Tag Archives: dinner

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot: Eat Food.

After posting my health library I realized that, while I love flipping through the pages, I’ve never fully read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It actually sits on my desk at work, should I ever need some very simple inspiration for a post (work-blog, not here), seminar or handout. Now, it’s sitting on my kitchen table as I realize it could be the inspiration for some new recipes.

I like to think we make up our own rules here in the DOTR kitchen, and that Mr. Pollan would approve. Our “rules” would have to mash together to form something that includes dark chocolate and a hankering for chips & salsa; there are some compromises to be made! But nonetheless, I opened the book to page 5 and started with this:

1) Eat food.

We can do that!

Today’s recipe is a simple one-pot wonder that will put dinner in your bowl/plate/mouth within 30 minutes (or less). If you wanted to roast the tomatoes yourself – power to ya! – then use this on a cooler summer evening with fresh summer tomatoes and go for it (adding some cook-time)! When they’re out of season, I reach for the Muir Glen Organic Fire-roasted Tomatoes because I know them well. The flavor can’t be matched!

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot

2 cans (15 oz) fire-roasted organic tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) organic chickpeas, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or one glove garlic, minced)
Salt/pepper to taste

Le Creuset Cooking

Heat oil over medium in a large pot or Dutch oven; add onion and sauté until opaque/softened. Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, broccoli, quinoa and seasonings. Stir until mixed well; bring to boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for ~20-25 minutes (until quinoa is cooked through). Stir every couple of minutes to prevent any burning.

Let it cool, and then dish it out!

Roasted tomato & quinoa veggie pot 2

This was the perfect, easy and flavorful one-pot creation on a colder DC night. Next up I might finally use that slow-cooker that’s staring at me and waiting to show its power!


What was on your dinner menu this week?



Filed under dinners, food, Nutrition, recipes, vegetarian

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

With D on a ride after work, I had some extra time to assess the fridge’s contents and be creative with its dwindling supplies. I knew one thing for sure, that post-bike-ride stomach is a bottomless pit! Dinner needs to be voluminous, with all of the right nutrients.

This recipe is gluten and dairy free, but could be easily adapted either way:

tofu basil pesto ingredients

When I pick up the Trader Joe’s organic infinite Basil, it is with well intentions and an ambitious mind. It’s tricky to get through that entire box before leaves begin to bore and brown. Pesto is a quick fix for that!

Knowing that riding in the 100* heat wouldn’t create an appetite for a steaming bowl of pasta, I cooked these brown rice noodles about an hour beforehand, and let them cool in the fridge.

Then, I photographed things and got to thinking…would this work? Dinner, let’s play, and see what happens!

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

4-6 oz brown rice pasta* noodles (3-4 servings), cooked & chilled
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 block extra firm {sprouted} tofu, drained
1/4 cup raw pecans
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Splash of unsweetened Almond milk**

Optional add-in: steamed kale leaves, or other greens (spinach, mustard, etc.)

*Use any noodle/pasta you have on hand.
**Or other milk substitute (soy, rice, etc)

Before chilling the pasta, stir in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.

Slice tofu block into pieces; add to food processor with pecans, basil leaves and salt/pepper. Pulse for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1/2Tbsp oil and add in a splash of Almond milk (or other milk substitute). Continue pulsing for an additional ~3 minutes, until reaching a smooth, creamy texture.

tofu basil pesto

Stir tofu basil pesto with pasta to coat and mix together. Add in steamed greens.

tofu basil pesto pasta bowl

Quick, easy and perfect for a hot summer evening! The texture was the middle ground between traditional pesto and alfredo sauce, without any heavy cream or excessive oil. The sauce was smooth enough to spread around easily, but strong enough to really stick onto each twisted noodle.

I added in kale leaves because we had them on hand and I love an extra dose of color for nutrients and flavor. Any vegetable of preference could be substituted in there, or even a medley of them – I’m thinking sautéed summer squash & red onions, or sun-dried tomatoes and spinach for next time!

Either way, this tofu basil pesto will not disappoint, and could even trick a meat-eater with a bowl of creamy pasta & a full on flavor punch. You have your protein, multiple sources of healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies! In other words, you can’t go wrong with this staple.


Happy Friday!

Have you tried a twist on the traditional pesto before? Our last experiment involved avocado and sunflower seeds, and that was a hit, too! Pesto can wear many hats.


Filed under dinners, new things!, recipes, vegetarian

Summer Yogi Salad

Biking to and from free Yoga (courtesy of the Running Yogis!) at the Georgetown lululemon last night provided the sweat-overload that the unheated class did not. A mere 6 miles on the bike should never be that taxing, but Summer has its point to prove.

The absolute last thing I would’ve done is turn on the oven to cook/bake. Our kitchen is narrow and cozy – cute? Yes. Airy and Open? Not so much.

We barely avoided the cereal-for-dinner trap, instead deciding to use up the last of our salad greens (spinach leaves & lettuce) to fill up on real nutrients.

{Simple} Summer Strawberry Salad

Perfectly refreshing after a hot summer workout – whether your version of that involves heated vinyasa, cycling, running, etc.

Strawberries, sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Pecans, crushed
Tofu (sautéed in olive oil)
Salad greens
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Measurements are up to you – fill up and enjoy!

Strawberry tofu salad

There is nothing out-of-this-foodie-world creative about this salad. It’s simple, and sometimes we need a good reminder that that’s just fine. We gave ourselves points for going with a colorful bowl of fresh produce instead of what we’d probably have for breakfast less than 12 hours later. Tofu is our choice of protein, but to each their own!


What’s on your go-to oven-free dinner menu?

We have our first 100* day here in the District, with many more surely to come. All suggestions welcome!


Filed under dinners, food, groceries, Lululemon, lunches, recipes, Yoga

Friday Food: Pepper & Pine Nut Squash Pasta

It should be acknowledge that a lot of you surprised me with either your interest in, or affair with, CrossFit! I’ll be doing a Full review on the class, and the workouts that kicked our butts into gear, over the weekend. If things go according to plan, you will have a video recap – Cross Fit routine a la DOTR.

Should be a blockbuster….!

For now, know that muscles I must rarely attend to are having their 15 minutes of fame. The armpits, hamstrings & core muscles have something to say about all that squatting, lunging, jumping & lifting. I’m listening, I HEAR YOU. It’s a good hurt.


After some random conversations involving food & a possible cooking party (which I would preemptively RSVP to if that were an option!) at work yesterday, I had one thing on the dinner-menu-craving-mind: Spaghetti Squash.

D picked up one large S’ghetti Squash and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, ready to be the stars of the kitchen when I got home.

Two other leading ladies: Roasted Red Peppers (yes, that jar is still going) & Pine Nuts.

rrpspaghettisquash 003

The Spaghetti Squash: one of my favorite Fall vegetables because it’s unique & versatile. Who thought to make pasta with a vegetable?! It’s genius.And only ~50 calories per cup.

While there are different methods for this step, last night I tested out the Microwave theory. Rinse & puncture with a fork, or sharp knife (I recommend the latter, these things are though), and zap it for ~10-12 minutes. Stop the clock at some point to make sure it doesn’t explode ( I took it out after 7 & 10 min.).

Once it’s ready (i.e. slighty softer & very hot – that’s your warning. Don’t burn your skin!), slice it down the middle & scoop out the seeds:

rrpspaghettisquash 004

Seedless & exposed, grab your fork & bowls (depending on how many people you’re feeding) and start scraping! As you scrap top to bottom, the noodles reveal themselves! Kitchen magic. I scooped one half to fill up two bowls, saving the second half for leftovers.

Pepper & Pine Nut Squash Pasta

1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Slices, chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tbsp Olive oil (divided into two bowls)
Cumin & Black Pepper to Taste
~3/4 tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, per bowl

In a separate bowl, combine the pepper slices, pint nuts & seasonings. Mix together.
Drizzle your pasta with Olive oil & top with pine nut mixture, top with parmesan!

rrpspaghettisquash 007

Enjoy –  This bowl is full of Fiber, Vitamins A & C, and some healthy fats &  carbs!


Happy Weekending!


Filed under dinners, food, Nutrition, recipes

Quick & Easy Can Still Be Healthy!

This kitchen of mine isn’t always producing a culinary experiment or creative new meal. Some days, donning the Chef’s hat and Apron doesn’t fit into the agenda and a “quick & easy” fix comes to the rescue!

Yes, I actually have a Chef’s hat. Sadly, it rarely sees the light of day.

Just because you don’t have time for a new gourmet recipe doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a healthy meal. One of my go-to eats in this situation is Breakfast-For-Dinner; Tuesday night I added a few twists:

9.9 002

With an entire bag of Fresh tomatoes from my Sister-in-Law’s garden, this fruit is popping into many of my dishes as of late. Not a problem, since I finally adore them in all of their Lycopene glory! See that deep red? That only comes from some home-grown TLC.

Green Chile & Tomato Egg Sandwich

2 slices whole-wheat bread
2 eggs, scrambled (“scramble” carefully to keep a shape easier to put on a sandwich)
4 slices of fresh tomato
2 tbsp 505 Green Chile sauce (or canned green chiles)
Cilantro, Salt, Pepper

Scramble the eggs, adding cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Toast bread as desired, and top with tomato slices, egg mixture and green chile sauce to taste.

Protein: Eggs
Fat: Eggs
Carbs: Whole wheat bread
Vitamins A & C, Lycopene: Tomatoes

What does those green chiles lend? According to The Green Chile Farm website, they contain “as much vitamin C as 6 oranges” and certainly aren’t lacking a host of other vitamins and minerals.

What’s your go-to healthy quick-fix dinner?


Filed under dinners, Nutrition, recipes

Fueling with Fish & Farfalle

Getting ready for a long training run requires some dietary preparation. Two to three days before LRs like this (or races), I’ll start to increase the carbs and focus on some key nutrients. Visiting my parents for the weekend allows for some entree exploration!

Friday night: A Cooking Light recipe was on the menu, with a few adjustments.

NM 009

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp & Beans
Recipe doubled, serves 6-7

1.5 lbs Medium Shrimp, peeled
2 cups Cannellini Beans, drained & rinsed
1 bag Raw Spinach Leaves
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Purple onion, chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
5 cups Farfalle Pasta
1/4 c Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Light Italian Dressing

Cook pasta as directed. In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp  Olive oil over medium and add shrimp, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked and pasta is done, combine (over low heat) and add remaining ingredients (Beans, Spinach, Dressing, Lemon juice). Toss until spinach is cooked and the mixture is heated through.

NM 020

Carbs: Pasta, beans
Protein: Shrimp, beans
Fat: Olive Oil, dressing

Nutrient-loaded for 20 miles? Check!

Next up: The hilliest 20-miler that was.


Filed under dinners, family, Nutrition, recipes, weekends, what to eat

Flat Pedals & Fish

My weather report read 56* at 8:30 a.m. yesterday. What?! My first thought was “Fall? You’re here? Already?”, followed by “I get to wear my Long Sleeve bike shirt!”. Nothing like a taste of Autumn for a morning ride with the lovely Ashley.

Confession: I rode with my flat pedals. No clip-in shoes or pedals. Old school style.

This being only my second ride since the mishap, I’m still not 100% comfortable in those attachments. Riding with a new friend, on new city streets did not seem like the ideal time to gather my ego back and test out my skills.

It did seem like the time to remember how fun it is to cruise on a trail for 2o miles!
(Photos courtesy of a sweaty blackberry camera, pardon the blur)


Colorado, you have my heart. Water, you are too cold for today.


REI, you are enormous. What is in there?! Curiosity piqued.


Ashley and I shared a Carrot Cake Larabar (first-timer here…YUM), sipped some h2O, and rode on! We ended up back at her house after 23 miles (90 min) and I wasted no time planning Bike-Date number Dos. 😉


We may not eat meat around here, but an occasional grocery store splurge lands two MahiMahi steaks in the freezer (or Salmon!). Said steaks were defrosted, meaning the fridge was ready to spit them out (don’t leave fresh fish alone for too long!), and the Broiler was ready to heat them up!

Mahi Mahi Steaks with Rice & Beet Tops

Mahimahi 004

Photo courtesy: D the Mahi chef!

For the steaks: drizzle with olive oil, season with black pepper & cumin, broil for 3 min on one side, flip for 2 min on the other side.

Cook rice first, as it takes the longest. Meanwhile, set the oven to broil, and heat 1 tbsp Olive oil over medium. Sauté chopped yellow peppers (or vegetable of your choice!); once soft, toss in the Beet tops (yes, they’re edible!). Drizzle with a little extra oil if needed, and salt/pepper to taste.

Mahimahi 002

Protein: MahiMahi
Carbs: Rice
Fat: Olive oil

How do you like your fish? Did you know you could cook the tops of beets?

It was new info to us (thank you, Farmer’s Market!)! I’d definitely have these again, though I do recommend removing the stems. Oops. 🙂


Filed under bike rides, dinners, meetups, recipes, weather love