quinoa is the new turkey

30 Dec

At our first Christmas with my family, I made an amazing quinoa dish per my mom’s suggestion.  Believe it or not it was the recipe straight off the back of the box with maybe a couple of tweaks.  I was a bit hesitant at first because it just seemed too simple, but it ended up being so delicious and I’ve still been enjoying the leftovers ever since.  The simplicity is what makes this dish.

Quinoa Pilaf


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions
  • Melt Earth Balance in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic, peppers and onion and saute until tender.
  • Combine cooked quinoa and sauteed veggies and mix well.
  • Add sliced almonds and mix thoroughly.
  • Season with sea salt and pepper and serve hot or chilled.

This is one example of how I try to stay healthy throughout the holidays.  I simply cannot depend solely on the food provided at family gatherings, even considering my grandma always provides several healthy options.  It has nothing to do with being overly paranoid about my food as some people may think; it has everything to do with feeling the best I can throughout the entire holiday season.  I still sampled a little bit of my mom’s mashed potatoes and my grandma’s vegetarian dressing, and I didn’t feel deprived at all.  But I filled my plate mostly with healthy foods that were still delicious!

Another reason this was a great dish for me is because quinoa is one of the few vegetarian complete proteins.  Quinoa is the new turkey:)  I’ve definitely learned that the only way to make sure I have plenty of food options that taste great but also make me feel great is to take my own.  The added bonus is that everyone in the family usually (key word:) ends up liking them too!  win win.

I’m off to enjoy the evening with my two favorite people.  “People” being used very loosely of course.

The husband and I are both off work tomorrow, so it’s like a double Friday night.  Love it when that happens!

See you this weekend for more recipes from the holidays and more talk about enjoying the holidays and still coming out of them feeling great!

Did you try any new dishes this holiday season?  What were the big hits with your family?


16 Responses to “quinoa is the new turkey”

  1. Jon December 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    You, me, olive and netflix… My favorite recipe. 🙂 love u

  2. Dorry December 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    I made a quinoa dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year for my main dish. My family really liked it as a side dish. Win-win! 🙂 I also made a lentil dish for Thanksgiving. With lentils and quinoa, my belly is very happy.

    • candice January 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      I am so with you on lentils – love ’em!

  3. Paige @ Running Around Normal December 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    That dish sounds great!
    Love that last picture of you and your hubby!

    • candice January 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      Hey girl! I’m still having the spam problem with you and a couple other people. I’m trying to figure out the problem, but in the meantime I’ve got to watch it closer…I just found this comment.

      Just wanted to say thanks for reading a dropping me a line even though my spam folder really really likes you.

  4. Devon December 30, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    I wish. wish. wish I liked quinoa…there is just something about the flavor to me that is really off-putting… 😦 Maybe I’m not doing it right. Hmm.

    • candice January 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      Have you tried making it with vegetable stock instead of water? I always make mine with vegetable stock if I’m just going to eat it plain because otherwise it is a little bland. What about mixing in some spices?

  5. Halley(Blunder Construction) December 31, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Aw, sweet photos & an even cuter reply from the hub:) I wish you and your two favorite “people” the very best in 2011!!

    • candice January 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

      Thanks, Halley:) Same back to you!!

  6. Joslyn @ missfitbliss December 31, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    What a sweet post! I love love love the last photo of you 2 and the dog. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend:)

    • candice January 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Aw, thanks Joslyn! I hope your holiday is wonderful as well:)

  7. salah@myhealthiestlifestyle January 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    oh man, that quinoa recipe looks amazing!!!!

  8. Cynthia January 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Looks like quite an eventful year. I may have to try those pancakes. They look so yummy. Happy New Year!

    • candice January 5, 2011 at 12:17 am #

      Happy New Year, Cynthia!

  9. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    I love reading all of the recaps. And you certainly had quite the year! Mostly, I love that you mention how the path is led by God and better than anything we can expect. I have to always focus on that.

    • candice January 5, 2011 at 12:18 am #

      I know, recaps are so fun! Not sure why it’s always so hard to remember that God’s plan is better than ours. It’s a constant struggle for me, but I’m so glad I have that assurance!

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