Boloco: Make Your Own Bowl or Burrito


If you live in New England, Boloco is probably already on your radar. Its burritos come in flavors inspired by many cuisines—you could call them wraps, really, since only a couple of the choices are typical Mexican fare. Their menu has many options for those trying to avoid heartburn.

The best option for GERD is to make your own bowl or burrito. Walk down the ingredient line to see what’s there, as it can be tough to find all of the options just by reading the menu. My most recent bowl (pictured here) featured quinoa, baby kale, broccoli, chicken, black beans, corn salsa, carrots, cilantro, and cheese. I also recommend the roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, carnitas, celery, pinto beans, beets, cucumbers, and brown rice.

I didn’t put a sauce on this particular bowl because the ingredients have so much flavor. The Thai peanut and tikka masala sauces are both delicious, but you’ll want to order them on the side and use sparingly to spare your throat.

Sometimes I order a mini burrito so I can save room for a shake. The Jimmy Carter (peanut butter, banana, and yogurt) is my favorite, but the seasonal pumpkin shake is a welcome treat as well. Boloco is a restaurant WIN in many ways!


Golden Apple Granola (The Leftovers Club)


Homemade granola is such a treat. As soon as I learned how to make apple chips, I wanted to incorporate them into my favorite quinoa granola recipe. I like to serve this sweet concoction over chopped pears and top it with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. It’s a balanced but fancy breakfast.

I sent this granola to Johanna of Notes From a Messy Kitchen for this month’s edition of The Leftovers Club. Great minds think alike; she sent me a scrumptious, walnut-filled carrot cake granola that I will definitely be making soon. If you like to bake and to receive mail, consider joining us next month in The Leftovers Club!



  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried apples, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the oats, quinoa, almonds, brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  3. In small bowl, combine the applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and toss to coat.
  4. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven and add the raisins. Stir well, breaking up the largest chunks of granola so they cook all the way through. IMG_5480
  5. Bake for 20 additional minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Stir in the dried apples. Cool completely and store the granola in an airtight container.

Makes about 5 cups. Active time 20 min; total time 50 min (plus time to make dried apples). Adapted from

Black Bean & Butternut Quinoa Salad


This hearty, flavorful bowl of quinoa, beans, and squash was a shining moment in my 15-degree winter evening. I’ve been craving heavy food, particularly as my meat-free January comes to a close. Thanks to this recipe, I didn’t sneak out to get a burger or chicken fingers (which I would regret for GERD-related reasons as much as for breaking my meat fast).

This recipe also made clear how much I’ve been missing black beans. Before heartburn, I always paired them with tomato, onion, and jalepeno—and they’ve been off the menu because I didn’t know how else to cook them. It turns out black beans are just as great in a more subtly flavored dish. I love their firm mouthfeel, and the color looks interesting against the red quinoa.

I used leftover lemon-rosemary dipping oil in this recipe, but lemon zest would work too. I hate to buy a lemon knowing that I’m going to throw it away after zesting, due to the acidity of the juice. Flavored olive oil is less expensive than zest in the long run. I plan to buy another bottle when this one runs out.


This salad is satisfying either hot or at room temperature. When the leftovers are reheated, they even keep their herb flavors since I added so much parsley and cilantro. This meal is such a pleasure to eat.


  • 3/4 cup red quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 15.5-oz can black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked butternut squash (If you don’t have leftovers, peel, cube, and roast for 35 min at 425 degrees)
  • 1 oz goat cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon olive oil (or 1 1/2 tsp olive oil + 2 tsp lemon zest)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cool water. Place in a medium pot with the broth and bring to a boil. Add the oregano, onion powder, and cumin. Stir, lower the heat, and simmer until nearly all of the liquid is absorbed—mine took 18 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the black beans. If your squash was cooked in the skin, chop it into small cubes.
  3. When almost all of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa, stir in the black beans, squash, and goat cheese. Allow to sit for 2 minutes and stir again, incorporating the cheese into the dish. IMG_5033
  4. Drizzle the quinoa with vinegar and oil, and shut off the heat. Stir in the parsley and cilantro and serve.


Serves 4. Active time 25 minutes; total time 30 minutes.

Life Alive: The Alchemist Demi Bowl


I am beyond in love with Life Alive, a vegetarian restaurant and juice bar in Cambridge. The ambiance is pure hippie, with a kale dispenser on the wall and free ukulele performances in the basement. And the food is phenomenal! I don’t know what they put in the sauces, but they make a bowl of vegetables and grains more craveable than I thought it could be.

You can order any dish on the menu over a quinoa mix or as a wrap. Bowls come in regular size and half (demi) size. I recommend the demi bowl if you also want to try something from the juice and smoothie bar. On this visit I had the Thrive Alive, a juice with carrot, apple, and ginger.


My favorite meal at Life Alive is The Adventurer, but I’ve also enjoyed the Green Goddess. This time I wanted to branch out, so I had The Alchemist: a mix of corn, kale, carrots, sprouted legumes, sesame seeds, and Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce over quinoa. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce is by far the best on the menu, but I’ve never had a bad meal here. Everything is flavorful, and I feel energized after ingesting so many vegetables!

As long as you don’t overeat and you avoid the juices with citrus, Life Alive is a restaurant win. I’m sure the sauces contain some garlic, but it’s not overpowering and has never caused me problems. I recommend bringing visitors (who aren’t meat-obsessed) here to give them a food experience they may not expect to find in the Boston area.

BBQ Quinoa Salad


I’ve been uninspired in the kitchen lately, so when I needed to bring food to a party, I looked at my blog archives. I was surprised to see that I’ve posted 60 recipes! It’s great to have these GERD-approved ideas to peruse.

For this party dish, I edited my BBQ Quinoa & Scallops recipe. Besides leaving out the seafood, I doubled the ingredients, swapped broccoli for spinach, and added cilantro. The cilantro went a long way toward adding freshness and brightness.

The major flavors in this quinoa salad are BBQ (hoisin), sesame, and ginger. I used more sauce than I did for the original recipe, and it predictably made the dish better. The sauce is a bit gooey from the honey, but it doesn’t overpower the ingredients.


  • 6 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • scant 1 cup water
  • 4 cups packed chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and add cooking spray. Arrange carrots in a single layer on the sheet; coat with cooking spray. Cook at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
  2. Put rinsed quinoa, broth, and water in a nonstick pot with lid. Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce to a simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the chopped spinach at the bottom of a large bowl. Add the hot quinoa and stir.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and onion powder. Microwave for 10 seconds if the honey it too sticky to mix in. Pour the sauce over the spinach and quinoa and stir.
  5. Remove the carrots from the oven and add to the quinoa mixture; stir. IMG_4902
  6. Add the cilantro and stir. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Serves 8. Active time 40 minutes; total time 45 minutes.