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EASY & HEALTHY QUINOA BOWLS ‣‣ 6 Awesome Ways!

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Hi, friends, welcome back to my channel. If you’re new here, my name is Alyssa. Today, we are doing a little sit-down video, and we’re gonna talk about protein-flexible meal planning and cooking. I know a lot of people that are part of this channel either have roommates or you have a family and you aren’t all on the same diet, and so I wanted to kind of share some strategies and some specific types of recipes that you can make that I call protein flexible, meaning you make the same base and you can just swap the proteins in and out. The benefit of making meals like this is that it cuts down on your own cooking time. A lot of times, they can be meal prepped, and then basically if you’re living with somebody who isn’t plant-based or who is wanting something different they still are satisfied with the meal that they’re eating and they’re not feeling like they’re forced into eating beans or tofu or something like that.

How to Cook Quinoa

So on my list I have six different types of recipes that you can make that are what I call protein flexible. So we’ll kind of talk through all of them, and again, all of these can be meal prepped, and hopefully this will save you some time and some headache and hassle cooking at home for multiple diets. So the first thing that I always recommend is the bowl-type meal, and for me this is something like a Buddha bowl or a roasted veggie bowl, and basically you cook a bunch of vegetables, and then you cook a protein on the side. So maybe you’d be roasting sweet potatoes, maybe you’d be making mashed potatoes. You basically have a starch, you’d have a green, you’d have some sort of other type of vegetable, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and then you’d also have your protein. So the benefit of a meal like this is that it’s super customizable. You can use any type of vegetable that you have on hand. I’ll link some of my favorite recipes down below, and then for the protein because it’s separate from the rest of the meal that can be swapped in and out.

So you could have baked chicken along with tofu or chickpeas or steak or shrimp or salmon, and basically you can just have whatever type of protein people want on the side, and then the main bulk of the meal is the same. So that is my number one. I think it’s the easiest way to cook. It’s how I personally cook almost every single night at home how I accommodate me and Matt who does not eat vegan, and we almost always find a way to have pretty much the same dinner. The second type of recipe that I have on my list is pizza. I personally love pizza. I mean who doesn’t love pizza? And pizza is another one of those things that is super customizable based on what people want. How to Cook Quinoa

So what I like to do is just make different doughs. So I basically have like one batch of dough, and either I split the pizza in half so half of it, the toppings are mine, half of the toppings are his, or we just make individual crusts. So I have made a ton of gluten-free and vegan pizzas on the channel and on my blog. I have my five ingredient quinoa pizza crust. I have a quinoa flower pizza crust. I have an almond flour pizza crust. So basically you can use any of those as your base, and then you can swap with different toppings in and out. You basically you can do like a topping bar. So you could have a bunch of sliced veggies, different types of cheeses, and then you could do different toppings. So it might seem like extra work, but it’s really actually not that bad, especially if you make the same crust for everybody, and then people can just pick and choose their toppings.

How to Cook Quinoa

The third thing that I recommend, third type of recipe is pasta. Pasta dishes are one of my favorite meals of all time. I seriously love pasta, and I make pasta at least once or twice a week, and I almost always make like the same base, and then we swap protein things in and out. So I actually just cook for me since I’m mostly plant-based. I actually just cook bean-based pasta. I think that’s a really great solution for those of you who are following a plant-based diet because I don’t personally love any of the protein options for like go into pasta.

So I don’t love adding beans into my pasta. I don’t like adding tofu into my pasta, and that’s where a bean-based pasta works really well ’cause one serving has up to 20 grams of protein. So you basically have your pasta and your protein, and then you can just use whatever types of vegetables you want. So that’s what we do at home. We make a big batch of pasta, whether it’s with pesto, sometimes it’s a cheese sauce, vegan cheese sauce, sometimes it’s just with veggies, lemon, garlic. You guys have seen me make a million pastas in my “What I Eat In A Day” videos, but again that is an opportunity for you to just make one big batch of something as your base, and then if people want to have their own protein on the side, whether it is chicken or shrimp or whatever, they can stir that in in the end, and again you’re cutting down on your cooking time. My fourth suggestion is salads, and salads kind of go with the first one, the bowl meal. It’s basically like a giant vegetable meal, and then you can put whatever on top you want.

How to Cook Quinoa

So basically any type of salad. This can really be like honestly anything. It could be a kale salad. It could be a green salad. It could be a romaine salad. It could be like a chopped veggie salad, like a Greek salad, and then just have your separate proteins on the side. For me, beans are so easy. I just rinse them out of the can. I’ll make them in the instant pot. I have those on hand almost all the time. So I’ll just use that on top of mine, and then usually it’s chicken for Matt, and again we just have to do like one separate thing, and then we can just put them on top of our salads and call it a day. All right, so we have two more going down the list.

My fifth one is stir fries, and kind of like stir fries / rice dishes in general. Rice I think is something similar to pasta. It’s just like a really easy base. You could also do quinoa if you’re not a big rice fan, and basically we’ll just do a rice-based dish with vegetables. I personally love stir fries. So I’ll do like ginger and garlic and tamari, and then the protein is on the side, and it can just be added in at the end.

It can be stirred in, or it can just be topped. So stir fries, again, really easy. They also reheat really well, and the same goes true for other type of rice dishes. So it doesn’t have to be like a stir-fry necessarily. It could be just like a tomato and rice with tofu and beans or chicken. It could be rice and like a fried rice. It could be, I don’t know. Basically anything goes with rice. It’s so simple and plain, and I don’t know why I’m just saying rice as the base, but also quinoa is a really great option too. It’s also very plain. It’s great ’cause it has a plant-based protein in it. So you could use that as a form of protein for yourself if you do follow a plant-based diet.

So number six on our list, the last thing on our list is soups and stews. I think I consider soups more of a better way to have a protein-flexible meal than stews ’cause stews tend to take a longer time to cook, and they kind of build flavor based on their ingredients, but soups are a really great option for protein-flexible meals because you can stir things in. So what I would like to do and what I recommend doing is that I would just make like a standard vegetarian-based soup whether that’s a vegetable soup, maybe it’s one of my creamy-based soups, maybe it is a chilly, and I’ll just keep it kind of simple.

I won’t put beans in it. I won’t do anything like that if the person that you live with does not like beans. Mine doesn’t like beans. So we would make a non-bean-based soup, and then when it’s ready to go, you can stir in your protein at the end into each of the individual bowls. So whether that’s shredded chicken for one and beans for the other, maybe it’s baked tofu for one and shrimp for the other, whatever it is, you can just kind of stir it in at the end, and you still have a really delicious soup. Soup is great because it’s only usually one pot. So it cooks fairly easily. It doesn’t take a ton of cleanup, and it’s also like you can make a big batch. So it’s great for meal prep.

It’s great for freezer meals and things like that. So that pretty much does it for this video. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I hope it was helpful. I know I kind of talked kind of fast. So if you have any questions about what I was talking about or if there was any areas of confusion, let me know in the comments and I will be sure to clarify. As I mentioned, everything that you need to know about today’s video, the meal ideas and everything that we kind of talked about, the six different things, those will all be listed out in the description box as well.

So hopefully you have everything you need there, and otherwise I appreciate you being here. I am gonna start kind of creating more content around this idea of being protein flexible because I think that a lot of people live this way now, and it’s kind of personally how I live. So I think we will be creating more content around this idea. So if there are any ideas that you have or suggestions or anything else you want to learn, definitely let me know. And yeah. Otherwise, thank you so much for being here. Please give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, and don’t forget to join our awesome community here on YouTube. If you are not already a subscriber, it’s super easy to subscribe. All you have to do is tap the red button right below this video that says subscribe, and then if you enjoy the videos like this type of video but also healthy recipes, then make sure to click that little bell.

It’s right next to the subscribe button. If you click that bell, that will turn on your notifications and that will mean that you never miss another video. So thanks so much for watching, and I’ll see you guys in the next one. Bye! (bright upbeat music).

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