tahini quinoa veggie bowl

January 25, 2014 § Leave a comment


I bought a white dress. It’s stunning because it’s simple and yet elegant. It’s shear and sparkly all at the same time. And I plan to wear it on my wedding day. I have always said that when I got married, I would not buy a wedding dress but rather a white dress. Seemed like a simple enough goal. Well, it was not. Problem number one, white dresses are hard to come by, especially in winter. Problem number two, a lot of white dresses are absolutely hideous and the ones that weren’t, looked horrible on me. I have very pale skin and blended right into most of them, just a heaping blob of bland.

So I fell into the typical engagement trap of going to wedding dress shops, and I went to quite a few; small boutiques in the city, locally owned places in smaller towns and large department store style shops. It was exhausting, and everything felt so plain. I was never really wowed. Yes, maybe the color of this one looked OK and the back of this one was beautiful, but no one dress was stunning. There was no “I have found it!” moment. And honestly, I was a bit disappointed that I hadn’t fought harder to stick with my non-wedding dress plan. It’s very easy to get caught up in, “This is just what you do, what it costs, where you rent, what you eat, for a wedding.”


And then I found it, in an ordinary shop of high-end jeans and dresses. There were two beautiful white dresses in the window and I was drawn to them immediately. I tried them on and honestly loved both. The one I decided against had a 20s inspired style was tight fitting with lots of shiny jewels. It was beautiful, but it did not fit our wedding, so a no-go. But the second dress was perfect, other shoppers complimented me in it, my mom had a big grin on her face. We had found the dress! I should preface this with the fact that I had the flu at the time, hadn’t showered that day, and was using all my energy just to stand up in the dress, as well as blow my noise at the same time. If I could look beautiful and love the dress at my worst, it would be just as wonderful at my best.

I am actually quite proud of myself for finding a white dress. I am saving myself more headaches down the road by eliminating the need for alterations and multiple fittings, the dress already fits! Just a quick hem and it will be wedding ready. Wedding planning is nice in these moments when things actually come together and you feel happy about getting closer to the wedding date. There are many more things to do, but the success of this one thing has made me very happy.


Serves 4
Inspired by Food and Wine

1 cup quinoa
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, shredded (I use a vegetable peeler to get thin strips)
6-8 oz. mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced (shittake, cremini and white are nice)
1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup tahini
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper

Prep all of your vegetables first. This is the most important thing when making a stir-fry because the cook time of each ingredient is essential. You want everything to be cooked but still crisp. Otherwise you end up with a soggy mess of veggies. (Take a look at the photos above for how I chopped all my veggies).

In a small pot, combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer over low heat until all of the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Immediately add the carrot and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook 2-3 more minutes. Add the zucchini, some salt and pepper, stirring everything together, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli is slighty browned and bright green. Add the spinach and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add to the other vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a touch of salt. Stir the tahini mixture into the cooked quinoa. Keep covered for a few minutes to allow the mixture to be soaked in by the quinoa.

Scoop the quinoa into four individual bowls. Top each with the cooked vegetables. Enjoy immediately.


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