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Simple plant-based dinner solution: Quinoa, zucchini & cannellini beans

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Key to success with your whole-food plant-based diet is simplicity.

It’s easy to get caught up with what you should eat, fancy recipes, and old habits of thinking with meal planning that rub up against a much simpler solution.  My idea of a perfect recipe is 5 ingredients or less.

Case in point.   Last night’s dinner with quinoa, zucchini, and cannellini beans.  A whole-grain or starchy vegetable, green and yellow veggies, and a bit of bean.  The possibilities are endless.

Simple steps to quinoa, zucchini & cannellini beans prep for two:

40 minutes before dinner:

1)  Toss 1 1/2 cups of red quinoa into the rice cooker with 3 cups of water

15 minutes before dinner:

2)  Chop one sweet onion into bite-size bits and start to steam-fry with veggie broth

3)  Slice 4 medium sized zucchini squash into halves lengthwise, then chunk into1/4 inch size bites.  Add to the onions.  Sprinkle with seasonings (I used Bragg’s Organic 24 herbs)

4)  Add can of cannellini beans

5)  Assemble on plate, add any sauces or seasonings you like.  (A couple of teaspoons of sweet chilli sauce is a nice match for this one.)

Eat as much as you like and ‘leftover’ the rest.  We’re  having leftover quinoa with fruit for breakfast.

Simple.  Filling.  Slimming.  Enjoy what you eat.

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Responses

  • Sarah says:

    Looks great! Sounds exactly like one of Jeff Novicks Fast Food recipes which I love! His DVD changed my life. So simple & easy.

    • Hey Sarah – glad you likey! I’m a fresh veggie grrrl whenever possible, the flavor is so much richer. At the same time, I don’t like to spend a lot of time cooking. The key is find one to 2 veggies and do a simple chop. Done!

  • Sophie says:

    Lani, thanks for the reminder on fresh veggies. You are right, the taste is SO different and I get lazy with the frozen veggies – yet as you say you can just keep it simple with one or two. Breath of fresh air.

  • Sarah says:

    Sounds good. Frozen veggies are actually as fresh and sometimes even fresher than fresh. They are also cheaper year round, require less prep, less cleanup and when done right, are crispy & taste great! By using frozen I can make the meal in about 10 minutes which for me is great as we are a working couple and don’t often have the extra time! Thanks again!

    • Great Sarah – isn’t it fun to find simple solutions?

      I do find flavor is different with fro veggies, though I know that they are quick-frozen for freshness. Sometimes everything in the bag tastes the same. But there’s nothing like the convenience. Thank goonness!

  • Sarah says:

    I used to think the same till i learned in Jeffs video that frozen are pre-blanched and so I don’t have to cook them, just warm them up & their flavor is great. I just think they are a life saver and after all, you are using “canned” beans in the same recipe. :)

    • Yes Sarah! Don’t get me wrong, nothing against canned and frozen, just noting the flavor preference!

      Please share your favorite frozen veggies – which do you find your most frequent ‘go to’?

      Thanks!

  • Sarah says:

    It depends on the dish. But my favorites, that I think taste the best, are cauliflower, peas, carrots, broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, corn and several of the assorted mixtures.

  • I too eat very simply… except when I cook things for others! I like to try and impress them. I have to say, I would never spend that much time preparing food if it was just for me! ;-)

    • Vicky, I so know what you mean. If they only knew how good simple was! At the same time what a treat for your guests that you go out of your way. What’s your favorite guest meal to serve?

  • anna says:

    oh yummy Lani, you say have the left overs later he he think it would taste to good for me to have any left over and by the way quinoa is my absolute favourite, i make a baked quinoa with choped apple, chopped pear and some dates miis in some soy milk and sprinkle with nutmeg and bake, you could do the same with different veggies to. I love all veggies and cauli being the best, actually made a cauli pizza last night stcked with heaps of roased veg on the top YUMO, cheers Anna

    • Anna, your dis sounds absolutely delish! Do you use the red or the white quinoa? I’m quite partial to the red.

      Had cauliflower last night! We must be on the same page.

      Thanks for your post!

  • anna says:

    Lani i have both red and white and i use the both , but in this dish i used the white one. I have a question for you to Lani to see if you can answer this for me, i have a patient who is not over weight and used to eat animal products but has changed to vegan for good health, she has been following the MAC plan which i gave her and she has put on weight and then went back to eating animal products and lost agin, she is now so upset that her vegan eating makes her put on weight , what a dissapointment for her, any suggestions as to why this is as all my other patients have lost weight and improved all their blood profiles, cheers thanks Anna

  • anna says:

    hey there Lani, thanks heaps for yuor response, my patient has been on the MAC plan(yep the McDougall plan) for over 3 months now,that said each time she does it and put the weight on she gives up so it is on and off now as she dosent like to put the weight on. She gains about 3 kilo on the high fibre starch plan.Yes i get all my patients to have a food diary,a typical day for her is a bowl of porridge with fruit and soy milk for breaky, the soy milk is fat free and she cookes her oats in water, lunch is brown rice with beans and veggies and tea is either quinoa or a grain with some sort of beans and veggies and a peice of fruit for dessert, her whole food diary has no snacks as she said she is full from her meals, so the snacking isnt a probelm and everything is fat free so dont really know what is going on , it just seems to her that the high protien aniaml eating keeps her weight under control, so frustrating for me to as i am such an advocate for the MCc Dougall program, thats heaps anyway Lani will look at the 6 reasons of weight gain you sent, cheers Anna

  • Anna, it would be good to find out what the weight is in terms of composition. Is it water? Fat? – a high protein diet dehydrates you, and it may be that when her weight is down, she is simply dehydrated. I can drop 6 lbs in 2 days if I cut out carbs – but it’s only water weight and fiber + water in the gut.

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