Chunky Farmers Quinoa

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Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
— Orson Welles
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Happy Sunday & Daylight Savings Time!  I hope you weren’t too disappointed in losing an hour of sleep. As many of you know, my Sundays are dedicated to meal prep.  I always cook a soup, some sort of salad (usually kale) and some sort of grain dish for the week ahead. Just like many of you, our schedule is very hectic and if we don't plan ahead, we end up eating Chipotle bean burritos all week.

Today, instead of doing our grocery shopping at our local grocery store, we decided to venture out to a farmers market.  I don’t have any close to my house so I took some advice from a friend that this place was worth the drive and the gas money.

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It’s called Yellow Green Farmers Market and it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays with over 300 booths in a 100,000 square foot facility. It’s funny because we read the reviews online on the drive there and many people said that there weren’t a lot of produce vendors but when we got there, we saw tons.  One thing I did notice is that all of the signs said local produce.  And when you think of local growers you think of it being organic.  But that’s not the case.  I asked around and found only one booth selling organic produce.  But since the booth was limited, I whipped out my trusty “Dirty Dozen” list to verify which foods are OK to buy non-organic.   Since buying organic food can get quite expensive, it’s good to have this list in your phone or printed out in your wallet for quick reference.

Visiting a farmers market is so inspiring because you get to meet a variety of people doing some amazing things with food.  We had lunch at a vegan stand that had the most delicious chickpea stew with sautéed zuchinni’s. We bought some mango & strawberry marmalade from a couple that has huge mango trees in their Ft. Lauderdale backyard.  And we even found a used books vendor encouraging us to take free children’s books. 

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When we got back home and unloaded the bags of goodies, I got to work on using all of the delicious fruit and veggies.  I take a simple approach in the kitchen. Flavor = Satisfaction.  I like to have a party in my mouth with each meal. No boring, bland food for this cowgirl.

With that in mind, I present to you my recipe for Chunky Farmers Quinoa. What the heck is Quinoa (Keen-wah)?  Quinoa is a grain that is packed with protein.  It cooks super fast and takes on whatever flavor you give it. You can eat it hot or cold. This dish keeps well, so you can make a batch and bring it for lunch or have for dinner later in the week.  It also pairs really well with my Sweet & Crunchy Kale Salad or my Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

½ Red Bell Pepper
½ Yellow Bell Pepper
¼ Yellow Onion
1 medium carrot
½ Cucumber
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 can (14.5 ounce) No Salt Added Garbanzo Beans

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions using vegetable broth instead of water.  In the meantime, dice the peppers, onion and cucumber.  Peel the carrot and dice it as well.  Combine all veggies. Drain the garbanzo beans.  Once quinoa is cooked, combine with veggies and garbanzo beans. Add fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.  

Do you have any favorite quinoa recipes?  Or will this recipe be your first time trying it?  I want to hear from you.  Leave your comments/stories/suggestions below.  

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