Tag Archives: quinoa

Hawaiian Stir-fry

Ok. I officially realize that I’ve been making a lot of vegan recipes lately and I also realize that all of you out there are not vegan. For that reason, I’m going to make a conscious effort to make some vegetarian, fish, and even some meat recipes for your reading pleasure. This, however, is not one of them because I had not realized how much vegan goodness I’d been cooking up until this recipe. I promise I’ll do better from now on.

I was having a craving for pineapple when I came across a recipe for a pineapple stir-fry. I redid the recipe to fit what I had in my refrigerator (why make a whole trip to the store if you don’t need to) and it totally warped my view on how pineapple should be used in cooking. I’ve always been one of those “pineapple is better by itself or in a dessert than as a savory ingredient” types of people and I was definitely put in my place with this. Maybe it’ll change your view too?

Hawaiian Stir-Fry

Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 of a Pineapple, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Scallion, white and green part chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch Ginger, minced
  • Cayenne, to taste
  • Mint, to taste, chopped

Boil 1 cup of water and then add quinoa, turning down the heat and covering. Let simmer for ~10 minutes or until all of the water has been soaked up. Set quinoa aside. Place the macadamia nuts in a pan that has NOT been oiled. Toast them to a golden brown. In a bag, marinate the pineapple chunks in the tamari. In a separate pan, saute the red bell pepper, garlic, and finger in oil until tender. Add the scallions and let brown a little. Add the pineapple and saute until just turning brown. Mix in the cayenne. Add the macadamia nuts and mint to heat/reheat and mix in. Place the mix over the quinoa and you’re finished! (I topped mine with some chia seeds too).


  1. Quinoa is a quick-cooking grain. It cooks much quicker than rice and is grown with less water. Because of that it is a great “greener” alternative to rice.
  2. Getting the veggies local and organic can cut back on food-miles and the use of no pesticides helps protect our land and waterways.
  3. Nuts are a great source of protein that help us avoid heavy foodprint proteins such as meat and fish.
  4. Vegan! Though I promise I’m not going to make everything vegan because that wouldn’t teach you anything about how to go greener with the food you’re always eating (unless you are vegan).

The Magical Fruit

Lets talk “green” beans… green meaning eco-friendly… not actual green beans. I felt like I had to get to them eventually… they are in the title of my blog. So… what makes a bean eco-friendly?

  1. Eating less meat may be one of the most effective ways to fight global warming… and an easy way to cut back on meat (but keep up protein) is BEANS!!!!! (And as the song says: the more you eat…–> and who doesn’t want to stay regular?)
  2. Plant protein uses 1/10 of the fossil fuel than animal protein!
  3. Even when you buy beans in a can, you’re still eating at a much greener spot on the food chain.
  4. Less water is used in the production of beans (and all plant proteins) than animal proteins as well!!
  5. Beans have a super long storage life (canned or dried) so they won’t go bad!

And as an added bonus: the obesity rate among vegetarians is much lower than the average American (only 0-6% as opposed to 2/3 people in the normal population).

So yay for beans BEANS the magical fruit!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

  • This recipe serves like 4-6 people (I made it for me and my roommates) so keep that in mind if you need to cut it back.
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 can organic, vegetarian, refried black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • curry powder
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cook the quinoa by boiling the 2 cups of water. Then add the quinoa, lower to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Mix the cooked quinoa with carrot, cilantro, and spices. Meanwhile, Saute the shallot and add the black beans.

Mix the shallot and the quinoa mixtures together. Add the egg and flour. When everything is mixed together, make into uniform-sized balls. Place olive oil in a pan, flatten the balls and fry until cooked through. You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer.

Topped with salsa and placed on cracked wheat bread, black bean quinoa burgers are great for lunch or dinner!

I topped my burger with salsa, but the original recipe called for topping with guacamole. My roommate, L, topped hers with ketchup and said that the burger was better than her frozen TexMex (individually wrapped) vegan burgers–> they’re more sustainable as well!!

Lessons Learned

  • Beans are a great plant protein alternative to animal proteins.
  • Although they come in packaging, they will not go bad and the savings in fossil fuels by avoiding the animal protein is worth it.
  • Less water usage!
  • If you want to stay regular you know what the magical fruit is 🙂

2 Updates

  1. I made this recipe again for dinner but wrapped it up in a tortilla and it was so good!
  2. I also used the leftover black beans on top of a piece of wheat naan, added cheese and salsa and had a Mexican pizza! (I think I was craving that sort of food today).

Why Going Vegan is like Riding a Bicycle

I’m not a vegan. That does not stop me from wishing that I had the cajones to woman up and go vegan. The problem is… I love SO many things that have eggs in them, or BUTTER (which can make anything taste good in my opinion), or honey, or cheese… the list goes on and on.

Like I said… I wish I had the cajones. Mainly because last year one of my first and favorite Environmental professors told us this: eating meat is like driving a Hummer, being a vegetarian is like driving a hybrid, and going vegan is like riding a bicycle.

The largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the meat industry. Livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Part of this is due to the burning of fuels to transport meat, part is due to the fuel used to make the synthetic fertilizers used to grow the crops that the animals eat, and part is due to cow flatulence and manure. The flatulence and manure actually emit methane which is 20x worse than carbon as a greenhouse gas.

Furthermore, cows need a lot of water. Just to produce one liter of milk, it is said that 990 liters of water must be used.

Animal manure washes into waterways and kills ecosystems in rivers, lakes, and oceans. It also makes the water toxic for human ingestion.

In South America and other places, deforestation is occurring to clear way for cattle grazing lands. This means a loss of complete ecosystems! Plant and animal populations are being devastated.

If going vegan can help reduce all of this… maybe we should all grow a pair. OR maybe we could all try going vegan a day or two a week (or if it’s difficult for you a meal or two a week). Like I said… I really like butter. So, to give it a try (and to prove how DELICIOUS vegan recipes can be) I decided to ride a bicycle today.

Strawberry-Banana Agave Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 Banana
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • A dash of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, clove)
  • A dash of extra cinnamon (I love cinnamon)
  • Ground flaxseed
  • A pinch of Maca (if desired)
  • Optional: If you’re looking to make this a breakfast meal like it was for me, I recommend adding almond butter. It’ll thicken up the recipe and add some protein and fat which will allow it to make you full. Added bonus: almond butter is completely vegan! WOOHOO!

Then just blend all of the ingredients together! The frozen strawberries take the place of any ice needed, so if it is not to the desired consistency, just add some more!

Yummy vegan breakfast!

Quinoa, Kale, Artichoke, Tomato Pilaf

Makes 2 Servings

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 bunch kale, torn up, stems removed
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • optional: add mushroom (portabella) for some protein, you can also add other vegetables such as broccoli.

Rinse the quinoa to remove bitterness.

Heat vegetable stock to a boil, add all of the ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cover the mixture and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked.

Yummy vegan goodness! It’s not the most attractive thing but believe me. It was delicious!

It was really delicious and the recipe is really easy to fiddle with. I used all organic locally grown vegetables again and it was 100% vegan yumminess.

Lessons learned:

  • Vegan things can be delicious!
  • The meat industry (which is also in charge of the milk, butter, cheese, etc. that we love) is environmentally hazardous. I recommend that we all try to eat vegan for at least a couple of meals a week.
  • And eating vegan stops YOU from ingesting the growth hormones and antibiotics in our animal products these days.