Quinoa Jambalaya

Happy Friday, friends!

Summer is flying by, and I'm just trying to keep up :) This weekend Ben and I are driving down to central Illinois for a big race and to visit my family and I'm really excited but trying to wrap up all the loose ends before we hit the road.

Lately we've been eating lots of fast and easy recipes for dinner, and this one was delicious! A healthy spin on jambalaya or dirty rice, inspired by an old issue of Cooking Light.

It whips up in about 20 minutes and makes plenty for leftovers! Adjust the spiciness to your taste :)

Quinoa Jambalaya

Inspired by Cooking Light
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1 package medium cooked shrimp
  • 2 chicken sausages
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or a dash of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Rinse your quinoa to remove the bitter coating, then cook in 2 c boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until done.

While quinoa is cooking, heat a large wok or skillet coated with cooking spray or 1-2 tsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and celery and cook 5-8 minutes, until veggies are soft. Stir in the seasonings.

Add the frozen shrimp and cook until the shrimp is warmed through. Add the chicken sausage and heat for 1-2 more minutes. Finally, add the cooked quinoa (be sure you're using a super large skillet!!) and stir to combine.

Voila, enjoy!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

 

It's rare that we have over=ripe bananas in our household, since my husband eats one almost daily with his Honey Nut Cheerios (old habits die hard with that one) and I love throwing them in the freezer for my daily smoothie, but over my Ultimate Reset I swapped bananas out for lower sugar fruits like berries so last week I found a surplus of dangerously ripe bananas in our fruit basket! You know when they're so soft the stem breaks off and disintegrates into mush when you try to pick them up? Ooops!

My first thought: YAY BANANA BREAD!

I love love love baked goods, and I'm always looking for an opportunity to recreate my favorite treats into healthier versions I can eat for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

I found this original recipe for double chocolate banana bread on Two Peas and Their Pod and knew I had to try it.

The original version is not UNhealthy, but I'm trying to cut back on sugar and processed flour, so I made a couple swaps and my experiment turned out surprisingly delicious!

I used oats instead of regular flour, replaced the sugar with a little bit of maple syrup (the bananas keep this bread pretty sweet!), and eliminated the butter since I'd rather put butter on top of my bread so I can actually taste it. Yum.

Next time you have some extra ripe bananas to liberate, give this recipe a try!

Healthy Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Makes 6 servings (or 12 muffins)

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c oat flour (blitz 1c dry oats in a food processor)
  • ½ c cocoa powder
  • 1 t. Baking soda
  • ½ t. Salt

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ c melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • ¼ c plain yogurt
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350* F. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend all wet ingredients in your food processor (or mash together in a separate bowl). Gently fold wet into dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan or muffin tin. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350* F for 60 minutes.

Let the bread cool at least 15 minutes, then gently slice into 6 large pieces and enjoy!

Store leftovers in the freezer and reheat in the microwave or toaster oven.

MUFFIN VARIATION

The recipe would also make great muffins if you’re like me and can’t be trusted with an entire pan of something. Just reduce baking time to 20-25 mins. Oh hey, chocolate fix even faster!

21 Day Fix Containers: 1 yellow, ½ purple, 2 tsp per serving

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

These delicious, chewy, vanilla scented muffins combine two of my favorite loves: pumpkin and oats! I make a batch almost every month.

They're tasty any time of year, so easy to whip up, portable for breakfast or a snack on the go, and will keep you full for hours (especially if you combine them with some scrambled eggs or a smoothie for extra protein!). Oh, and they're gluten free!

This recipe doesn't make any dirty dishes since you mix the batter in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, get yourself to Target or Amazon and upgrade your kitchen, girl!! I have a cheap Hamilton Beach model that's lasted me over 5 years, and it's one of my favorite must have appliances.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Makes about 8-10 muffins
Inspired by Tone It Up

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c raw oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T vanilla 
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2T olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
     

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F.
  2. Blitz oats into powder in your food processor, which will take 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter equally into a muffin tin. I like filling the cups all the way to the top! 
  5. Top with pepitas, chocolate chips, or nuts if you want to be extra fancy.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins feel firm when you tap them in the center (be careful - don't burn yourself!)
  7. Cool and enjoy!