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Quinoa Mirepoix

A traditional mirepoix is comprised of carrots, onion, and celery…my QUINOA MIREPOIX substitutes garlic for celery! This simple change highlights the carrots in the dish.


Quinoa is a complete protein that is naturally gluten free and high in fiber. Quinoa will keep you satisfied for a long time. It is an idea work-day lunch that can carry you over to your post work yoga class or gym workout! The Beauty of quinoa is that it is versatile! This is just one example of a meal that you can make from this ancient grain.

Quinoa can be found in most stores in either the gluten free section or near where specialty rices are found. If you cannot find it in your local store, Bob’s Red Mill sells (Organic Quinoa Grain and Organic Red Quinoa Grain) direct from their website.

Any quinoa works for this recipe. I tend to purchase quinoa and add it to a jar. Each time I purchase a new variety I mix the jar to create a quinoa variety mix. This adds great color to your meal! After all, we do eat with our eyes first! I try to make my food look good, so my eyes convince my palette how wonderful the food is!


STEP 1: Start by making quinoa

The ratio is 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. I use vegetable broth (reduced salt) but you can use chicken broth, beef broth, or water.

Bring to a boil.


Stir from time to time.

Cooking time will be 15-30 minutes depending on temperature of your stove and quantity you make.

You can STOP HERE if you wish. The quinoa can be stored in an airtight container until you wish to use.

If you wish to fix a dish immediately:

Dice 1/2 of an onion, 4-6 garlic cloves (depending on size), and 2 cups of diced carrots. Add to a pan with 2 TBSP Olive Oil.

Sautee till the onion turns translucent then add 1 cup of broth.

Satuee until carrots soften and almost all broth is reduced.

Add 2 cups of quinoa back into the pan. Stir until all liquid is absorbed.

Serve in a bowl with a spoon (you do not want to miss out on any quinoa and a fork definitely does not get the small grain as well). Garnish with tarragon and add cashews or peanuts (unsalted) if you wish additional crunch and protein.

Cook Time: Less than 1 hour


Serve as a side dish to a salad or a sandwich. Dice in pieces of chicken or pork

Sautuee tofu and serve on top of the Quinoa Mirepoix. Serve on a bed of spinach.


My name is Rene’ MacVay and I am an E-RYT 200 (RYT 500 should be done in 2015). During the day I teach high school English, Speech, and AP Art History and in the afternoons and evenings I teach yoga, pilates, and personal train. My hobbies include reading and cooking. I love reading as I either gain knowledge or am transported to another time and place! I love cooking for the artistry and the creativity it allows me to express. Follow my cooking adventures on my blog, http://healthyrecipevariations.blogspot.com/

No Bake Granola Nut Butter Bars

Granola Bars can be a breakfast or a snack…it depends on how they are made. These bars are a great Gluten Free YogaLean grab-and-go breakfast, snack after athletic activities, or something to take with you on an airplane flight.

I make these each time I fly. I can take them on the plane with dried fruit or fresh apple slices or grapes to ensure I have healthy, gluten free options while I am in transit. I prefer to take fresh fruit for the moisture content as flights dry me out, but that is not always feasible. Always have a plan A and a plan B when traveling!

HINT: When I travel I use almond, cashew, sunflower seed or walnut butter (and matching nuts/seeds) as many people have peanut allergies.

The recipe is simple, it is a derivation of my granola bars with dried fruit, and can be made many different ways so you will never get bored! The recipe is an ode to Rice Krispie Treats my mom made me when I was young…now grown-up and Gluten Free!

Enjoy this recipe and find other Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.


2 cups oats

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Chex Cereal (Rice or Corn)

1/2 cup flax seed meal or ground flaxseed

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 TBSP cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

1 cup nut butter

Stir-ins: 1/2 cup diced dried fruit (no sulphur dioxide or sugar added is best), mini dark chocolate chips, or chopped nuts

Spray for the 9 x 12 pan (olive oil or coconut oil)



Peanut Butter: Substitute any nut butter (almond, cashew or walnut work well) or Sunflower Seed Butter. NOTE: When flying I try to avoid peanut butter as there may be a fellow traveler with a peanut allergy and you will not be able to unwrap and eat the food to avoid triggering a fellow passenger’s allergy.

Additions: Coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or pepitas can be added if you wish a different texture and/or flavor.

Cooking Tips:

  • I like to add nuts that correspond to the nut butter I used in the recipe.
  • For this recipe, doubling the diced dried fruit will ensure that each bite has an ode to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…a comfort food!


  1. Start by gently crushing your cereal. Break up the Chex into smaller pieces, not into dust/flour.
  2. In a mixer or a large bowl, combine all the DRY ingredients.
  3. Warm the peanut butter (or nut butter you are using) in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a pan until it gets a bit runny. Add the warm peanut butter to the dry ingredients and mix to coat.
  4. Add the honey to the mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the greased pan. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Let rest to solidify for 30 minutes to 1 hour then cut into bars.

HINT: Cooking time for soft and chewy bars is 25-30 minutes for soft and chewy, 30-35 minutes for medium, 35-45 minutes for crunchy.

Enjoy this recipe and find other Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.

Sunburst Pasta

Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta has a bit of a peppery flavor when eaten on its own. When I use it in a recipe I look to find flavors that enhance the pasta’s natural flavors. This dish uses sundried tomatoes for a sweet flavor, chickpeas for a meaty texture, onions and garlic as aromatics, and mushrooms for a chewy texture. This creates not only a tasty and satisfying meal that can be a side dish or a main dish depending on the portion you make.

Base Ingredients (Serves 2):

1 Cup Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta (uncooked)

1 Cup Diced Sundried Tomatoes

½ Yellow Onion or Sweet Vidalia Onion

4-6 Cloves of Garlic depending on size

1 Cup Diced Mushrooms of Choice (I used button)

4 TBSP Oil – I use Olive Oil for this dish

1/3 Cup Vegetable Broth – I prefer to use low sodium


Substitute 2 Shallots for Onion and Garlic


1. Dice onions and garlic and place in a pan with the oil. Satuee in oil

until translucent.

Pasta12. Add diced sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and broth to pan and

sautee until broth is almost absorbed.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to a running boil. Add 1 cup of Tolerant Red

Lentil Pasta. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir from time to time and reduce

heat as needed so the water does not boil over.

4. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and add to the pan with the vegetables.

5. Drain Pasta and add to the pan with the vegetables.

6. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

Serve or place in an airtight container and pack for lunch!

Sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Option: Grate parmesan over the pasta.

Enjoy this low calorie, high fiber Yoga Lean meal; a satisfying meal to keep you fueled as you lead an active lifestyle.

Broccoli Greens Tofu Stir Fry

Not only do I love to eat light and healthy foods, but I also do not like to waste food. When I had an opportunity to try broccoli and cauliflower greens I was elated! This was an opportunity to experience two vegetables I love in an entirely new way. UntitledI have used the greens as a side dish on their own and have enjoyed using them in stir-fry dishes also. The great thing about a stir-fry is that it is a way to use of vegetables that you have in the refrigerator. You do not need to have a large portion of any one vegetable to make a successful stir-fry. Each time you make a stir-fry you can use a different sauce as well. It can be an ever-changing recipe. Of course, when you find a combination you like, you may want to make it time and time again!

1 package EXTRA FIRM TOFU (Azumaya brand is Non-GMO and Gluten Free)

1/2 a box of Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles or 2 Cups cooked rice

Vegetables (aim for 4 -6 cups uncooked):

5 Large Broccoli Stems/Leaves

5 Large Cauliflower Stems/Leaves

4-6 Garlic Cloves (depending on size)

I used 1 cup Tessemae’s Lemon Chesapeake All Natural Dressing/Marinade/Dip

1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth (Unsalted is preferable).

1. Decide if you wish noodles or rice. If you wish rice, start the rice cooking as step one. If you want noodles, wait till the vegetables and tofu are done. Cooking rice is 2 cups of liquid per 1 cup of dry rice. Cook a single batch if you are not interested in leftovers, double (or more) the recipe if you wish leftovers.

2. For crispier TOFU (omit this step if you are not looking for crispy), drain the package and allow some water to be removed. I place the tofu block in a kitchen towel and place it between two dinner plates for about 1 hour. This step can be done the night before, while you are at work, or skipped entirely.

3. Wash and chop the vegetables you are using. Try to make the vegetables into even sized so they cook at the same rate. With the greens and stems, I do put thestems in the pan a few minutes before the “leafy section”.

4. In a sautee pan place 2 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil and the vegetables. Add the marinade and broth. Cook on medium heat. Stir from time to time. If you need additional liquid to soften the vegetables, add ¼ cup of water at a time.

5. After the vegetables have started, cut the tofu and place in a second sauté pan with 2 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil. Sprinkle pepper on the tofu if you wish the additional flavor. Cook on medium heat and rotate the tofu periodically so all sides brown and form a bit of a crust.

6. When vegetables and tofu are done, turn the burners off and let rest for a few minutes. If you are making noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once a running boil is attained, break the noodles in half and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir once or twice. Drain noodles.

On your plate put a bed of noodles or rice then add the vegetables. The tofu can be sprinkled on top or arranged in a pattern for a finished presentation.

Enjoy and savor the flavors!

Option: Sprinkle nuts or sesame seeds over the top.

Read more Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations Blog. Enjoy being YogaLean as you enjoy an active lifestyle and make healthy eating choices.

Chickpeas and Black Bean Pasta

Rehydrated chickpeas are great for homemade hummus, but what do we do with those left over? I put some in a salad and decided to make a pasta to use up the last few. Adding beans to pasta creates complementing textures, making our meal that much more satisfying.

Base Ingredients (recipe serves 2):

  • 1 Cup Tolerant Black Bean Rotini
  • ½ Cup Chickpeas
  • 2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Small Squash or Zucchini
  • ½ Red Onion
  • ½ Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Rosemary (optional)
  • Variations:
  • Add 2-4 Cloves Garlic (depending on size)
  • Add 2-4 Button Mushrooms (diced)
  • Substitute Spaghetti Squash or diced Butternut Squash for Squash/Zucchini
  • Omit Rosemary and add 1-3 TBSP Crushed Red Pepper (depending on HEAT you desire)


1. Dice one tomato
2. Use a mandolin or knife to cut the onion and squash into small pieces
3. Sautee in olive oil and broth
4. While cooking, boil 3 cups of water. Add the pasta and cook for one minute.
5. Reserve ½ cup pasta water and add pasta and water to pan with vegetables.
6. Add chickpeas, rosemary (optional), and last diced tomato.
7. Cook until liquid is almost gone


Serve or store in an airtight container. Sprinkle a little olive oil to garnish, or sprinkle Gluten Free breadcrumbs (Ian’s Panko Gluten Free variety is great), and/or sprinkle with pepper.

Be YogaLean. Enjoy healthy food that not only satiates you but also gives you the energy you need to accomplish your mental and physical goals each day!

You can find other Gluten Free recipes on Healthy Recipe Variations.