Submitted by Jeanne Larson
About the cook: I am a wife, mom of two boys, and a part-time middle school teacher who teaches a Farm to Table cooking class/Health and PE. My side business is called Endurance Fit For Life and my goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. I have written three cookbooks, which focus on simple, healthy recipes and easy to make. My website and social media has a link for hiking/biking trails in Orange County that give details on where to park, sights you will see on the trails, and other info. Overall, my goal to to help simplify healthy cooking in the kitchen with giving others recipe ideas that will keep them and their families healthy!
About the dish: A healthy, easy Mexican style, vegetarian dish that your whole family will love!
National Origin: American
Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (I used tri-colored quinoa, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.)
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped bell pepper (I like yellow and orange, but any color will work.)
½ cup chopped red onion
4 garlic cloves, diced
¾ cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
¾ tsp., sea salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
First, cook the quinoa according to package directions and set it aside. Then, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook the garlic and onion for a few minutes until translucent. Next, add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT cilantro, and cook for 6-8 minutes. When the veggies are al dente, turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve as-is or add your favorite protein, such as steak, chicken, or black beans.
Cooking healthy and staying within budget can be challenging because of the cost of groceries—especially organic meats and veggies. I try to make a couple of vegetarian meals each week to save on the cost of proteins like red meat, chicken, and fish. This recipe is a great vegetarian option that is balanced with nutrients from the veggies, the yummy Mexican flavor, and the protein that comes from the quinoa.
Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods you will find, and it contains twice as much fiber as most other grains. The grain also contains iron and lysine, and it is rich in magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese. With these benefits, I don’t mind making this a main course; it is high in nutrients, low in cost, and easy to make.