Quinoa Taco Salad

A healthy and delicious twist on a classic taco salad recipe!

This dish can be eaten on its own or enjoyed with an egg or cooked lean turkey. This easy to make recipe is the perfect healthy lunch to bring to school or work.

Quinoa Salad

 

Quinoa is the base of this recipe and is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is a great source of protein, fibre, manganese, folate and so much more. If you have not yet tried quinoa, it has a light and fluffy texture. Quinoa has a slight nutty taste however it absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients in the dish. Definitely give it a try if you haven’t already!

Along with quinoa, this taco salad includes corn and black beans. These ingredients provide lots of fibre, which will help keep you feeling full for longer. If black beans aren’t your favorite, play around and try swapping them for chickpeas or white beans.

This wouldn’t be a taco salad without loads of veggies! Adding cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes gives the salad variety. They also add a great amount of vitamins and minerals. To kick up the spice level, add some extra spicy salsa to the recipe. Last but not least, cilantro and avocado tie everything together and help create a creamy flavorful dish!

Quinoa Taco Salad

Quinoa Taco Salad Recipe

Ingredients (serves 5):

  • 4 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.

  2. Enjoy!

Notes: If not eating the salad right away, wait to add the salsa and avocado until you’re ready to eat it.

Healthy lunch

Written by Brittney DesRosiers, BSc. Human Nutritional Sciences and founder of the blog Exploring Healthy Foods. For more healthy options and inspiration from Brittney make sure to check out here website here along with her various social channels below! 

Instagram: @exploringhealthyfoods

Facebook Page: Exploring Healthy Foods

Pinterest: Exphealthyfoods

Twitter: @exphealthyfoods

Breakfast On the Go

Top two places in Boston to grab the most important meal of the day

tatte bakery

 

Growing up in Boston, it took me a while to take advantage of the huge number of food varieties available around the city. There are so many food options to choose from, and it ranges from quick bites, fancy brunches, to luxurious dinners. With so many options in mind, it’s hard to narrow it down. Well, here are some of my favorite eats in Boston!

My favorite meal of the day is the fabulous combination of breakfast and lunch, most commonly known as brunch. I discovered Tatte Bakery and Cafe a couple years ago, and am so glad I gave this place try. Its marble interior gives it an aesthetic look that sets itself apart from the rest of the cafés in Boston. They have a wide selection to choose from including lots of fresh pastries. I recommend the Pistachio Croissant and the Morning Bun for when you want something a little sweet and light. My favorite dish is the Avocado Tartine, paired with a mocha coffee. There are multiple locations scattered in and around the Boston area. My personal favorite is the location in Brookline. If you ever have a little studying or work to catch up on, this is the place – Wi-Fi, delicious pastries and coffee, friendly staff, all of that good stuff.

Avocado toast.PNG
mocha

 

Looking for something quick? There are a ton of great spots to choose from, but when it comes to finding the breakfast sandwich of your dreams, you have to go to Mike & Patty’s in the South End. Don’t be fooled by the small shop, Mike & Patty’s can get crazy packed! The sandwich I always get is called The Fancy, which consists of bacon (semi-crispy), egg, avocado, and is flavored with their house mayo. It sounds simple, but I promise, you cannot replicate this at home! Get the sandwich with their fresh OJ and you’re in for a great start to your day.

breakfast sandwich

Looking for more recommendations? To keep up with all of the best spots to grab a bite in Boston follow @veedang_ and @vivianfoodie on Instagram

Summer Ravioli

A quick and easy summer pasta with creamy ricotta and lemon zest.  

summer ravioli.JPG

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Trader Joe's Girasoli and Lemon Zest Ravioli
  • Handful of Basil
  • Cherry Tomatoes 
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper for Taste 

 

summer pasta.JPG

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat water until it boils 

Step 2: Add in the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Step 3: Drain the pasta and plate it. Adding shredded the cheese, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Step 4: Enjoy!!!

#TacoTuesday

Here's a simple taco tuesday recipe to get your Tuesday night off to the right start. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Trader Joe's Carne Asada Authentica 
  • Pico de gallo salsa, can be bought pre-made from most grocery stores
  • 1 red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Cotija cheese
  • Red and/or green salsa, can also be bought pre-made from the grocery store
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • Mini red and yellow tomatoes 

Instructions:

Step 1: Cook the carne asada, preferably on a grill, but can also be cooked in a hot pan with a little bit of oil. 

Step 2: Prepare all of your toppings. Cut the onion, cilantro, tomatoes and avocado into tiny pieces. 

Step 3: Shred the cheese. 

Step 4: Check on the meat and start heating the tortillas in a pan with a tiny bit of oil to avoid sticking. 

Step 5: Cut the cooked meat and FILL YOUR TACO!

Tips:

  • Great served with a side of beans and rice
  • Don't eat red meat? Substitute the carne asada for chicken, pork or fish!

Garlic & Tomato Baked Tilapia for Two

Who says seafood has to be expensive? This Mediterranean meal is easy, delicious and only takes 20 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • Frozen tilapia fillet- $4.79 for a package of two in the Trader Joe's frozen section
  • Five cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium tomato, or a generous handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt/pepper

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2: Put the frozen fillets on a baking sheet with tinfoil and drizzle them with a generous amount of olive oil. Tip: Make sure there is extra oil collected in the tinfoil. This will mix with the other ingredients and provide an additional glaze for the fish once it is cooked.

Step 3: Mince the garlic into fine pieces. Use a knife to spread the garlic evenly on the both fillets.

Step 4: Slice the tomatoe(s) into small pieces and place it on and around the filets.

Step 5: Squeeze a half a lemon on each fillet.

Step 6: Sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking.

Step 7: Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Tip: You will know the fish is thoroughly cooked when it is flakey. Use a fork and poke the fillet. If the fish breaks apart easily, it is done and ready to be served!

A few added tips:

  • Serve the fish with veggies that you can roast alongside the fish in the oven!

By Lily Boyar

Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Meatballs

You can recreate your momma’s favorite spaghetti & meatballs, without the starch. With a good sauce and meatballs, you’ll barely tell the difference!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Spaghetti squash - $2.00 at Trader Joes
  • Can of diced tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning mixture - $1 Trader Joe's, can be used for months
  • Salt/pepper
  • Turkey meatballs from Trader Joe's (frozen section)
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese & red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Cut the spaghetti squash in half with a sharp knife. Scoop the middle section out with a spoon (much like carving a pumpkin) and toss it in the trash. Lay both hallowed halves face down on an oven-safe pan, in a thin layer of water.

Step 3: Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know when it’s fully cooked if the stringy spaghetti-like squash noodles gather easily when grazed with a fork. They should appear like typical spaghetti noodles.

Step 4: While the squash is cooking, mince 4 cloves of garlic and sautée them in a saucepan with olive oil under they are golden brown.

Step 5: Dice the onion into cubes and add it to the garlic. Tip: If you are only eating one half of the spaghetti squash, only use half an onion. If you are planning on serving both halves, use the entire onion.

Step 6: Open the can of diced tomato and pour it into the saucepan. Generously sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 7: Let the mixture sit and simmer until the squash is fully cooked. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti squash noodles.

Step 8: For added protein add meatballs! You can either microwave or cook them alongside the spaghetti squash in the oven. See instructions on the bag.

Step 9 (optional): Add parmesan cheese or pepper flakes for an added kick.

A few additional tips:

  • Cooking for two? Save the hassle of dirty dishes and eat out directly out of the squash shell!
  • Don’t have time to make the homemade sauce this time? Buy a yummy jar of tomato sauce to top the noodles… just look out for sauces with lots of added sugar! 

By Lily Boyar

Boston on a Budget

When you've lived in the same place for a while, you can begin to spend your weekends doing the same tired routine. You operate on autopilot and get burnt out coming up with new creative ways to spend your Saturday. When I returned to Boston after six months away, I was reminded of how exciting it is to see a city with fresh eyes. I decided to treat my final year in Boston like an extended adventure. I was ready to break away from the typical college herd and shake things up. So for the restless, young Bostonian who has paid his or her dues at Howl at the Moon or spent to many Sunday afternoons walking Newbury Street, I have a few suggestions for how to keep you on your toes this Fall:

Parish Cafe

Parish Cafe

Sweet Cheeks Beer Garden:

Snatch a spot at the communal table this Fall at Sweet Cheek's newest outdoor Beer Garden on Boylston. Share a pint or carb-o-load on an order of hush puppies under the stringing patio lights. Crappy weather? No problem! The patio has a retractable roof so you can munch on some of Boston's best Southern fare regardless of the weather!

Soulelujah @ Zuzu & Upstairs at the Middle East:

This one is almost too good to share! Dust off your bellbottoms and meet me at this Cambridge waterwhole for Saturday soul night! Sip on exotic cocktails while jamming to your parents' Motown favorites all on vinyl. Don't forget to swing through the kitchen to hear a live band. Can I get an amen! www.soulelujah.com

Broke as Hell?

Shit's better when it's free.

Brunch @ Masa:

Get your ass out of bed on Saturday or Sunday morning and get a full breakfast (we are talking a starter, a main course, cornbread and unlimited coffee & tea) for only $10 at Masa on Tremont! Make sure to try their bitchin' Huevos Rancheros!

Samuel Adam's Boston Brewery:

If you're in need of some hair of the dog, catch the 9:40 AM free brewery tour everyday for a complimentary tasting. Stop by for 'Flight Night' from 5-7 PM every Wednesday and try a flight of seasonal beer. On the third Thursday of every month, head to the brewery for a themed party with beer to match.

Wine Tasting:

Enjoy free wine tasting every Thursday from 5-9 PM at Cambridge's Central Bottle.

Massachusetts Craft Brewers Trail:

Become a beer aficionado this Fall! Print this map and spend the next few months tasting craft beers, lagers and ales at 50+ breweries around MA. Try one each weekend and you'll surely stay busy.

Arnold Arboretum:

Escape the city and decompress in Harvard's 281-acre arboretum. Take a stroll, bring a picnic or enjoy a bottle of wine! The summer lilacs may be gone, but be sure to check out the autumn leaves!

To see this exclusive piece in Zieley Magazine, click here