Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

Apr 13, 2013 by

It has been a while since I’ve had some quinoa. Thankfully, the lifestyle challenge that I am participating in with some friends encouraged me to find recipes using my favourite grain. My friends couldn’t have asked me to join at a better time. I  needed to shake things up a bit, specifically with regards to my eating habits.

I have worked so hard to eat well and to set an example for my children. My health has been okay over the past few years (only a few chronic pain episodes) but my husband and children have taken priority. I take care of them in every way. But if it is one thing I have to remember – if Mommy isn’t well, everyone suffers. Now that wasn’t meant to be a harsh statement in any way. Those who know me will understand me clearly. My priority should be to take care of me, so that I can take care of the ones I love. It sounds simple as I type, but when day-to-day routine comes around, I really don’t have time to figure things out. It’s really just go, go, go!

And that’s why it is important to get rid of old habits and create new ones that will stick. I was reminded over the past few weeks that preparation is the key to success. Last week’s challenge was to commit to eating whole grains and legumes,  and not to consume meat. Eating well has never been a problem for me. It has been preparation that seems to get me. New routines have caused me to find whatever I can prepare quickly, and clearly that isn’t always best. I’m working on improving that. I enjoy planning and being prepared, so this challenge has really allowed me to dust off that skill of mine. Of the few things I made, I really wanted to share this Quinoa dish. I adapted this Bean and Pilaf recipe from The Food Network, and as always I used what I had available to me when it came to the ingredients.

 Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_1


Since the start of the challenge, I have made a few things that I really enjoyed and wanted to share some of them here. I shared the photos on my Facebook page and will continue to do so occasionally during the challenge. I will post the really good ones.

Quick Meals LC2013


Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6


  • Grapeseed oil for sauteeing
  • 1 Scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Carrot, washed, scraped and sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Sweet Corn
  • 1/2 Cup Edamame
  • 1 19oz can Dark Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese for serving
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a medium pot, sautee scallions and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper
  3. Stir in the tomato paste
  4. Add the quinoa and then the broth. Gently stir to combine
  5. Add the carrots and beans, then cover and bring to a simmer
  6. Check every 5 minutes until the broth is fully absorbed
  7. Add the sweet corn and edamame. Stir to combine
  8. When the liquid is fully absorbed, remove pot from heat and stir in spinach
  9. Transfer to plates and top with shredded cheese
  10. Serve and enjoy hot


Red Kidney Beans have been a part of my diet for the better part of my adult life. I usually use it one dish – my Rice and Peas. I’m loving the versatility of beans. An awesome way to get fiber and protein.

 Dark Red Kidney Beans


As always, when cooking with delicate greens like spinach, you add at the very end once the pot has been removed from the heat source.


Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_3


This one pot dish could easily be a mid-week supper. It is easy to make, filling and wonderfully good for you.

 Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_2


If you are looking for a quick and healthy meal, try this one. It is easy to customize based off what you have available in your fridge or pantry.



Quinoa and Bean Pilaf_4

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Asian Pear and Date Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Jan 14, 2013 by

Welcome to my first #MuffinMonday post for 2013. Today’s muffin is like none that I’ve ever made before. It’s actually quite interesting. The ingredients are absolutely fantastic and healthy. Our recipe today is adapted from The Free Range Cook by Annabel Langbein and Ooh-Look Food & Craft.

Allow me to say it before you do. These aren’t the cutest muffins. I think I put too many pieces of pear on the batter. But I’ll tell you this…where these muffin lack in looks, they more than make up for it in taste! Looking back, I can think of a few other ways I could have done them. But they came out great!  These muffins are nothing short interesting and leave you wanting for another bite. The dates give them such a deep flavour and the texture – so very moist.

I didn’t do a lot of changes to the recipe really. I was very interested in the technique. I replaced regular flour with Spelt flour and used Asian pear instead of a regular pear. Asian Pear is high in fiber, rich in vitamin C, and helps lower blood cholesterol. Dates are excellent sources of fiber and protein.

You will notice that in future posts, that I will be making less muffins. I found that making 12-18 muffins was too much for my little family. I think it would benefit us more if I cut back on the quantity. I also decided to use my kitchen scale more often. There are so many recipes that I end up dismissing because I would have to do conversions. Change is good.


Asian Pear and Date Muffins

Asian Pear and Date Muffins


Asian Pear & Date Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Recipe Type: Muffin
Author: Lyn, adapted from The Free Range Cook by Annabel Langbein
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 45 mins
A delicious and unique muffin made with Dates, Asian Pear and Spelt Flour
  • 88g (About 5 pitted dates)
  • 250lm/1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 30g Butter, cold and diced
  • 125g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 88g Spelt Flour
  • 1 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Ginger
  • 1 Asian Pear, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a muffin pan with 9 paper liners
  3. In a large pot (this will essentially be your mixing bowl), place dates, baking soda and water. Boil for about 10 minutes until the liquid will foam a bit and the dates will break down. Stir until a thick liquid is formed.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat source and add the butter. Stir until fully dissolved.
  5. Add the vanilla, sugar and egg. Whisk to incorporate.
  6. Fold in the flour
  7. This will yield about 2 1/4 Cups of batter
  8. Pour the batter into each muffin cup and then add a few pieces of pear in the centre. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar
  9. Bake for 2 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  10. These muffins are best served warm
This recipe yields 9 muffins


I love the fact that I only used one pot. There’s no sifting of dry ingredients in a separate bowl for this recipe, friends! Very easy and healthy. Feel free to cut back on the sugar if needed. I found that it was a bit on the sweet side but it didn’t bother me. Next time I will reduce the sugar.


Asian Pear & Date Muffin Prep

Date batter, batter in muffin liners, Asian pear on top of the batter


A very delicious treat! These muffins were enjoyed by my family and I’m so glad that this was our #MuffinMonday selection today!


Asian Pear and Date Muffins

Asian Pear and Date Muffins


Have an amazing week!



Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

 Muffin Monday: http://bakerstreet.tv/muffin-monday/

 Muffin 101: http://bakerstreet.tv/muffin-monday/muffin-101/



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