Healthy Restaurants For When You Are Just Too Tired To Cook!

Even though I love cooking, I have nights when I don’t want to worry about doing dishes because I am sooo tired! And I seem to be having more of these tired nights now that I am 32 weeks along in my pregnancy. My husband wanted to treat me to a date night, so he did some research on healthy restaurants because he knows I am very picky about where we go to eat – it is hard to find true healthy restaurants. He ran across this article ’Best Healthy Restaurants in The Twin Cities.’

We started with the first one, Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis. I ordered a black bean and quiona burger and my husband ordered the pulled pork sandwich. The pork was extremely tender, and the black bean burger was delicious! The Cafe sources local, sustainable, organic and fair trade ingredients whenever possible. There is a good variety of vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes.

Quick note on the health benefits of quinoa:
Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. It contains manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, which are great for people who experience migraines, or have diabetes. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Easy recipe you can make in advance!


1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 Orange to make 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small mango, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed (If you are buying canned black beans buy a brand with ‘no salt added’ such as Eden Organic) And make sure the only ingredient is the bean.
2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Place in a pot with the water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk orange juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil, ginger, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add mango, bell pepper, beans and scallions; toss to coat.
  3. When the quinoa is finished cooking, add to the mango mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Enjoy!

1. Van Dam RM, Hu FB, Rosenberg L, Krishnan S, Palmer JR. Dietary calcium and magnesium, major food sources, and risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. Black women. Diabetes Care. 2006 Oct;29(10):2238-43. 2006. PMID:17003299

2 thoughts on “Healthy Restaurants For When You Are Just Too Tired To Cook!

  1. Nell

    Oh I love quinoa, and am always looking for new recipes. This looks absolutely fabulous! Thank you! And Birchwood–always a good one. Have you guys been to Heartland in downtown Saint Paul? Another local gem.


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