I made this vegan healthy quinoa dinner skillet for my mom two weeks ago when she was expecting nothing but chicken thighs. Surprise! Read about her reaction below.
Spoiler alert: she loved it.
Okay, you can go straight to the recipe now. Oh, btw this recipe makes A LOT, so it’s gonna be a good choice for meal prep, just FIY.
Last month I decided to spend some time at my mom’s place. She’s been having a really tough year – health issues, business issues, personal issues – everything going the wrong way from the beginning. So I thought I’d spend some time there and make life easier for her by cooking dinner and watching over her diet a little bit. She always comes home from work STARVING and ends up eating whatever she has in the fridge or take out, so I really wanted to make something healthy for her.
That day she instructed me that she wants the chicken thighs in her fridge for dinner. Don’t I dare do anything else.
Well, I was going to make this recipe with chicken thighs at first, but then I discovered that the ones my mom had bought were bad. And I mean almost got a salmonella poisoning from looking at them bad.
Now. My mom has been struggling for years with overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol – you know just the usual. Therefore I’ve been trying to make her eat more plant-based dishes for a while now and she’s been resisting as if I’m serving her hair instead of food.
But once I smelled the rotting chicken thighs it really pissed me off. Chicken thighs for dinner, my ass. I pulled myself together, grabbed the opportunity and some vegetables from the local store and here we are. We’re eating a healthy vegan dinner today. And I’ll use the quinoa you bought last year, deal with it mom.
So I made this, cooking took me around 30-40 minutes, more time for me, because I was taking the pictures. The cool thing is that this makes a lot and you can even skip a step or two. This quinoa recipe is perfect for a weekly meal prep, because it makes so much – you’ll eat for 3-4 days.
When my mom came back home for dinner:
“Ugh, we’re eating quinoa, pronounced keen-wah?”
“Yeah, the chicken thighs were disgusting.”
Tries it and mumbles:
“It’s really good”.
We didn’t quite keep it plant-based because we made a garlic yogurt sauce with it, but it was a huge step for my mom. To keep it plant based – keep it like this or serve with your favorite vegan garlic sauce, something like this avocado dill dip or my vegan tzatziki will work.
If you’re struggling with helping someone eat more plant-based dishes – start with this recipe.
How To Make A Healthy Quinoa Dinner Skillet – Gluten Free & Vegan Meal Prep Recipe
Prep your ingredients. Rinse and drain chickpeas, wash your quinoa, clean and chop your vegetables. I used need onions, green beans, green bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, but you can use any vegetables you want. You can use fresh or frozen green beans, I usually prefer frozen, since they’re all cleaned and chopped, but here I used fresh ones. I cut off the ends and chop them smaller.
*You see a mushroom in the picture above, but I decided not to use it at the last moment. Feel free to use.
Using a large cooking pan with a lid, saute onions with olive oil and spices for 1-2 minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes – they’ll make the tomato sauce for you.
Add green beans and then quinoa. Close with the lid and cook like this for 5 minutes.
Then add the chickpeas and cook for another 5-7 minutes until quinoa looks cooked.
Time to add your veggies: first eggplant, cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the green bell peppers and the garlic. Take off heat and pour some olive oil on top.
The recipe is ready like this, but I like my green peppers and eggplant baked, so I transferred everything into a baking tray and baked for 5-10 minutes at 350F/180C.
Take out the oven and stir in some chopped parsley in there.
This turned out to be a very satisfying, filling and delicious quinoa dinner recipe without any meat in it and as I mentioned, because this makes a lot it will be a good vegan meal prep recipe.
Filling and satisfying healthy quinoa dinner skillet that is the perfect vegan meal prep recipe as it makes A LOT! Full of flavor and so easy!
- 2-3 big tomatoes, chopped (makes about 2 cups tomatoes)
- 1 cup green beans, frozen or fresh
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 cup chickpeas, canned
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp dry mint (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika flakes
- 1 eggplant, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
- Optional: lemon juice
- In a large skillet with a lid, sauté onion with 1 tbsp olive oil, add spices - mint, cumin, paprika.
- Add tomatoes and let cook until they let the juices out (3-4 minutes)
- Add the green beans (if fresh), then quinoa and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add Chickpeas and cook for 5 min until quinoa becomes fluffier.
- Add Eggplant and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Last, but nor least - add the bell pepper and garlic. You can serve like this or continue with the next step if you like your vegetables slightly roasted.
- Transfer to a baking tray, add 2 tbsp olive oil on top and bake for 5-10 minutes at 350F/180C in the middle rack of your oven.
- Take out, add chopped parsley and lemon juice - mix well.
- Serve with your favorite garlic sauce, see ingredient list or notes!
Well, I hope you enjoy this easy healthy dinner and that it helps you eat more plant-based dishes throughout the week. If you did like this and would like to receive more healthy recipes, healthy living tips and workouts in your inbox, make sure to subscribe below and to share this recipe with a friend!