I’m sure that many of you share this similar problem, not enough hours in the day. And, the million-dollar question is: How do we do it all and stay present in our daily lives? The answer: deliciously smart and easy meals. They’re the key to good health and quality time with your friends and family.
Now, the secret to these meals is to incorporate a few staples into your weekly cooking schedule and recipes. Start by preparing one or two of these on Sundays. I’m talking, 20-30 minutes that will save you hours throughout the week.
Two of my favorite and frequently used staples are quinoa and barley. Both are healthy, versatile, and simple to prepare. Quinoa is gluten-free and high in protein, while barley is high in fiber and iron. Both staples are great on their own or work well into many meal options. Not to mention, they’re perfect little salad toppings as well—easy breezy.
To cook the quinoa:
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Let sit for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork. (2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa)
- 9 bell peppers
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 bunch of chopped scallions
- 4 cups of tomato or spaghetti sauce
- 3 lbs of ground turkey (or Yves Veggie Ground for vegan option) *
- 3 cups of cooked quinoa
- Parmesan cheese for an added topping
- Cut tops off the bell peppers, clean out the seeds & innards, and wash thoroughly.
- Peel & toss out the cabbage’s outer leaves, then peel off an additional 9 whole leaves (one per pepper) and wash them thoroughly.
- In a skillet, flash fry the bell peppers with some EVOO. Then, put them aside.
- In a 4-quart pot, start cooking the ground turkey (or veggie ground) on medium heat.
- While the turkey is browning, steam or boil the cabbage leaves until they are barely soft enough to roll.
- Once the ground turkey is fairly well cooked, add the tomato sauce, while stirring occasionally.
- After the turkey has cooked through, add in Sunday’s quinoa, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Line up your items (steamed cabbage leaves, turkey-quinoa mixture, and bell peppers cup-side up) and get ready to assembly-line through the final steps
- With clean hands, place the cabbage leaf in the palm of your hand and add 1 or 2 dollops of the turkey-quinoa mixture. Then, roll or fold the sides of the cabbage leaf in toward the middle.
- Finally, take your little rolled pig and stuff him inside the bell pepper.