A baby’s naptime is a beautiful thing.

It gives everyone a chance to recharge and reboot, and it gives mama time to herself in the kitchen. It is amazing how much cooking you can get done when you are focused and uninterrupted. Sunday’s meal planning includes two recipes that we can enjoy for the first half of the week, one meat-centered and one plant-centered. I also aim to use one leading ingredient for both recipes. This week’s starring role was a duet – quinoa and basil. While I often lean on recipes, I actually concocted these two in my head (once again, amazing what you can do when uninterrupted). I hope you can find your own power hour for meal planning this week!

Quinoa & Hoisin Sauce Meatloaf Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1-pound raw, ground bison (could sub ground beef, turkey)
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (Cook quinoa in vegetable broth for richer flavor)

Food processor ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 t. dried fennel seed
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 T. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • ½ t. salt

Glaze ingredients:

  • 3 T. ketchup
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1 T. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine “food processor” ingredients in food processor or blender. Pulse ingredients until you reach a moist breadcrumb consistency.  In a large bowl, combine food processor ingredients with ground bison, and cooked quinoa until well mixed. Coat a 12-cupcake muffin tin with cooking spray.  Spoon meatloaf mixture into 12 cupcake molds. Place in oven to cook for 20 minutes. Rotate muffin tin halfway through cooking. While cupcakes cook, mix glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. After 20 minutes, pull out cupcakes and spread 1-2 T. of glaze on top of each. Return to oven and cook additional 5 minutes. Break one cupcake in half to ensure the meat is cooked through. Enjoy meatballs on their own, in a sub sandwich, or as a pasta or spaghetti squash topper!

Basil & Orange Tofu with Quinoa

Makes 4 – 1 cup servings


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (Cook quinoa in vegetable broth for richer flavor)
  • 1-pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oranges (I used clementines because they come 40 to a bag…)
  • ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t. honey
  • 1 T. lite soy sauce
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 T. olive oil


Over medium heat, warm 1 T. olive oil in large sauté pan.  Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add cubed tofu, and sauté until tofu begins to brown slightly on edges. Slice oranges in half, and squeeze juice into tofu mixture.  Using a zester or grater, zest orange peels into mixture. Once orange juice turns into a glaze, add chopped basil, balsamic & apple vinegar, honey, soy sauce and salt. After basil has wilted, add the 2 cups cooked quinoa and 1 T. olive oil. Combine and serve!


Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.