdes with Baked Tortilla Chips

Incredibly delicious chilaquiles verdes with fried eggs, made from scratch! Get this vegetarian recipe at cookieandkate.com

I travelled all the way to Mexico City last month in search of the best chilaquiles, tacos and quesadillas I could find. I found all of the above, plus quite a few new-to-me Mexican combinations of cheese, flatbread and cactus or mushrooms.

On our last morning there, I walked to the loveliest French-Mexican café down the street called Lardo and ordered chilaquiles verdes. I happily sat at the bar solo, sipping my cappuccino, admiring all of the copper design details, eavesdropping on the American family nearby, and imagining how fun it might be to travel with my own family someday.

Then my chilaquiles arrived, and all focus shifted to the gorgeous food placed before me. I didn’t know that tortilla chips and salsa could be so beautiful, but these were piled high and covered with dollops of queso fresco, fresh green cilantro leaves and lots of creamy diced avocado. (No egg; apparently I was supposed to order that separately, but I loved them as is).

tortillas and tomatillos

The chips were perfectly tender, not soggy or too poky. The salsa tasted super fresh, and wasn’t overpowered by the flavor of fried chips. Those chilaquiles tasted as good as they looked, and I vowed to recreate them promptly when I got home.

Which I did, opting to bake my tortilla chips rather than using store-bought or frying my own (big pots of oil scare me). I also made my favorite salsa verde. I tried a variety of toppings and landed on a combination of feta (in lieu of queso fresco or Cotija), red onion (for some color and heat), fresh cilantro, fried eggs (optional), and, of course, avocado.

I carefully picked out just-ripe avocado at the store, and then I forgot to add it for the photos. I went all the way to Mexico City for this recipe, and I forgot to add the avocado. Head smack!

Continue to the recipe…

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