Main Dishes, Sides


Quinoa Tabbouleh (V, GF)

Tabbouleh is easily one of my favorite foods. It’s pretty strange, because I actually have a habit of saying of I’m not a big fan of parsley or tomatoes (ingredients that make up about 7/8 of this recipe) but there’s just something about tabbouleh. It changes singular ingredients into one wonderful magical thing. Tomatoes are no longer tomatoes. Parsley is no longer parsley. Everything is tabbouleh. Okay this is getting a little Dadaist for me so I’m just going to move on. My journey this year is to put together as many one bowl dinners as I can, in hopes of fulfilling my ultimate quest: to wash less than five dishes/silverware/cups a day. It’s not working out so well, but hey, it’s only been like a month in the land-of-no-dishwasher! I’ll get there! I’ve already made a few one bowl dishes, but was so hungry I didn’t bother photographing them..oops. But in hopes of getting my readers as excited about these OBD’s -get it?- as I am, here are a few I’ve made and definitely have my stamp of approval (side note- who misses How I Met Your Mother as much as I do?):

These barbeque baked lentils are making me so glad I sprung for a 2-gallon mason jar’s worth of french lentils in bulk at Whole Foods.

Who says it needs to be breakfast time to eat steel cut oat and quinoa cereal? It lasts for days and is delicious hot or cold!

I don’t know if you’d call this a full OBD, but this mustardy carrot slaw was AWESOME (and got even awesomer after I diced a gala apple up in there too).

Eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce (the first recipe in this big list o’ sandwiches) is all I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have any pita, as I have yet to sneakily liberate some from a dining hall acquire some in an ethically sound manner, but it was just as delicious in a bowl with sliced avocado.

And now here are some I really want to make in the near future:

This Thai sweet potato soup is making me wish it could get colder so I can eat it all.

I love romesco and I can’t believe I have yet to put it on a pizza with chickpeas and kalamata olives. (Oh and also the Lunch Box Fund is super important you can read more on that too by clicking ^ link.)

If poutine is made with sweet potatoes and is vegan it’s healthy right? But there is a real chance I will add cheese to this when I make it. I can’t help it.

There’s literally nothing I like more than a big ass salad with kale and veggies and protein (because it’s a never ending meal and I am a notorious scarfer. Seriously. You should see me with sushi. There’s honestly no point in using a plate because it’s gone in 45 seconds).

Stay tuned for more, but in the meantime, y’all ready for some quinoa? The lighting was a dream come true for food photography..

Tabbouleh (serves 8-10 as a side, 3-4 as a main; from The Kitchn)

1 c uncooked quinoa

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 to 2 c minced fresh parsley

1/2 c minced fresh mint

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice + extra

1 + tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to tasta

8 oz feta (optional)

Rinse the quinoa well and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, then transfer to a glass bowl or baking tray to cool.

Meanwhile, soak the chopped onion in a bowl of cold water to lessen their bite (this is my new favorite trick because I love raw onions but they’re always a little too strong). Place the chopped tomatoes, parsley, mint, and garlic in a large bowl. When the quinoa is cool, drain the onions and add both the bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your preferences! In my opinion, this salad only gets better as time passes; the dressing really soaks into the quinoa. Before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and feta! Serve with pita or lentil chips and hummus!

Main Dishes


Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (GF)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Homemade veggie burgers are a new adventure for me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes all I want to do is defrost an Amy’s California Burger and call it a day, but sometimes I have free time. So I take a break from watching Orange is the New Black -yes, I’m the only person in the country who hasn’t finished watching season 2 yet, I’m trying to make it last!- to cook some quinoa for these bad boys (and probably a little extra for breakfast tomorrow). Honestly, these were probably the simplest veggie burgers I’ve ever made. There’s no pureeing of tofu or pounds of veggies to chop, it’s all pretty straightforward if you can boil water and stir. This recipe does include an egg, but don’t worry, vegans, I have one for you that I’ll post soon enough! I’m also a HUGE fan of this yogurt sauce. Most yogurt sauce recipes include a lot of cilantro and cucumbers, neither of which I can say I enjoy eating large quantities. But this one has honey! And spice! I love it. I’ll probably spread it on crackers if there are leftovers (can you say 30 second lunch?). I also think this is a really great dinner party option, because the burgers literally HAVE to be prepped early. So there’s no chance at all you’ll be trying to get dressed and make cocktails and talk to your friends and set the table AND form veggie patties ten minutes before you said you’d be eating. Maybe just the first four. You’re welcome. Also fun facts- Spices and Spatulas now has a Facebook page!  Like it if you want to get notifications about new posts (and look at lots of pretty pictures of food..)


Burgers (from Food52 with some minor changes)

1/2 c quinoa

1 tsp olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 large egg

2/3 cups cooked corn (fresh or canned)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 cup rolled oats, ground into crumbs


Rinse the quinoa then place in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until water has absorbed). Set aside.

Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft (about 5-6 minutes). Place the mixture into a large bowl and add about 1/2 cans of black beans. Using a potato masher or fork, mash all of the ingredients together until a paste forms. Stir in the remaining beans along with the tomato paste, egg, corn, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the cooked quinoa and ground oats until combined. Form mixture into patties (you can get 6-8 meal sized burgers or 10-12 sliders). Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Bake burgers at 400 degrees F on a parchment covered baking sheet for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.


Chili Yogurt Sauce

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. sweet Thai chili sauce


Combine all ingredients and mix well.


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Vegan Breakfast Quinoa Porridge

I’m a big fan of oatmeal for breakfast, but it can get pretty boring after a long cold winter. That’s when I invite quinoa in to save the day! It takes a bit longer to prepare, but it’s unbelievably delicious, and can be enjoyed cold or hot. If I know I’m looking at a really busy day I like to start it with breakfast quinoa- nothing makes me lazier than not having enough for breakfast. This recipe will make a decent amount of porridge, easily enough for 3-4 portions. If you’re cooking for one it’ll keep in the fridge (almonds in a separate container to avoid sogginess!) for a few days, just warm it in a saucepan on low or enjoy it cold! In terms of the optional maple syrup, I really don’t think this recipe needs sweetener (especially if you’re using sweetened almond milk) but try exploring to see what suits you.

Porridge (adapted from Food52)

– 1/2 cup sliced almonds

– 1 c. quinoa

– 1 c. water

– 1 c. almond coconut milk (or any kind of milk that floats your boat)

– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 2 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)

– 3 tbsp. coconut cream (or the creamy top skimmed off of full-fat coconut milk, or half and half- YES I know that’s not vegan, but neither am I, so it was fine with me! Obviously make your own adjustments according to dietary preferences)

Heat a shallow pan over medium heat. Toast almonds until golden. Quickly remove from heat and transfer to a cool plate to avoid burning. Rinse quinoa using a sieve until the rinse water runs clear (some packaged quinoa comes “pre-rinsed”, but I like to do it again for funzies, and sometimes I do buy it from bulk bins so it’s a good habit either way). Boil the quinoa, salt, cinnamon, milk and water to boil (and maple syrup if using). Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for five minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork (the liquid should be mostly absorbed). Top each serving with coconut cream or half and half and toasted almonds. Try also topping it with dried fruit, flaked coconut, an/or ground flaxseed. Such a fun alternative to oatmeal, I must say!


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Red Quinoa Salad

Is there anyone left in the world who hasn’t let their guard down and opened themselves to quinoa? If I am describing you I think it’s time to broaden your horizons. Quinoa is delicious. In case you didn’t know, it’s technically a seed, but most commonly used to replace pasta-like grains. And in my opinion it’s much better than other healthy grains like bulgar or wheatberries. Now, I may talk a big game sometimes and act like I love healthy food, but to be perfectly honest I really don’t always feel that way. If I had six weeks to live I would just eat bowls and bowls of Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil. For literally every meal. Hot or cold. No joke. But we all have to suck it up and get healthy sometimes, and when I need to do that I like to turn to quinoa. It’s surprisingly tasty and versatile. You can treat it like oatmeal and make a breakfast quinoa (stay tuned) or treat it like couscous and make a Greek-style cold salad with veggies and feta. But one of my favorite ways to make quinoa is to use the red version of the seed in a dish that’s a little sweet and a little spicy, with peppers and carrots. It’s amazing. Try it and I dare you not to begrudgingly admit sometimes being healthy tastes good. This is a perfect side dish, but I think it makes for a great meal on its own too.

Quinoa (serves 3-4 as main dish, 6-8 as side)

– 1 box red quinoa

– 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

– 2+ tbsp. olive oil

– 1 large white onion, chopped

– 3 large carrots, chopped

– 1 large red pepper, chopped

– 1 tsp. dried cumin

– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

– salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the box. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the onions for about a minute. Add the carrots, spices and salt and pepper and cook until the carrots are tender, adjusting the heat as needed. Add the peppers and cook for another minute or so, then add the quinoa. Cook for a 2-3 more minutes, then remove from heat. Serve at any temperature!