Comfort Fuel: Take a Break From Meat

Kari Lund


Recipes, Nutrition


Take a break from meat focused protein and venture into the vegetable world for a family-friendly feast. You may think that meats are the only ideal way to get protein and, admittedly, protein heavy meals that are plant based can be a bit of a brain-teaser. A little trick I use to amp up the protein in vegetarian meals is to layer my protein sources. I combine a multitude of proteins from whole grains, to greens, to Greek yogurt. This creates a varied assortment of nutrients and supplies essential amino acids so you can fuel your body with complete proteins. It’s a skillful dance of ingredients that will make your body sing and provide plenty of energy to power through your day.


Risotto is typically a time consuming and somewhat challenging dish to make so I’ve simplified it for weeknight friendly meals by using quinoa instead. Fiber filled quinoa and broccoli are key components in this particular dish that keep your digestive system running well. Vibrant greens, like spinach, are a vegetable source of additional protein that make your meal colorful while supplying a number of nutrients. This vegetarian dish is a creamy combination with characteristics of both fried rice and risotto making it a family palate pleaser that’s still simple (and fast) enough for the weeknight hustle.



Quinoa and Vegetable “Risotto”

Quinoa Vegetable Risotto

Calories 533, Protein 33g, Carbs 64g, Fat 16g


Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 25 min   

Serves: 2 as a main dish (or 4 as a side)



  • 3/4 cup organic tri-color quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3.5-4 ounces, cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup green peas, frozen
  • 3 cups, fresh baby spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds


Preparation Instructions:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer and place in a small saucepan with the broth.
  2. Cook quinoa about 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli.
  4. Stir cook until onions and garlic are slightly softened, about five minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and milk until smooth.
  6. Add peas, spinach, and cooked quinoa to the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Pour egg mixture into the pan and stir cook until it thickens slightly.
  8. Stir in parmesan cheese and salt to taste.
  9. Top with almonds and serve hot.


Notes: Quinoa can be made in advance and kept in fridge a few days until ready to use. 


If you want to kickstart your clean eating campaign, there is no better way than to start Kari's 28 Day Clean Eating Challenge now. It's designed for ordinary people who are busy and have a lot of demands on their time. The objective is to commit to Kari's process and meal planning in such a way that after 28 days you are armed both with a keen awareness of what you eat and have acquired the skills and imagination to prepare clean eating meals on your own. It's a great way to kickstart a new approach to real food and real results.
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