Tag Archives: quinoa

Recipe: Mel’s Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

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Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 2 c. stemmed and chopped kale leaves
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. uncooked red quinoa
  • 6 whole bell peppers
  • parmesan rind and freshly grated cheese (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional topping)

Stuffed Peppers Instructions:

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions and peppers with salt and pepper until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add ground chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t worry about getting it fully cooked yet–it will keep cooking through to the end. Stir in sriracha, Worcestershire, and spices.

Add water, quinoa, and kale, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes (see quinoa package cooking instructions for time length; if you have parmesan rinds available, add them during this step).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425ºF and prep whole bell peppers by carefully cutting off (and reserving) pepper tops. Remove seeds and pith. You may need to remove a small portion of the bottom of the pepper so it stands upright, being careful not to cut through into the shell of the pepper.

Stir stuffing till mixed evenly. Oil a medium size casserole dish and line with about 1-2 cups of the stuffing. Stuff peppers and place in stuffing bed in the casserole dish.  Place pepper tops back in casserole dish as well. If there’s any remaining stuffing, add it to the casserole dish around the peppers to help them stand up. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Meanwhile, prepare Avocado Sauce (below).

For serving, remove parmesan rinds, drizzle with Avocado Sauce, and top with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Avocado Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water (or more to desired consistency)

Avocado Sauce Instructions:

Add all ingredients except olive oil and water into food processor (or high power blender) and blend till smooth. Slowly drizzle olive oil in till emulsified, then slowly pour water in until sauce reaches desired viscocity.

Note: This dish is great to make the night before and reheats very well. On the second day (if there is any leftover stuffing), use as taco filling and top with chopped fresh tomatoes, sour cream, avocado sauce and fresh chopped cilantro.

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What to Do When Your Friends Go “Gluten Free”

I’ve had several friends recently find out they are either sensitive or allergic to glutens. Some just get worse headaches when they eat glutens and others found out they have a severe case of Celiac’s disease. There’s Gluten in SO many things now! But it can be done! It helps to remember that potatoes and rice are still okay. Most all-natural meats are GF (beware processed meats in general anyway, but especially when your Dairy Free or Gluten Free – they can be filled with additives). And, of course, fruits and veggies are always a win! Below are some resources I’ve gathered to use when I take treats to their house or have them over for dinner.

Some GF-Friendly Sites I Like:

 Most grocery stores have their own Gluten Free section now. If you haven’t tried Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), it’s great! It’s a whole grain that’s gluten free and contains protein as well as Omega 3’s. And it can be served savory or sweet, hot or cold. It cooks kind of like rice, in about 15 minutes. Here’s my favorite recipe for breakfast: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html.

You might also look into “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Blueprint” (aka Cave Man Diet) – they are heavy on meat and veggies and almost eliminate grains, so you could find some options using those too. I have a couple friends on Primal, and they have a really good grain free pizza crust that uses almond meal, egg, and parmesan cheese.

And, yes, they can still eat dessert! A couple of my favorite GF-Friendly desserts are the Flourless Brownies from Whole Foods Recipes and a No Bake Chilled Double Chocolate Torte recipe from Oh She Glows.

One thing I try to remind my newly-“GF” friends is to look at all the rich things God has given them to enjoy instead of focusing on what they can’t have. After all, they’re not the first people to have been given a food restriction (remember  Adam and Eve in the Garden – they were given a whole garden and told to avoid ONE tree). So, enjoy the “garden” and praise God for all His rich blessings!

What GF-Friendly sites or recipes are your favorites?

Dinner is Served: Quinoa Patties and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

I’ve been pinning delicious-looking recipes on Pinterest for months now, and finally took the time to actually try a couple of them!

Quinoa Patties with Asian Brussels Sprouts Slaw and Peanut Sauce

First, was the “Quinoa Burger” by Eating Well Living Thin. I prefer to call it a patty instead of a burger, but whatever you call them, I couldn’t stop eating them! Yum! Very good. I didn’t have cottage cheese, so I substituted greek yogurt, and it still worked well. I’m definitely making these again. They kind of had a falafel vibe. Yum! (Note: Make sure your oil is good and hot before you start cooking up the patties, or it’ll just soak in and stick to the bottom instead of acting as a barrier between the patty and the pan. Also, they cook better smaller than larger. Yea, the first batch didn’t turn out quite as well as the second.) 🙂

Then for our side, I made the “Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing” by Tina Jeffers on the Bliss blog. I used Brussels Sprouts instead of Cabbage. It was a nice topper on the Quinoa Patty or as a side dish. Caution: don’t use too much of the sauce – it’s delicious, but potent. Also, I used chopped raw peanuts instead of cashews, because I had them on hand. By the way, if you’re looking for raw peanuts, check your local Asian Market. They almost always have the best price.

The Plated Piece: Bon Appetit!

Weekly Meal Plan for Two

This week, I decided to try to make a menu plan with what we got today and what we had left from last week’s basket, along with a few of my own random items.

This week’s basket: parsnips, a head of lettuce, 2 tomatoes, potatoes, bok choy, mushrooms, strawberries, pears, oranges, 3 apples, red pepper, ginger root.

 

ON HAND:

PRODUCE: a few organic shallots, 2 organic carrots, 2 organic yams, 2 organic oranges, 1/2 head of organic cauliflower, 1 organic mango, and half a bunch of organic scallions from last week’s basket, some organic celery (already washed and chopped into snack sizes), 1 green pepper,  2 organic apples, 2 lemons, 2 limes, garlic, 2 red onions, 1 pomegranate.

FRIDGE: all-natural eggs, organic milk, all-natural almond milk and soy milk, Trader Joe’s Blueberry Pomegranate all-natural juice (with hidden veggies!), organic whole chicken (on sale at Publix for $1.99/lb. right now), organic carrot juice.

PANTRY: organic steel cut oats, organic quinoa,  all-natural peanut butter, organic brown rice, organic canned black beans (and other varieties, dried), whole-wheat all-natural pasta, all-natural tomato paste, all-natural marinara sauce, organic low-fat coconut milk, raw honey, Multi-grain Cheerios.

FREEZER: Organic Edamame, all-natural frozen mixed berries, chopped all-natural walnuts and pecans, homemade chicken broth.

Grocery list: mozzarella (for pizza), dijon mustard and 4 oz. sharp white cheddar (for cauliflower sandwiches), graham crackers and 1 pint heavy cream (if I decide to make the key lime pie and lemon tart).

Menu Plan:

RECIPES: (click on titles for recipes)

Quinoa with Berries and Nuts

Baked Yams: rub with oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 450F for 40 minutes. serve with 1 tsp. butter, 1/2 Tbsp. cane sugar, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts.

Creamy Parsnip with Ginger Soup

Bok Choy Salad (if I choose not to do the traditional salad with the soup)

Lettuce Wraps

Mango Salsa: chop and combine red bell pepper, red onion, mango, cilantro, lime peel, dried crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional: avocado, black bean, corn, pineapple)

Cheesy Cauliflower Sandwiches

Key Lime Pie

Stirfry

Strawberry Shortcake (avoid whipping cream and serve with milk)

Ginger Honey Tea: Peel and finely chop 1″ of fresh ginger root. Put in tea ball and steep in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. honey. Enjoy! (or try Sunny’s Ginger Pear Tea)

Steel Cut Oats

Vegan Chili (use fresh tomatoes and tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes)

Lemon Tart (using Lemon Curd recipe) or Lemon Cake with Lime Curd and Pomegranate

Tomato Caper Pasta (turkey feta meatballs, optional)

Brown Rice Bar

Lemon-Lime Sugar Cookies

Other Options for this week’s basket:

Mashed Potato ‘n’ Parsnip

Crab Rangoon (uses bok choy)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Seared Ahi Tuna with Blood Orange Sauce

Fruit Leather (uses apples, pears, and lemon juice)

Strawberry Yogurt Soup

Ina’s Ultimate Ginger Cookies (add fresh ginger instead of crystallized if you like)

Recipes: Vegetable Quinoa and Vegetable Bouillon

Recipe for Vegetable Quinoa:
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 diced Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 1 1/3 c. dry quinoa
  • 2 2/3 c. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Bouillon (recipe below)

Instructions:

In a medium size saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and green pepper with a pinch of salt and pepper. When the pepper is soft and the onion is transluscent, stir in quinoa, water and vegetable bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Fold quinoa so vegetables are mixed throughout. Serve warm. We served ours with chicken tenders using the Sweet & Spicy Rub Recipe, some Garlicky Brussel Sprouts, and fresh strawberries. Mmm!

Vegetable Bouillon Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. sundried tomatoes (about 6-8 sundried tomato halves)
  • 2 oz. fresh cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 oz. fresh parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 3.5 oz. vidalia onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 7 oz. leeks (about 1 leek)
  • 7 oz. carrots (about 4 carrots)
  • 7 oz. celery (about 4 stalks of celery)
  • 7 oz. fennel bulb (about 1 bulb)
  • 9 oz. fine sea salt

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor. You may need to pulse each ingredient separately and mix in a large bowl at the end, depending on the size of your food processor. Yields about 4 cups or 4 small canning jars. Great for gifts. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Use 1 tsp. per 1 cup of water. Great as the base of a soup, or saute to season meat, fish, sauerkraut, or scrambled eggs. Very versatile recipe!

Sunday Breakfast: My First Quinoa Experience

Some of you have asked about the quinoa recipe posted earlier this week. I made this recipe and served it to my husband, aunt, uncle, and cousin for breakfast this morning. It was fabulous! I didn’t have enough blackberries for the full amount, so I used all the frozen berries I had and thawed them: blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I served the nuts on the side, since my cousin’s allergic. Everyone enjoyed it! I was nervous because I’d had several people tell me quinoa was not enjoyable even though it was nutritious. I disagree. This was a great recipe! Enjoy it!

My version: Four Berry Quinoa

Quinoa is considered a Supergrain! It contains carbohydrates for energy, high level of protein, and essential amino acids, especially Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here’s a sample of quinoa nutrition facts:
Ancient Harvest Quinoa Organic Whole Grain – Traditional

Serving Size: 1/4 cup dry (42g)

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 172, Calories from Fat 25, Total Fat 2.8g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg,
Sodium 1mg, Carbohydrate 31g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Soluble 36%, In-Soluble 64%, Sugars 3g, Protein 6g

Glycemic Index: 35

This Looks Amazing – Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

This looks amazing! I’m definitely going to have to try this! I hear quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is really good for you!

Recipe and picture from: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html

I used a red quinoa here, but you can use whatever kind you like, white/buff colored seems to be the most common. Also, a few notes and tips from the book: low-fat soy milk may replace the low fat milk, blueberries may replace the blackberries, dark honey may replace the agave nectar, and walnuts may replace the pecans.

1 cup organic 1% low fat milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (hs note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar, such as Madhava brand

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.