Cucumber Wrapped Turkey Rolls

It’s always great to find a dish that’s equal parts healthy, convenient, and delicious. But no one wants to each the same thing over and over again. The cucumber wrapped sushi rolls were amazing so we decided to change up the contents and it gave it a whole new life. 

turkey wraps red pepper onion
We have peeled the cucumbers with the vegetable peeler (see the sushi post for instructions) and cut red bell pepper and onion julienne. The turkey meat is grocery store bought and is nitrate and hormone free. Most lunch meat is heavily processed and contains all kind of nastiness. It’s best to shell out a little extra money for a better product. Next, we used hummus as a binder and to give it a bit of moisture. 

We’ve served it with quinoa and gone with a Mediterranean theme in seasoning it with dill, parsley, and garlic and garnishing with green olives. 

Turkey wrap with hummus
Lettuce wraps are great (and stay tuned! we are working on some fun variations) but cucumber wraps are much easier to bite and enjoy. Wrap it up! 

#Leftoverremix Quinoa Meatless Balls

There’s nothing more satisfying than using every last bit of produce in your refrigerator. Interestingly, the mini sweet peppers were originally purchased for the portobello pizzas, which lead to the stuffed mini peppers, and left the refrigerator with excess bean mixture and quinoa. The circle of meals. While the bean mixture isn’t bad over quinoa, but we have something more creative in mind. 

Beans and Quinoa
Ingredients: Leftover bean mixture (Lima beans, kidney beans, red onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar), quinoa (about 1/2 of a cup was leftover), flax seed

Directions: Soak 1 tablespoon of flax seed in about 2 tablespoons of water and let sit for 10 mins. Combine quinoa, bean mixture and flax once soaked. A little bit of whole wheat flour was thrown in to absorb some moisture. 

Quinoa Balls Preoven
Make into small balls on cooking sheet. Cheese was added to these, but it’s not required for structure. The flax seed acts well as a binding agent. Bake for only about 10 mins or so. Afterall, there’s no meat that you need to worry about cooking thoroughly.

Cooked Quinoa Balls
These came out great and required very little time to prepare. And their taste will convince even the heartiest of meat eaters. 

Vegetarian Mini Stuffed Peppers

You gotta love a finger food. Quick, easy, and gone in a second. Problem is, most of them are starchy, fat laden and have spent way too much time in someone’s freezer. But these mini stuffed peppers are nutrient rich and pack the protein, even with being veggie based.

Mini Sweet Peppers
Ingredients: Bag of mini sweet peppers, 1 can of kidney beans, half can of Lima beans (combination of any beans will work), 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, quarter of diced red onion, balsamic vinegar, shredded mozzarella cheese (if desired).

Directions: Slice tops off of mini peppers. Bake at 350 for only about 10 mins. Let cool afterward.

Vegan Bean Mixture
In a bowl, mix together all beans, onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and any seasonings desired (onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper, and salt were used here). Taste the mixture and make sure to balance the amount of vinegar to tomato paste neutralize the sweetness of the tomato paste. Now, this recipe is vegan (it’s good to give your body a break from digesting animal proteins every now and again), but ground beef or chicken will work also.

Stuffed Peppers
Pack a bit of the bean mixture into each pepper. Top off with the mozzarella cheese if not keeping vegan.

These are excellent as an appetizer if entertaining healthy guests or can be a meal with rice or quinoa. 

Blazin’ Burgers over Coolin’ Quinoa

Coolin' Quinoa and Blazin' Burgers
Happy Memorial Day! MDW officially kicks off summer, so that summer body better be ready! It’s kind of ironic: we kill ourselves in the gym and with keeping a healthy eating plan, only to spend the summer eating fatty cuts of processed meats, nutrition-less fried startches, and washing it down with adult beverages. Then, it’s a sleigh ride into the holidays and their indulgences so we can start over again next January. Vicious cycle. 

But there are ways to stay on track even when attending fun events like BBQs and beach parties: BYOS (Bring your own sides). While hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t exactly tofu, the proteins aren’t the biggest culprits. Mayonnaise based sides like potato salad and cole slaw and heavily processed potato products like chips and French fries are the real culprits for the extra belly fat. Well, that and the beer (we’ll let you know when we find a comparable substitute for that one ;).

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cucumber, half of a large tomato, quarter of a red onion, bunch of cilantro, 1 lime

Quinoa is usually described as a good fill-in for rice, but it’s actually more flexible in that you can serve it either warm or cold. In this case, we are using it as a nice, cooling base for our sizzlin’ hot burgers.

To cook, 1 cup of the quinoa was combined with 1 1/2 cup of water in a pot and boiled until all the water was absorbed. Quinoa does not have much of a taste on its own, so normally we heavily season it to give it a flare. In this case, we added a quarter of the lime and cilantro into the boiling water to add some zest to it. Once cooled, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, and the juice of the remaining lime were added. Put in refrigerator to chill. 

Cilantro, Lime, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber
burgers on grill
Burgers: For our meat, we choose 1 lb organic, grass fed beef (makes about 5 burgers). It will give you all the flavor of a regular hamburger without the nasty, processed extras. 

To compliment the chilled quinoa, we went extra spicy with our seasonings. Cayenne, chipotle, cumin, black pepper, salt, a pinch of raw sugar, and a dizzle of balsamic vinegar for moisture were added, so these bad boys are anything but flavorless. They were cooked on a stove top grill for about 10-15 mins each side. 

Blazin' Burgers over Coolin' Quinoa
Garnished with avocado and green peppers, the meal has a southwest yet All- American feel. This goes to show you that BBQ food doesn’t have to be fatty and repetitive. Happy summer!