It's pretty easy being vegan (veggie packed quinoa bowl)

My friend Monica at work is a healthy living girl as well.  We joke sometimes that not everyone can reinvent their bodies at 35 like us.  Since we have been working together 3 years ago we have each lost a good bit of weight and are looking like our best selves.  We both do it by working out religiously just about every day and by eating healthy most of the time so we can indulge in good stuff (like truffle fries and pizza) and not have it cost us pounds.  

She introduced me to a lovely blog called Spinach for Breakfast (which I happen to have every morning!)  It is a clean eating blog by two adorable sisters.  They are mostly vegan but it is vegan stuff that makes you not miss the cheese.  Or at least it is in my mind!  I had my eye on this El Fresco Quinoa Bowl for quite awhile and I was so happy when I remembered it after a few weeks that were heavy on the cheat days.  

This has wonderful flavor, is super healthy and really packs in some super foods.  If you aren't an accidental part time vegan like me, this is probably great with some grilled chicken...and cheese.  I made it for lunch and had leftovers to last me two more days.  It is really good heated up and surprisingly very filling.  Have you ever dabbled in veganism?  What is your go to lunch recipe?  Please try this, you will not be disappointed!  Full recipe after the play by play.

The healthy cast.  I did cheat and use chicken broth so it isn't 100% vegan, but I made it myself so it is clean eating just the same.

Chop up the veggies.  I may add an onion next time I make this.
Saute them up and get some good color going.
Take out your aggression on some cilantro.
I used red quinoa, it totally changed the look of this recipe.
I had some beans leftover from another dish that I used.
Mix up the quinoa, beans and cilantro.
Add your sauteed veggies.
And plate!  I put it in individual containers and heated it up the next day with a spoonful of salsa and some diced avocado.  Delish!
El Fresco Quinoa Bowl (Adapted from Spinach for Breakfast)
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup of water
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 cup of chopped carrots
2 cups of diced zucchini
2 cups of chopped broccoli (chopped small)
1 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
⅓ cup of cilantro, rough chopped
salt & pepper

Combine the 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of liquid in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 more minutes   Fluff and set aside.  While the quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat.  Add the carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and a few dashes of salt and pepper.  Saute for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender .   Combine the quinoa,  black beans and ¼ cup of the chopped cilantro (leave the rest for garnish), and mix through. Add the veggies and combine well.  Spoon into bowls, and top with a dollop of salsa, fresh cilantro, and a slice of avocado.

Happy cooking!


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