Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa

Since I already had a bag of uncooked quinoa from my “let’s make trendy grain bowls” kick a few months back, I decided to choose quinoa as my grain of choice for this assignment. I wanted to use it in different ways that I was used to so I tried these three recipes: Quinoa-Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Strawberry Quinoa Pancakes, and Quinoa Protein Balls.

Quinoa-Parmesan Crusted Chicken



This was actually kind of fun! The process of breading this chicken was basically exactly like how you would normally do it, except that you replace the breadcrumbs with toasted quinoa. I baked the quinoa at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until it was dried out and a browned a bit on top.


I prepped all of my dipping bowls (these are actually out of order, oops!) and dipped the chicken breasts into the flour, egg, then the quinoa/parm mixture.


Delicious! Highly recommend using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs to mix up your chicken entree sometime! It was really tasty!

Strawberry Quinoa Pancakes



I realize now that this photo looks extremely unappetizing… they actually look kind of like some sort of mystery meat patty. But my kitchen smelled of cinnamon and strawberries!


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took my first bite, but these were actually quite delicious! There was a tiny texture thing I had to force myself to ignore, but all in all they worked out!


Quinoa Protein Balls


I make these protein balls quite often as a snack for myself throughout the day. I figured if I threw in some toasted quinoa any weird grain flavors could be masked by all the peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, honey, and chocolate chips! Not sure I would add quinoa again, but it was interesting to try!

It was nice to have a bunch of already cooked quinoa on hand to use in meals throughout the week. I did accidently make way to much and now need to find something to do with my last few cups in the fridge!

Homework Assignment #1

As a busy 23-year-old living in a tiny apartment with a roommate, it’s safe to say that cooking up elaborate meal for myself at the end of the day isn’t my top priority. I typically spend Sunday afternoon grocery shopping and meal prepping 5 lunch portions of my selected “easy and healthy” Pinterest recipe of the week. Dinner tends to be a post-workout protein+fruit+spinach smoothie and, if I’m still hungry after slurping that down, a side of eggs and avocado on toast. Needless to say, my kitchen isn’t stocked with much more than I know I can consume in the 7 days before my next trip to the grocery store.

This assignment has impeccable timing, forcing me to be creative with the scraps I have in my fridge and cupboards before I leave for a week long vacation on Tuesday morning. Luckily, my roommate and I have some party appetizer leftovers from our Saturday plans that I think I can get creative with. For my first dish, I will use up my vegetables in one dish and make some oven baked spicy vegetable fries with sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, and rutabaga. For my second dish, I will utilize the only part of my pantry that is always stocked: the baking ingredients. I’m planning to make some strawberry+orange muffins.

Here goes!

Strawberry+Orange Muffins

1 cup fresh strawberries
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup milk

Thanks to Pinterest I found a recipe for these muffins and happened to have all of the ingredients!


Not often do I have a reason to use orange zest, so it was fun to be able to utilize both the zest and the juice in this recipe.


These were actually super easy to mix up and put together! I’m so impressed that I was able to put this together when I normally would think I had nothing to eat!


These were SO good! If I were to change anything I would just add more strawberries, and possibly add more types of berries. Or if I wanted to be really fancy, I could make a orange glaze to put on top!

Spicy Veggie Fries

1 sweet potato
1/2 zucchini
handful of carrot sticks
handful of rutabaga sticks
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
salt and pepper to season

Had the carrot and rutabaga sticks leftover and added the sweet potato and zucchini to complete the dish. I have made sweet potato fries before, but wanted to try the same idea with these other veggies.


Chopped all of the veggies and ready to drizzle the oil and add the seasoning.



The sweet potato fries were definitely the best ones of the bunch. The zucchini ended up being really soggy, which I kind of expected due to their high water content. Next time I would also try to make some sort of dipping sauce, they needed a little something extra!