Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

Boosting protein at breakfast can be as easy as adding two scrambled egg whites to a  delicious and trendy  plant-based I enjoyed seeing many of my registered dietitian (RD/RDN) friends in  Boston last weekend at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE); all committed to staying abreast of the current  scientific research  in the field. Please take note: this is what makes registered dietitians your source for credible nutrition information. I hope in the coming weeks to share nuggets of knowledge learned and more yummy ways to  integrate that knowledge into your meals and snacks.

On the heels of my trip to Boston, is the October Recipe Redux. Here’s our challenge: Plant Protein Power Bowls: Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant protein bowls are trendy and delicious.

Today I share

 Using  the whole grain quinoa as a base (flavored with smokey paprika), I  slip in some high quality protein as egg whites  allowing me to  keep the calories low and still meet my protein needs early in the morning. Here’s a little fact that influences my food choices:  older adults need less calories, but NOT less protein.  To this high fiber,  lean protein base,  I add sauted grape tomatoes in olive oil and top with heart healthy avocado cubes. Tossing in some fresh oregano from the garden adds even more color and flavor. Please visit the links at the bottom of this post to see how my Recipe Redux colleagues are packing in protein, fiber and color into their trendy bowls.
Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado
Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 cup rinsed tricolor quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • fresh oregano


1. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium -low heat until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add smoked paprika. Stir and cook 1 more minute. Add rinsed quinoa and stir to combine.

3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the cubed avocado with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Mix and gently set aside.

5. Place egg whites to a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave about 30 seconds longer or until egg whites are set.

6. In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add halved tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes soften and the skins begin to wrinkle, about 2 minutes.

7.Add quinoa and cooked egg whites to sauted tomatoes. Stir to combine. Spoon into serving bowls.

8. Top each bowl with cube avocado. Sprinkle with fresh oregano.

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Low FODMAP Aloha Bowl

A Hawaiian inspired meal, for peace of mind for those with digestive sensitivity,  that ‘s nutritionally balanced and tastes fab made with low FODMAP ingredients.low-fodmapgoodness-in-one-hit

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Nestle Health Science and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. As a participant in this contest, I also received a free trial sample of ProNourish, a Low FODMAP nutritional drink developed by Nestle Health Science. I was not compensated for my time.

There was a time,  I  would  cringe when a  client  sat  in my office  explaining why they’ve  abandoned a healthy lifestyle for GI comfort. I think it’s safe to say, we’re living  in an era where more and more individuals are fraught with digestive sensitivity.  One in four people suffers from gastrointestinal discomfort to the point it interupts their lives .

Only after serious medical issues are  ruled out, can a registered dietitian  implement a nutrition therapy to lessen symptoms by idenfication and elimination of certain foods. Enter  the LOW FODMAP DIET.

 FODMAP is a acronym for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols, which classifies specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can trigger digestive distress in some people.

Althougth the low FODMAP has been around for nearly a decade, I am finding few individuals are aware of it. It  brings me pleasure to tell you,   Nestle  Health Science is championing innovative nutritional solutions  addressing the dietary needs of people suffering from gastrointestinal conditions, including those with food intolerance. In the Spring of 2016, Nestle launched to support both the consumer seeking more knowledge about FODMAPs and the healthcare professional looking to build knowledge and practice skills. After reviewing this site myself, I am  happy to see the  effectiveness of a Low FODMAP diet is now supported by 30 clinical trials!

Just this month, Nestle Health Science introduced ProNourish, a delicious low FODMAP nutritional drink carefully formulated with ingredients that are low in FODMAPs  for those individuals who suffer from digestive sensitivities  due to food intolerance. ProNourish can be enjoyed as a mini-meal img_4896or snack. See ProNourish website www.ProNourishcom for more information.

The folks at Nestle are smart. They  know what individuals with digestive sensitivity really want:  to enjoy food with their friends and family, that’s both nutritious and delicious and feel fabulous afterwards! So this week, Nestle Health Science is    challenging dietitians/ Recipe Reduxers to develop low FODMAP recipes in a sponsored contest: Feel Fab without FODMAPs. By combining ingredients that are low in FODMAPs, it is possible to create delicious and  nutritious recipes suitable for those with GI sensitivity due to food intolerance.  It does take getting familiar with appropriate foods, and  the   Monash University Low FODMAP Smartphone App is helpful in putting this info right at your finger tips (available  at ) For me, the hardest part of low FODMAP recipe development  is leaving out the onions and garlic, #soguilty.  However, you can use oil infused with both : ).  Here’s the result of my tinkering in the kitchen, over the weekend, with low FODMAP ingredients..a low FODMAP Hawaiian inspired bowl …img_4894-copy… that provides protein, plenty of vegetables (because they’re often omitted by individuals with digestive sensitivity), and even a whole grain (because you should not ditch all fiber when following a low FODMAP  diet)!  The dipping sauce (also made with low FODMAP ingredients) adds bold flavor to this meal,   even without onions and garlic!   Please note that restricting high FODMAP foods is only meant to be temporary. The FODMAP elimination diet is not just a list of foods, it’s a process  and reintroduction  involves a strategic plan a registered dietitian can help with.

 Don’t miss  the links at the bottom of this post for more Low FODMAP recipe ideas contributed by registered dietitians and members of the Recipe Redux.

Note: This recipe was developed using Low FODMAP ingredients, but the recipe itself has not been tested for its FODMAP content.

Low FODMAP Aloha Bowl

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

    for the marinade

    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon canola oil

    for the bowl

    • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cooked
    • 1/2 pineapple, cut and sliced
    • 2 zucchini, cut into rounds
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 2 cups shredded lettuce
    • 1 cup cooked tricolor quinoa

    for the dipping sauce

    • 5 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
    • 21/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce


    1.  Combine ingredients for marinade and whisk. Pour over pork and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours.

    2. Preheat grill.

    3. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and thread onto skewers.

    4. Place pork on grill rack along with pineapple slices, zucchini skewers and whole bell pepper.

    5. Turn pineapple slices and zucchini frequently to cook evenly. Remove from grill when they begin to brown. Set aside.

    6. Turn pepper to char on all sides. Remove from grill and cover tightly with foil. Allow to sit for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove stem from pepper and cut into bite sized pieces.

    7. Grill pork, turning to cook evenly, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

    8. Prepare dipping sauce by combining rice vinegar, brown sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat and cook until mixture is reduced by one half.

    9. In each of 4 serving bowls, divide lettuce, quinoa, pineapple slices, grilled pork, roasted red pepper, and grilled zucchini. Serve with dipping sauce on the side. Serves 4.

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