Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Favorite Things

In honor of Oprah’s big vegan episode today, I would like to share some of my…

FAVORITE THINGS!!!!! (Imagine your best Oprah impression here)

My favorite things aren’t nearly as elaborate as an iPad or a brand new Volkswagen, but they are delicious. So there…

 Quinoa Pasta 
Quinoa is an all-star grain, an excellent protein source, and would totally win in a fight versus rice or cous cous. Quinoa pasta comes in a smaller box (8 oz), is gluten free, and is just overall amazing. It’s also a great way to get the benefits of quinoa for those with texture issues. Look for it in the gluten free section.

I have a love hate relationship with Trader Joes, but this is one of the products I always buy at TJ’s. They are frozen and heat up in like 30 seconds. Versatile, low in fat, and just scrumptious; they rule...


      Grilled Green Peppers and Onions
I actually vividly remember the first time I had grilled peppers and onions. I was about 11 or 12 and I had them on a Papa Gino’s pizza at my Aunt Lena’s house. gross alert – It was so good, my brother and I burped all the way home to remember it. Green peppers and onions still hold a special place in my heart and in my chubby tummy.

Check out a combination of my favorite things (and a couple of pictures) in a yumtastic and easy dinner idea, after the jump…

Pasta with Peppers and Onion (creative huh)
Source: Me

8 oz box of Quinoa Elbow Macaroni
1 Tb. Olive Oil
1 Medium size green pepper
1 medium size yellow or white onion
6-12 Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs
1 small can of tomato sauce (optional)

Cook quinoa pasta in a pot of salted boiling water, according to package directions, for 6-9 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile slice green pepper and onions into medium size chunks. Heat T. of olive oil in a medium or large skillet or wok. Add peppers and onions and mix. Let cook for about 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent. Add frozen “meatballs’ and let cook for another 5 minutes or until meatballs are warmed throughout.  (Option-- add a small can of tomato sauce and mix in to peppers and onions for more of a spaghetti sauce.) Add cooked pasta into skillet and toss. So easy!

Serve… eat… devour!


  1. I really like quinoa pasta too, I get it in bulk and use it for all of my mac daddy needs. Those meatballs look awesome, I wish we had TJs

  2. I should do that too! Never thought to buy it in bulk... I am sure there are other good brands of meatless meatballs, but these are my fav. I wish you had TJs too!

  3. Name alert! Isn't your mom's name Lena? Your mom and your aunt have the same name?? I am going to try to remember to set my DVR to record Oprah when I go home for lunch today. It looks like it has the potential to be enlightening.

  4. My mom's name is Lena. Her Aunt (my great Aunt) was named Lena. Her Aunt (who died) was also named Lena... Italian families- you know the drill.

  5. okay -- as long as it wasn't two sisters with the same name. though I did find out when my great aunt passed away last month that she was named the reverse name of her parents' previous baby who died before she was born. Her name was Lydia Gloria. The baby's name was Gloria Lydia. I thought that was pretty funny.

    Moving on...Oprah. I watched and enjoyed, though I couldn't help but agree with more of what that Michael guy said than what the vegan lady was saying. I cried when the cows were being slaughtered. It was sad. But I liked what Michael said when he said something like, "they can have a happy life and just one bad day." I think it is going to be more important to me to try to find out where my food is coming from, but I don't know that I'll give it up entirely because, like we talked about in the hunting stuff, I don't see anything morally wrong with killing an animal in order to eat it. I just don't want them to have to suffer for their entire lives just so I can eat them.

  6. That is actually the same thing that happened in my family- long story and weird.

    As for Oprah... I will respectfully disagree. If you cry when you see that cow get killed, it means your heart is telling you that it's wrong. I have more to say, but maybe we should do that offline sometime. ;)

  7. I think I cried because death is sad to me, in any form. It's not to be taken lightly. But like the meat lady said, they try to do the process (at least at that company) with the utmost diligence so the animal does not suffer and they pay respect to the life it lived. But, to me, death is a part of life. It's the potential suffering the animals would have to go through leading up to death that really bothers me about the meat industry. Yes, we'll talk offline.

  8. This looks tasty! We don't have Trader Joe's in Austin, sadly, but I will try to find a similar meatball. I share your love of peppers and onions (especially red bell peppers). YUM.


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