Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese + Zucchini, Turkey, Quinoa Loaf

I have been really meaning to incorporate quinoa into dishes.  It’s very easy to use, it has a great flavor and an interesting texture.  Plus it’s a whole grain and a WW Power Food.  So, to me this was a no brainer.  This past week quinoa was the star ingredient in 2 dinners.

Quonia Mac N Cheese

This recipe for Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese came from monicanelsonfitness.com.  It was very quick and easy to prepare.  I altered it a little bit and used half low fat mozzarella cheese and half sharp cheddar cheese.  I also topped it with a mixture of 1 part panko crumbs and 1 part low fat mozzarella.  It looked just like the picture after it was plated:

I served it with pineapple and watermelon just because that’s what we had on hand.  It was delicious… it tasted like an omelet crossed with mac N cheese with quinoa in the mix.  I served it as a main dish but it would have been great as a side with a slab of meat (maybe a pork chop) or with crumbled turkey breast, chicken breast, or lean ground beef mixed in.   If I make this again I will try to bulk it up with even more veggies.

Now, on to the next…

Turkey, Zucchini, and Quinoa Meatloaves

This gem came from the Weight Watchers Points Plus Power Foods Cookbook (p.138).  I’m not going to copy the recipe onto the blog but it’s a basic meatloaf made with lean ground turkey breast, shredded zucchini, and cooked quinoa.  I shaped them into 8 mini-loaves and… they came out AMAZING!

I served them with roasted cauliflower and a spinach salad.  They made awesome leftovers for work lunch and I cannot wait to make them again!

Pinsipration: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

This is actually one of the very first items I ever pinned on Pinterest.  Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies!  The recipe is from divine-baking.com and I followed it exactly as it was written with a few exceptions:  I didn’t have any corn starch on hand so I doubled the amount and used regular flour instead.  I also didn’t have a regular baking sheet (due to cookie baking gone horribly wrong the day before) so I used a pizza sheet.  The result:

Divine, heavenly, chocolatey, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth little pieces of heaven!  I only made half a batch for experimental reasons and it turned out great.  They were even better and just as soft and moist the next day.   I will be making these again (and again and again)!

Pinspiration: Plastic Bag “Dispenser”

I found this idea for a plastic bag dispenser on Pinterest – it originally came from tatertotsandjello.com.   On Tater Tots and Jello they take it two steps farther and put the bag roll into a wipe dispenser and decorate the packaging with fun, colorful fabric.

For what I wanted to use this idea for, I decided I didn’t need the fancy packaging.  My idea is to make a few rolls and drop them in each of the small waste baskets I have in the bathroom and upstairs.  They’ll hide under the waste basket liner that is currently in use.  Then, when I take out the trash, I’ll have my roll handy!

So I ended up turning this:

into this:

in a matter of 5 minutes!  For project instructions click here.

Not the fanciest Pinterest project, but definitely quick, handy, and practical!

Pinspiration: Freezing Soup

I found this idea for freezing leftover soup in silicone muffin liners on Pinterest – it originally came from themommyincharge.com.  The idea is to freeze it in single servings and wrap it in plastic for later consumption.  Perfect to just pop in a mug and re-heat!

I was very excited on Christmas night when I unwrapped a gift from my future in-laws containing a 17-piece silicone baking set, which included 12 silicone muffin liners.  The very first thing I thought to use them for was freezing soup!

I made Spicy Veggie Soup last night and thought this was the perfect opportunity to use my muffin liners.

Each muffin liner holds 1/2 cup.  I’m finding pre-measuring items into single servings is one of the best ways to set my self up for food consumption success.

Once they were frozen I just put each one in a sandwich bag and tied it shut with a twist tie.  Back in the freezer they go.  Easy meal – ready to go!