Quick meals are essential at my house. Since quinoa is quick to make and packed with nutritional carbs and protein, it is always one of our go-to foods when we are in a bind. Tonight we had all come home from a day of meetings and phone calls and dance classes and we were exhausted. I asked my wife if we had any frozen vegan pizzas and she said no. “Bummer,” I exclaimed as I knew that it was on me to make dinner. I looked through pantry and found some dry quinoa that I knew we could cook up in just 12 minutes. I then saw some pretty great toppings and a few other things that would make a really complete meal for my family of four eaters (my fifth is a baby so no food yet)!

This recipe is completely and totally simple, which is the point of “quick meals,” so don’t be shocked when you see the ingredients and method below. The point is that you do not have to be perfect and make a meal from scratch that took your hours to prep for and make. Sometimes you have to go with what you have and in this case, we happened to have some pretty cool stuff that when lumped all together…made an awesome meal. Here is how I did it:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of beans (15oz. cans, black beans are great, but you can use your favorite)
  • 2 organic carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 to 2 organic tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 to 2 cans of pineapple tidbits or chunks
  • a handful of unsalted cashews

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa in a large saucepan. If you aren’t sure how, check this short video out. Basically it’s 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. Then bring it to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer, covered, for 12 minutes
  2. In a separate pot, put your beans into a large saucepan after giving them a good rinse. I used canned, organic beans from BPA-Free cans for this recipe. Choose any two types of beans you like. We used black beans and chili beans.
  3. Head the beans on medium heat and add the veggie stock, carrots and all the spices and let it simmer during the entire time the quinoa is cooking.
  4. Once the quinoa is done, scoop it onto a plate and then top with your marinated beans.
  5. Use the tomatoes, cucumber, pineapple and cashews to top off your masterpiece. No need to cook any of these so they retain their excellent nutritional value.
  6. Add a tiny bit of sea salt for taste and you have yourself an A+ meal that is packed with protein, fruit, grain and vegetables to keep you and your family going strong!
Cory Warren
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Cory Warren

Cory Warren is a husband, father of three, and vegan athlete who helps busy families eat more plant-based foods! His blog, Lean Green DAD, helps over-scheduled, busy people (mostly parents) maintain a healthy balance of plant-based nutrition, fitness, and overall wellness so they can go the extra mile for their families.
Cory Warren
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