Grainalicious and Beantastic, it’s how we roll!!

To continue our fabulous week of recipes using the Whole Foods Market Pantry Staples (see below), I recruited my dear friend Gabrielle Kassa to pitch-in with some of her favorites. Here she has given us two delicious recipes, one with quinoa and the other with lentils, both amazingly tasty and good for you too.

About Gabrielle Kassa:

Gabrielle is a partner in Succotashed. At Succotashed, our personal chefs offer in-home culinary education and event catering. Our mission is to create inspired, seasonal cuisine with simple, real, and delicious foods. Learn more about workshops and events. Read our blog for delicious recipes, insightful articles, and helpful cooking tips.

When she’s not in the kitchen, Gabrielle enjoys writing, photography, and adventuring with her partner, Bill, and son, Noah.

And as always, being a great friend to all who know her! Thanks Gabs =)

Remember, Whole Foods Market will be giving away healthy pantry staples for a year as well as several of their $50 Pantry Stock Ups. You can enter on the Whole Foods Blog until January 31st.

I am also giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Whole Foods Market in Durham on this blog. Read the original blog entry here for details.


Cranberry Almond Quinoa

Quinoa is an amazing grain in both culinary and nutritional terms. Its mild, nutty taste makes it a perfect canvas for a diverse group of flavors. It can be used as a substitute for rice in many recipes, and can even be cooked in your rice cooker! (Use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa for perfect quinoa in your rice cooker.)

But unlike rice, quinoa is a complete protein source.
It’s a healthful addition to any diet, but it can be especially beneficial for vegans and vegetarians as plant-based protein source. Quinoa is also gluten-free and pairs beautifully with many traditional pasta sauces, so it can be a wonderful substitution for pasta for those who are avoiding gluten.

In our house, we generally use quinoa as a savory side dish. For this dish, I went in a different direction. I love fruit and nut oatmeals and granolas, so why not fruit and nut quinoa?

We always have quinoa, nuts, and dried fruit in our pantry, so this is definitely a pantry meal for us. You could substitute any nuts and dried fruit of your choice- I think pecans and dried apricots would be fabulous!

This dish was delicious, filling, and so comforting on a cold winter
morning. It’s a welcome new addition to our breakfast line-up! I’m also excited to serve it as a savory side (minus the honey and cinnamon) with our next pork roast- I think the cranberries and apples will pair beautifully with the pork.

Cranberry Almond Quinoa
inspired by Hot Breakfast Cereal recipe by Ancient Harvest

Serves 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes


1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water

3 Tablespoons of dried cranberries

3 Tablespoons slivered almonds

1 small apple, diced (I used a Fuji- it was delicious!)

Cinnamon and honey, to taste


Bring water to boil. Add quinoa. Allow water to come back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in cranberries, almonds, and apples. Continue to simmer until all water is absorbed.

Fluff quinoa with a fork before transferring to serving dishes.

Serve immediately. Top with cinnamon and honey to taste.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories: 445; Total fat: 10.8 g; Saturated fat: 0.4g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 2.6 mg; Total Cards: 75.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 9.8 g; Protein: 14.3 g

I use the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator to calculate nutrition
information for my recipes.

Lentil Chili

This chili is a super fast, super versatile dish. It can be tailored to your particular tastes as well as whatever you happen to have in your pantry that day!

We love lentils not just for their variety and flavor, but for their quick cooking ability. Unlike beans, lentils don’t have to be soaked before cooking. From start to finish, you can have a pot of delicious lentils in 35 minutes or less!

We keep lentils, canned tomatoes, and canned beans in our pantry as each item can be the basis of a healthy but fast dinner. This recipe uses all three. I’ve used black beans here, but you can use whatever you like best.

I can think of loads of variations on the lentil/bean theme- for example, red lentils, cannellini beans, and caramelized onions would make a beautiful and tasty “chili”! This chili can be used as a side dish (we’re having it as an accompaniment to a beef roast tonight) or on its own as a hearty vegetarian main course.

This recipe makes plenty, so you can cook for a big crowd, or enjoy leftovers the next day. It can easily be halved if you would like to make less.

Lentil Chili

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Serves: 8 as main course, 16 as side dish


2 cups of dried green lentils

8 cups of hot water

2 15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

3 Tablespoons of cumin

3 Tablespoons of chili powder

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 cup of water (or vegetable stock)


Combine lentils and hot water in a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached (about 15-20 minutes. Lentils can still be slightly firm, as they will be cooked additionally later). Drain the lentils and set aside.

In a large saucepan or stock pot, sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil. Add beans, tomatoes, spices, and the drained lentils. Stir well to combine, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or vegetable stock if necessary. Simmer until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro. Other toppings could include sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, diced fresh jalapeños, or bell peppers.

Nutritional info per serving (for side dish portion- double for main dish portion): Calories: 106; Total fat: 2.1g; Saturated fat: 0.3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 113.5mg; Total Carbohydrates: 16.2; Dietary Fiber: 4.8; Protein: 6.0g

I use the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator to calculate nutrition information for my recipes.

$50 Whole Foods Market Pantry Staple List

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce



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