Friday, August 9, 2013

Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Pears!

Finally!!! I have prepared a meal that is Pinterest inspired! It truly has been a while since I have recreated a dish that already exists! I am so glad that I decided to get back into the trend with this nutrient-packed, sweet, and rather filling dish :)

There she is! Beautiful, huh? The original version of this meal was created by, Marla Meridith who writes her own blog for families who are learning to incorporate more nutritious food selections in their diets. You can check out her recipe for this along with various others by clicking on this URL :

Let's run through the ingredients and see what this tasty meal has! In the left column I will list the ingredients Marla used in a regular font, then I will list the components I manipulated in a bold, italicized font like, this.

Ingredients by Marla: 
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dry Quinoa, cook according to package directions
  • 4 Pears
  • Lemon Juice  (Fresh Lemon Slices-Squeezed on flesh of Pear)
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • pinch of ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oilve Oil)
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chopped Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds) (I used closer to 1/2 cup Pecans) 
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup (I like Grade B)
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) Dried Fruit (Blueberries, Cranberries, diced Apricots) (Solely used Cranberries) 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Coconut Flake
  • Coconut Cooking spray (Used Omeag-3 Enhanced Cooking Spray) 

  • Topping
  • Vegan Whipped Cream (Eliminated this entirely from the dish)

     So you will notice that this dish was originally prepared for breakfast or for a treat, however, I simply eliminated the whip cream and substituted the coconut oil and spray with olive oil. This change, in part, altered the dish's flavor by making it less sweet and a bit more savory instead....perfect for a mid-day meal! I also made a quick side salad for some extra antioxidants and calories :)  ( I eat a lot).

    Now here is what you need to do to make this meal at will only take 30 minutes!

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Cut pears in half. Flatten the bottom of the pears so they lay flat. Scoop out a pocket inside each half with a melon baller or grapefruit spoon. Wipe flesh with some lemon juice so the pears don't brown. Spray baking dish with cooking spray of your choice and lay pears in the dish, scoop side up.
  • Combine quinoa with 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stuff pears with quinoa mixture. Drizzle the remainder 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over the tops. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the pears are soft.

    Ta-Dahh!!! Yay for quick meals!:)
    Real quick, here are some awesome nutritional facts about the super-grain you just baked with, Quinoa!
    Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition which you can most commonly find in meat, very rarely do you ever fin them in plant foods!! In addition to its delicious nutty flavor, it is also loaded in iron and fiber and only costs you 11 calories per 1/2cup serving! Not to mention, a full stomach! Sounds good, huh? And what's even better, a bag of quinoa at a grocery store or supermarket only costs around $4.00 but holds up to 10 servings!! That is 10 cups of quinoa for only 4 bucks!!
    So log of your computer and hit the store NOW so you can make this for dinner tonight!