Quinoa


I have sad news. This is the LAST SRC  post – ever!!  After five and 1/2 years our fun and discovery is coming to an end.  It was a great run!  I discovered so many great food blogs, food,  and people.  I have cooked outside my comfort zone.  Learned new techniques and flavors.  I am sad to see it all come to an end.  Thanks to Amanda, Sarah, Amy, Jane, Susan, Camilla, and April for leading us through 5 1/2 years of food exploration!  I have cooked with all most of them and they have some awesome recipes to share.

As you know, I usually do three recipes from my ‘assignment’.  How can you possible go with JUST ONE??  Sometimes I share the recipe on the blog and sometimes I just leave a link.  We wanted you to visit their blogs after all.  I decided to go out with a bang and NOSH more than three.It was only NATURAL since there were so many good recipes on my ‘assigned’ blog.  When I first got it I thought. “I will never find much here!” because it was a Healthy, Gluten-Free, practically Sugar-Free blog.  Really!  But as I went through the Noshings/Recipes I found much more than I expected.  Thanks to Nora of Natural Noshings  I have more great recipes to work through.

So….

Breakfast:  p1100112

 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

If I were on a liquid diet this would come close to the real thing.  Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in this one.  Oh, and pumpkin.  I could eat this a lot!

Lunch:

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Kung Pao Chicken

My son and I love Asian (and Indian) cuisine.  Nora has so many Asian style dishes it was hard to pick just one.  We started with this one.  I didn’t change a thing.  It was perfect just as it was.

I also tried a pizza for lunch. Not pretty, but pretty tasty.  And with a completely different crust.  The crust is made with WILD RICE!!!  It was chewy, slightly crunchy.  I used Nora’s crust for a simple mushroom/Mozzarella Pizza.  So completely different.

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Wild Rice Pizza Crust

The only drawback is that the wild rice takes so long to cook.  I would suggest, if you want to make this pizza, is the cook the rice the day before.  Other than that…

Dinner:

We got back late from an unexpected trip and I needed something quick for dinner.  One of the MANY recipes I Pinned was the Pizza Quinoa Casserole.  It was ready in a short time.  The time it takes to cook the quinoa.

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Pizza in a bow? Maybe.  At least the flavors.  A spicy sauce.  Lots of cheese.  All mixed with quinoa.  Healthy Pizza!!

Okay.  I would have loved to make more from Nora’s blog but I just plain ran out of time.  I can still go back and do the ones I missed.

Thanks, Nora, for some lovely and delicious food!

Again – thanks to all of our ‘leaders’ past and present.  I have really enjoyed meeting new foodies and cooking from their recipes.  I enjoyed all those times I didn’t think I would find anything on them to cook.  I enjoyed all the ‘out of the box’ adventures with some.  I will miss The Secret Recipe Club!

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Quinoa has become my new best friend. I eat it as a side.  As a cold or hot salad.  Instead of rice sometimes.  It is good, and good for you.  Finding another GOOD quinoa recipe is always a plus.  Like this one from Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook – my book for October’s CookBook Countdown.

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Red bell peppers, onion, and garlic cooked with curry powder and peas before being added to the toasted quinoa to cook.  How can you beat that?

I did add a little salt at the end since the recipe did not call for it and next time I will ‘up’ the amount of curry powder.  1 tsp just wasn’t enough but I like lots of curry flavor in my dishes.

The recipe is on page 104 of the Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook.

Since the recipe can be found on line I will not include it here.  Curried Quinoa

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

It’s the third Monday in October.  While that may not mean much to many of you it means a lot to some of us.  It’s Group C Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club.By this time each month many of us have browsed through our ‘assigned’ blog and chosen what recipe(s) we want to cook.  Some of us chose 1 or 2. I like to use three so I can get a full idea of what my Blogger is all about.

“I am on a never ending quest for healthier eating. Oh, I totally enjoy fries, and burgers and chocolate, but I try to make the majority of our meals as healthy and unprocessed as possible. Then, in moderation we can enjoy other things that we don’t have as often anymore. I’ve also learned how to tweak some of those old “favorites” to make them a bit healthier. “

So says Kirstin of Loving Life. I think that sums up Kirstin’s food philosophy.  It is a journal of her life and the recipes within it. Good days, bad days, but always great recipes.

I started out making Kirstin’s Cauliflower  Pizza Crust.  Like most of you I have seen a ton of recipes using a cauliflower crust for pizza and I have wanted to try it.  And there it was, right there on Kirstin’s blog.

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The crust is made from ‘riced’ cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and seasoning.  It gets nice and crispy around the edges.  I topped it with marinara, mushrooms, black olives and lots of cheese.   If you are looking for a gluten free alternative this is what you need to try.  It wasn’t bad.  But I think I will stick to my bread crust.  But that’s just me.

I make bread every week.  The Man eats sandwiches and store bought just isn’t right.  Too fluffy.  Too white.  So every week – Whole Wheat Bread.  This week when I needed bread I used Kirstin’s recipe for  Multigrain Bread.  

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It is very similar to the Whole Wheat Bread I make but has MORE!!  She adds sunflower seeds, 7 or 10 grain cereal and oatmeal.  The oatmeal is supposed to go ON the bread but when Kirstin said she had trouble keeping the oatmeal ON the bread I decided to put it IN the bread instead.  I also used 1/2 water and 1/2 milk instead of all water for cooking the cereal.  The Man really liked it.  Dense and moist.  Very healthy!   I think I will this bread from now on.  {Kirstin – used the bread machine to mix the dough but baked it free-form.  It worked just fine.  Next I will bake it in the machine as well.}

Ok.  One more.

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I made Kirstin’s Quinoa Squash Pilaf for lunch today.  Delicious!   This is the dish where she mentioned she wanted to make her meals healthier and less processed.  This one – perfect.  Just the right amount of seasoning and veggies added to the quinoa.  The only change I made – I added some sliced mushrooms.

    1 c. Quinoa rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth {I used all broth so two cups of broth.}
    1/4 cup water {NOPE!}
    2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
    1 c. chopped leeks (white portions only)….I used onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 large tomato, chopped
    1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I left these out)
    2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
    I cup sliced mushrooms {My addition}

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
In a small saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, leeks and garlic in oil until tender. Lower heat to medium low and stir in tomato, cilantro, seasonings and quinoa. Mix in the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

All in all I had a lovely visit with Kirstin. I have several more recipes I want to go back to. Thanks, Kirstin.

Want more “Seecret” goodies. Click the FROG!

Who says a salad has to be made with leafy greans? Or pasta? Why not try one with quinoa instead? Like this one from Ellie Krieger.

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Mixing some cooked quinoa with chicken sausage, corn, zucchini, and lots of spices is a great way to make salad. It is full of flavor, good ingredients, and, as always with Elie’s recipes, good for you.

I could have just eaten all the vegetables by themselves before adding the sausage and quinoa.  Doesn’t it look wonderful?

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I couldn’t find a salad I was really in the mood for my cookbooks so I went on line and this one caught my eye immediately.   After I made it I realized we had originally made a similar recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders  {Corn and Quinoa with Sausage}   but it wasn’t listed as a salad. It is basically the same ingredients but with different flavors (Cumin and parsley) and the zucchini thrown in. Bingo!!

One small change I made – the recipe called for adding the diced red pepper at the end.  I assumed she meant raw and I don’t like raw pepper so I threw the diced red pepper in with the onions to cook.   And I think next time I will add a little more cumin.

And it was great.  Definitely one to enjoy regularly.

You can find the recipe on Ellie’s website.  

Find out what Gaye made for her salad by clicking on over to Eating with Ellie.  I’m sure it will be good.

The theme this week for IHCC is Ancient Grains.  That means any dish that included:

Farro             Polenta
Kamut           Chia
Spelt              Freekah
Barley           Buckwheat
Blue Corn    Wild Rice
Teff               Amaranth
Millet           Quinoa
and one they didn’t list – lentils.
Ancient grains are those that have been around for many eons of time.  The original grains that have been unchanged since they were originally cultivated.  Many of them thousands of years ago. Full of protein and gluten free.
I had already made all of the quinoa recipes in Ellie’s books but then I found one that had quinoa AND lentils.  Score!!
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Savory red lentil, quinoa, and vegetable stew
Not very photogenic but darn tasty.  The red quinoa and red lentils {which I had run out of and so used plain lentils.  If I had had the red there would have been more color in the dish.} mean the dish is full of protein and gluten free.
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 small bunch kale (2 cups packed leaves)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably red
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1⁄2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then keep warm over low heat until ready to use.

While the broth is heating, chop the onion and dice the carrot. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mince the ginger and garlic. Stem the kale; discard the stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne to the onion-carrot mixture and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the lentils, quinoa, and all but 1 cup of the boiling broth. Stir in the kale leaves and cinnamon stick. Cover, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the quinoa and lentils are nearly tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the peas and cook until the peas, quinoa, and lentils are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Stir in the remaining broth as needed if the mixture seems too thick. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

I almost didn’t include the dollop of Greek yogurt on top. ALMOST… but I am so glad I did because it added an extra layer of flavor and a little ‘tang’ to the whole dish.

The full recipe makes a bunch.  It says a serving is 2 cups of the stew and 2 Tbl of yogurt.  That is a lot.  I used it as a side and since I am the only one eating it I have plenty left over.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 235.

There are more Ancient Grain dishes over on I Heart Cooking Clubs.  So go check them out.

I like to think I’m going to eat healthier each year.  I start out well but then things get in the way – birthdays, eating out with friends, pie, cake, ooey gooey pasta – and….well, you know how it goes.

But being with Eating with Ellie makes eating healthy a little easier.  Especially if the recipes are full of flavor and quick, which was the case with Chaya’s pick for this week.

I have made this several times and usually to go with Ellie’s chinese vegetable soup with pork.  All you need is quinoa – the SUPERFOOD – sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chicken broth.  It’s SOOOO easy.  And SOOOO good.

You really should try it.

For more quinoa visit Eating with Ellie.

Have you met Melissa? She is my Secret Recipe Club assignment for August. She is just up the block from me in Michigan. Well, maybe not JUST up the block since I am in Louisiana. But after reading through her blog posts and looking at ALL her recipes I feel like we have been visiting each other. She has a beautiful little girl named Summer and she loves to be in the kitchen where she cooks for her family and friends but she LOVES to bake. And I could tell from the list of cookies, cakes, etc on her blog. I did so wish I needed a sweet treat in the house…..I could have filled my freezer and my friend’s freezers with enough treats for a year!!!

You know I cannot just do ONE recipe. I like to get a better feel for my ‘assignment’ so I usually end up with at least two and usually three of their recipes. No different this time. I hope it is a good variety.

I started with her Quinoa Pilaf.

Like Melissa I was late to the Quinoa party but I am making up for lost time. I love subbing it in rice dishes and sometimes pasta so when I ran across this recipe I knew I had to make it.

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Her original recipe called for celery but there was none in the house so I threw in some fresh corn and red bell pepper instead. Love all the colors. All you need to do is saute your veggies (she also has chopped carrots in hers) in some butter. Throw in about a cup of rinsed quinoa. Add enough chicken or veggie broth to cook it along with some salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. It came together very quickly and was the perfect side with our burgers the other night.


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Melissa’s Aunt-in-Law used to make small Strombolis for her Grandmother to freeze, reheat, and eat. This made me crave, like Melissa, some Strombolis for supper. I used Melissa’s dough recipe but subbed out 1/2 of the white for whole wheat flour. I filled one with typical pizza toppings – pepperoni, cheese, red sauce,

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and one with ham chunks and lots of Mozzarella cheese. Both were delicious and didn’t last past one meal. I made them rather large hoping for leftovers, but it was not to be. Guess I will just have to make them again!!!


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This morning for breakfast, well, brunch, I couldn’t decide between Melissa’s Blueberry Scones, Blueberry Pancakes, or the Egg Muffins. I finally decided on the…

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How can anyone turn down pancakes? These were crunchy on the outside, due to being ‘fried’ in butter, and creamy on the outside. And did I tell you they were chock full of BLUEBERRIES?? They were! Smothered in butter and Maple syrup they were the perfect plate. This doesn’t mean I won’t try the scones or muffins, just not THIS Sunday!

So these are just three of Melissa’s recipes. All three were just right and I will go back for more. I still want to make her Whole Wheat noodles, Kung Pao Chicken, Biscoff Shakes, Chocolate PB Mug Cake, and anyone of her trillion sweet treats.

I love Secret Recipe Club . Meeting new cooks/bakers every month. Trying new recipes. Some inside the box, some not. You should join us!

And check out this month’s other member’s dishes.


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