The Perfect Quinoa & Muffins for Fall (Meatless Monday)

What’s just as depressing as they day after your birthday or the day after Christmas?  The first day of work after an amazing vacation.  ::sigh::

But that was yesterday, and I’m hoping today is a better day.  Moving on…

While on aforementioned vacation, I was perusing some of the blogs I follow and found a recipe.  But, not just any recipe.  No, no – this was an amazing fall quinoa from Fig & Fork, Mushroom & Apple Quinoa.

The Perfect Fall Quinoa

Don’t let the title deceive you, of course this recipe contains squash!

My tweaks:

  • I used frozen, diced butternut squash.  For those of you new to reading my blog, New York City grocery stores are the worst.  I’m sure had I made the trek to Whole Foods as desired, I would have found myself a beautiful delicata squash.  But, quite frankly I didn’t have time yesterday.  That being said, I used about 2 1/2 cups of the frozen butternut variety and it worked out just fine.
  • And, seeing as I couldn’t find the delicata squash, it’s probably obvious I didn’t find the crimini mushrooms either.  I went with a container of shiitake.
  • Extra garlic!
  • My apple choice was gala.  The actual finished product only had about 2 1/2 apples since I devoured the other 1/2 while peeling, coring, chopping…  I was hungry, what can I say?

the mushroom & apple mixture sans quinoa

the perfect fall quinoa

Takeaways, etc:  Once I mixed the quinoa with the hot mess of mushrooms, apples & squash, I chopped up some scallions (as recommended) and mixed those in as well.  Then I let it sit for about 30 minutes, which allowed the apples to cook a little more and let the flavors really come out.  Once I finally dished out my bowl, I added a little more scallion, freshly cracked pepper and a little apple cider vinegar.  This is perfect hot or at room temperature – yum!  I’m a fan.

Are you wondering what I did while I patiently waited for dinner?  I made muffins, duh!

Not only was it depressing coming back to work yesterday, but let’s just say that Healthy Girl and the City wasn’t Healthy Girl down in Mexico (joke courtesy of my boyfriend).  I probably ate about two (maybe three) tons of guacamole and chips, in addition to consuming far too many alcoholic drinks of the frozen, sugary variety.  But, I did make it to the gym every day but one; that has to count for something, right?

Suffice it to say that I need to get back on track in a bad way.  And, although muffins aren’t the healthiest choice, I found a healthy version from Ambitious Kitchen, Low-fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Monique, the girl behind this blog, literally posted this recipe as I was putting together my grocery list.  It had to be a sign of some kind.  True story!

Healthy Muffins

These muffins do not contain butter or oil and are less than 165 calories each and they are pumpkin…breakfast to go!

My tweaks:

  • This recipe calls for 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice – don’t have any?  No biggie.  I just took 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg & 1/4 tsp ginger…done!
  • I made my muffins even lower in calories!  Instead of using 1/2 c chocolate chips + 2 tbsp, I used 1/2 c blueberries + 2 tbsp chocolate chips.  I couldn’t forego the chocolate chips entirely, so I had to throw that extra bit in for good measure.  By making this swap, you save about 350 calories total or around 30 calories per muffin (obviously depending on the chocolate chips you use, etc – my math was a quick approximation).

I made these to bring with me for breakfast this week, maybe nudge me back on track…

muffins before baking

muffins after baking

(healthy) muffin to go!

I tested one last night to, ya know, make sure they were okay for breakfast and everything (oops!)…

The muffins are pretty darn good!  I’m enjoying one with a cup of green tea as I sit here, blogging…

Do you guys have any Meatless Monday recipes you’d you like share or tips on how to get back on track?

8 thoughts on “The Perfect Quinoa & Muffins for Fall (Meatless Monday)

  1. Pingback: Quinoa, Kale and Squash One-Pot Dinner | Seattle Foodshed

  2. “Healthy Girl and the City wasn’t Healthy Girl down in Mexico (joke courtesy of my boyfriend).” Lol! The muffins look yummy!🙂

  3. I agree, that quinoa dish looks fantastic. I finally bought some more quinoa recently, after being out for a long time. Time to make a tasty fall dish with it!

    You make me wonder, temporarily, if I should start counting my calories! Nah, don’t think so:D

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