Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Toss

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It is unbelievably hard to comprehend that my baby girl is going to be one soon.

I’ve bought the forward facing carseat. I know what birthday cake I’m making her. And I’ve even started to look at toddler activities on Pinterest.

But I still can’t believe how fast this year has gone.

I’ve talked about how when the boys were tiny it seemed that time stood still. The sheer monotony of my daily existence was overwhelming back then. Mostly because there were two of them and just one of me.

It’s not that I am not exhausted this time around. I think I’m more exhausted – partly due to age, partly due to working without a lot of help, and partly due to not taking care of myself the way I should.

But that fatigue hasn’t stopped my sheer enjoyment of daily life with her.

She’s changing so fast right now.

As I write this she’s sitting on the tile floor near me throwing a ball and then crawling over to catch it. Every few minutes I hear squeals of laughter. Baby play is just so fun to watch. I’d give anything to know what was going on in that little brain.

We’ve just started working on Signing Time with her as we did with the boys. A week ago she shook her head no at any question you asked her. It was really cute but also frustrating for us both when what she really meant was yes. Somehow in the last week she’s grasp onto the concept and while she still doesn’t say yes, at least she’s stopped shaking her heat no when she wants something.

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the road but I’ve got an amazing recipe from Becky at Becky’s Best Bites for you to enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Toss

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 581g

Calories per serving: 435

Fat per serving: 10.7g

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Toss

Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breasts (or boneless skinless chicken breasts) - see note
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (or fresh tomatoes, chopped)
  • ¼ cup zesty italian dressing (See note)
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. fresh spicy oregano
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese -see note
  • Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Chicken Spray the bowl of a slow cooker with misted olive oil (or non-stick cooking spray) or place of slow cooker liner inside of it.
  2. Add onion, garlic to the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Add chicken, tomato paste, tomatoes, zesty italian dressing, chicken broth, spicy oregano and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Quinoa Prepare the quinoa by combining the water and quinoa in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  6. Toss the cooked quinoa and parmesan cheese with the cooked chicken mixture.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 435, Fat 10.7g, Carbohydrates 45.3g, Protein 41.9g, Cholesterol 81mg, Sodium 1003mg, Potassium 435mg, Fiber 7.4g, Sugars 11.8g **Wendy's Notes* For a vegan alternative, use diced tempeh and vegan parmesan. For those who prefer to make dressing rather than buy it, I use this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/zesty-italian-dressing-spice-mix-413362

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I love to cook and have a knack for making recipes healthier without sacrificing the most important part, THE TASTE! I am also a health & fitness coach. I would love to help you reach your health & fitness goals! Learn more at: http://beckysbestbites.com/

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Or, you can always email me at becky (@) beckysbestbites.com

Gluten Free Quinoa Bread

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One of the hardest things about being gluten free is getting used to the bread. Although I’m happy with Udi’s Gluten Free Bread (and am a Brand Ambassador for them), even now and then I crave a fresh, homemade loaf. I love the way bread is fresh from the oven.

What I don’t love is that making gluten free bread can be a little tricky.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorites from The Gluten Free Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook.  I’ve made it countless times and it has never failed me.

One thing I have learned is that this recipe works best in a slightly larger bread pan.  I have used my glass pans but I’ve found the loaf comes out better when I cook it in my earthware pans, which are a little deeper.

Gluten Free Quinoa Bread

Rating: 51

Yield: 18 slices

Calories per serving: 127

Gluten Free Quinoa Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups warm water, 105 to 110 degrees
  • 2 ½ tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups toasted quinoa flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder OR rice milk powder
  • 3 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten OR flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut, canola or olive oil
  • Sesame seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  2. If using flax eggs in place of eggs, combine 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons warm water. Mix well and set aside. (Skip this step if using eggs.)
  3. In a small bowl combine warm water and honey or maple syrup. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir gently. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until it begins to foam.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, milk powder, xanthan gum and sea salt. In a separate bowl combine yeast mixture, beaten eggs and oil. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed.
  5. Transfer to the prepared pan and use a spoon dipped in cold water to smooth the top. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  6. Place a small pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 cup of water to the pan in the bottom of your oven and then place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out into a wire cooling rack. Best stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Servings 18, Calories 127, Carbohydrates 23g, Protein 2.2g, Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 196mg, Fiber .9g, Sugars 3.3g

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Easy Quinoa Fried Rice

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quinoa-fried-rice-7The thing I like most about being in Florida is that it starts to feel like spring so early in the year.  While much of the rest of the country is still dealing with snow, we are contemplating beach trips and worrying about if we go will the baby get sunburned.

(Before you let that make me hate me, let me remind you that if we are still here in August I will be dealing with 100+ degree days with so much humidity that when it rains in the afternoon (and it will) there will be steam coming of the road.)

The warmer temperatures never fail to make me excited.   I find myself wanting to be outside near constantly.  This is a challenge, especially since I finally took the plunge and started my new website.

I also find myself ready to lighten up my diet and simplify my cooking.    Recipes like this Easy Quinoa Fried Rice from Phoebe at  Feed Me Phoebe  are perfect for this time of year.

quinoa-fried-rice-2Still cozy enough to be considered comfort food for the occasional cooler night.

Yet veggie packed and perfect for getting you in the mood for spring.

Really, this is the kind of dish that works regardless of the weather.

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Thanks Phoebe for sharing a great recipe with us!

Quinoa Fried Rice

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 305

Fat per serving: 14g

Quinoa Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 medium carrots (preferably assorted colors), diced
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

  1. In a medium lidded saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is al dente. Uncover and remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet. Saute the carrots, shallot, and white scallions over high heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Season with salt. Add the garlic, ginger, and green scallions and stir fry until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Fold in the quinoa and stir fry until well-coated in the vegetable mixture and beginning to toast, 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha.
  3. Push the quinoa to the side of the pan to create a well. Pour the eggs into the well and cook, stirring gently, until nearly set. Toss the fried rice with the eggs. Transfer the quinoa to bowls and serve right away.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 305, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 36.3g, Protein 10.2g, Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 538mg, Potassium 557mg, Fiber 5.1g, Sugars 3.6g, WW Pts 8

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Phoebe Lapine is a 28 –year-old cookbook author, private chef, culinary instructor, blogger and caterer, born and raised in New York City, where she continues to live and eat. She documents her healthy comfort food, gluten-free finds, and snap shots of her professional cooking world on her award winning blog, Feed Me Phoebe.

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Beet Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Love Beets for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don’t you just love beets? If you can believe it, I never tasted them until I was grown but it was love at first bite.

The thing is, as much as I love them I don’t use them all that often. I am a train wreck when it comes to making messes in the kitchen as it is, but give me a beet to scrub and there are stains everywhere. Since with three kids I have enough messes to clean up after, I tend to stay away from them.

That’s why when Love Beets asked me if I wanted to try their all natural, freshly cooked and flavor-infused beets I jumped at the opportunity. Beets minus the mess is a real win for me!

 

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These beets are gluten free, certified Kosher and contain no artificial colors or preservatives. Some of them are certified organic and they are working toward non-GMO certification on all of the products. (YAY!)

They sent me several varieties to try and I’ve got to say – I loved them all. I think my favorite were the Baby Beets Infused with While Wine and Balsamic Vinegar and the Baby Beets Dipped in Sweetfire Marinade.

In addition to the great flavor, I love the health benefits of beets. Some of you already know that I was diagnosed with Stage 3 hypertension in my early 30’s and turned to healthy eating as a way to cure it. (It worked!)

Beets contain both nitrate and Potassium which work in the body to lower blood pressure. Along with sodium, Potassium works to steady the volume of blood in circulation. When you have more sodium in your body, it means more blood volume, more water and higher blood pressure. Potassium helps to flush the sodium out of your system and in doing so lowers your blood pressure.

The natural nitrates in beets are converted by the body into nitrites. Some of these are converted into nitric oxide which improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure and promotes vasodilatation (the widening of blood vessels).

By widening blood vessels and increasing the blood flow, beets help to reduce the oxygen need by muscles. This enables them to work more efficiently. So, if you are interested in increasing exercise performance or stamina and allow your muscles to perform the same amount of work with less oxygen, beets are a great addition to your diet.

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In honor of February being Heart Health Month, Love Beets’ Beet the Odds Facebook promotion is a sweepstakes to raise awareness of the heart health benefits of beets.

They will be posting 4 Love Beets beet recipes and ask fans to share their favorite in order to receive a free product coupon and be entered in a sweeps for a chance to win a grand prize. Even better, every time you share the giveaway with a friend you get an additional entry.

The grand prize includes a years supply of Love Beets (26 free product vouchers) and a free nutrition/healthy living consultation with nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

So head over their Beet the Odds page and vote for your favorite recipe! You will get a product coupon and who knows? You may be the lucky grand prize winner.

When you are done with that come back and make this salad – it is my latest obsession.

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Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Beets & Walnuts

Rating: 51

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 8 oz Love’s Vinegar Infused beets, grated or sliced thin
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or nut cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine quinoa, beets, apple, goat cheese, cranberries and parsley.
  2. Make dressing by combining vinegar, mustard, maples syrup, sea salt and pepper in a blender. Add olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Toss quinoa mixture with desired amount of dressing. Top with walnuts and serve.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 355 (assuming you use all the dressing), Fat 22g, Carbohydrates 31.9g, Protein 9.7g, Sodium 393mg, Potassium 289mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 11.4g, WW Pts 10

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Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Stuffed Jalapenos

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It is time to plan your last football party of the season!

I’ve mentioned before that while I adore College Football, Pro Football just isn’t my thing.  That doesn’t keep me from enjoying the Superbowl festivities though, because for me it’s all about the food and the company.  (Oh, and the commercials.  You gotta admit, they are pretty entertaining.)

Since it will be August before I’ll again have an excuse to break out the football food, I like to plan ahead.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be bringing you some great healthy Superbowl options – the kind of things that you don’t really need an excuse to eat.  (How many new things will be largely dependent on the teething situation around our house.)

Today, I’m excited to have Stephanie here today from Life Tastes Like Food here with us today to share an amazing recipe that is sure to get you in the mood for a little football.  This dish is simply perfect!

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Stuffed Jalapenos

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Stuffed Jalapenos

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapenos (12 halves)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the jalapenos in half and take out the seeds (use gloves or wash your hands with soap directly afterwards).
  3. In a bowl, mix together the quinoa, black beans, and corn.
  4. Scoop the quinoa mixture generously into each jalapeno half. I found that using a spoon to shape a mound works best.
  5. Place the poppers on a baking sheet (with a few inches between each of them) and then bake for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, sprinkle cheese on top of each popper and then place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Allow poppers to cool for 5 minutes and then serve immediately.
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This recipe was featured in Gluten Free Recipe Round Up.

Toasted Quinoa with Mushrooms and Asian Flavors

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Vegan-Quinoa-with-Mushrooms

If you’ve emailed me or left me a message on Facebook in the past week, you probably already know I’m running a little behind right now. My poor sweet girl is teething again.

And we aren’t just talking about normal teething.  Oh, no, when my girl does it she does it right.  She has FOUR teething that are at various stages of popping through.

Yes.  Four. ( I didn’t even know that was possible.)

The first poked through on Christmas day and is still not yet a quarter of the way in, so to say that it is going slow is an understatement.  She’s pretty miserable and many days find us both in tears.  Her, because she’s in pain, exhausted and perpetually hungry because she doesn’t want anything in her mouth.  Me, because I feel helpless and am mentally and physically exhausted.  Nothing quite like a screaming baby to jangle your nerves.

I know it could be a lot worse.  We could have a real problem.  (You know – the kind that is going to matter a year from now.)

I have some exciting recipes planned, but things just haven’t worked out so that I could be in the kitchen.  Lucky for you guys Vicky from Avocado Pesto came to the rescue and was willing to share one of her quinoa recipes with us.  Doesn’t this look just amazing?

Make sure you check out her website and if you are inspired by travel, her travel blog.  (She’s also doing the location independence thing, but in a much more adventurous way than we are.  Well, unless you count three kids as adventure.)

Toasted Quinoa with Mushrooms and Asian Flavors

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 Servings

Calories per serving: 328

Fat per serving: 17.3g

Toasted Quinoa with Mushrooms and Asian Flavors

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3.5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 ounces sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free tamari

Instructions

  1. Heat a pot over medium heat and add ½ tablespoon of sesame oil. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and quinoa and stir to combine, then cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is lightly toasted.
  2. Add in broth, increase heat to high, bringing to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minute or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
  3. In a separate pan heat ½ tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add shiitakes. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally then remove.
  4. To the pan add another ½ tablespoon olive oil and add oyster mushrooms, cook for a few minutes. Remove.
  5. To the pan add another ½ tablespoon olive oil and add baby bella mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 clove minced garlic and continue to cook with the mushrooms 1 minute. Add all the other mushrooms to the pan to combine.
  6. Whisk dressing in separate bowl.
  7. Combine mushrooms, quinoa, dressing, and green onions. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 328, Fat 17.3g, Carbohydrates 24.1g, Protein 20g, Cholesterol 36mg, sodium 192mg, Fiber 3.8g, Sugars 1.7g, WW Pts 8

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About Vicky

Long time foodie and travel enthusiast, I started my AvocadoPesto blog to share my curious culinary efforts and kitchen endeavors. Here you’ll find a smorgasbord of ethnic cuisines and hopefully a few travel tales from my ongoing 2 year backpacking trip through Asia and Europe.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Quinoa Crumbs

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Though it is still fairly warm where I am, I have been craving comfort food lately. Creamy casseroles, potatoes, lots of pasta and generally everything I don’t need to be eating after spending the year trying to lose weight. I know it’s just a phase, but I’ve been very, very bad the last few weeks.  (There may have also been some chocolate involved but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count since it was on the weekend.)

Since the week before Christmas isn’t the time to make any sweeping dietary changes, I decided that I am just going to make an effort to eat more vegetables. You know, WITH my cheesy comfort food.

These little guys were really fun and the family enjoyed the new twist on quinoa.

Ok, I just lied.  I enjoyed it.  The hubs enjoyed it.  The kids though the “baby cabbages” (as I tried to sell them) were stinky.  Next time I’ll try a little maple syrup to see if I can sweeten them up and try to convince them again.

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Ok, I am off to go pick up my new Pizzelle maker from the UPS store.    Alex wants this cake for his birthday but I can’t find the Pizzelle cookies here so I am making them.  The things we do for our kids! :)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Quinoa Crumbs

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 194

Fat per serving: 13.1g

Inspired by Fine Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted lightly and crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or Earth Balance
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together oil, mustard, worcestershire, caraway seed, salt and pepper. Add brussels sprouts and toss to cover. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until barely tender about 22 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping by lining a plate with paper towels. Place quinoa and quinoa flakes in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Heat oil and butter over medium high in a medium skillet until butter has stopped foaming. Add the quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium and add walnuts. Salt and pepper to taste and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to paper towels.
  4. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbs over sprouts just before serving.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 194, Fat 13.1g, Carbohydrates 16.3g, Protein 5.7g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 228mg, Fiber 4.3g, Sugars 2.4g

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Quinoa Fried ‘Rice’

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Hey quinoa lovers! Thanks for having me here today! I’m Becca and I share my favourite simple vegetarian recipes over at Amuse Your Bouche. I’m guessing that since you’re here on Cooking Quinoa, you’re all pretty big quinoa fans, so I hope you don’t judge me when I admit that I’ve actually only ever cooked with it about three times. It’s a little bit expensive here in the UK, so I’ve always talked myself out of buying it – until a couple of months ago, when I bit the bullet and picked up a bag.

And I’m so glad I did! I’ve used it a few times now, and I love how quick and easy it is to cook, and how versatile it is! Since I’m still getting to grips with how to use quinoa, I thought I’d share a simple recipe with you today. It’s a quinoa-ified version of a rice dish that I’ve cooked many times – egg fried rice! There’s no doubt in my mind that I preferred this version to my usual rice version, and this one will definitely become the norm for me – quinoa has a softer texture and it’s so good at soaking up any flavours you add (an obscene amount of soy sauce, in my case). The leftovers were great reheated the next day as well.

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The thing I love about this recipe (well, one of the things I love about it) is that you can change it up however you like. I had some leftover corn in the fridge, so I added it in – you can basically use this recipe to clear out whatever veg need eating up from your fridge. Or, if you don’t have any fresh veg to use, it’s great with frozen vegetables too – I used a mixture of corn, green beans, peas and baby carrots, which worked perfectly. The recipe lists the vegetables I used, but feel free to mix it up a bit.

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If you’re vegan, you can skip the egg in this recipe – but if you’re not vegan, I highly recommend leaving it in, because it adds a great extra texture as well as another hit of protein. Meat-eaters could serve this as a side dish alongside some chicken, or mix the meat right in. However you decide to serve it, do it soon! It’s too tasty to leave it waiting too long!

 

Quinoa Fried ‘Rice’

Rating: 51

Quinoa Fried ‘Rice’

Ingredients

  • 120g quinoa (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 150g mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 6 oz)
  • 100g frozen vegetables (I used a mixture of corn, peas, green beans and baby carrots) (about 4oz)
  • 100g canned sweetcorn kernels (drained) (about 4 oz)
  • 3 eggs
  • Black pepper
  • 3-4tbsp dark soy sauce (plus more to serve) (**see note)

Instructions

  1. Boil the quinoa in plenty of water, and drain it once it's soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and add all the vegetables (onion through corn). Cook over a fairly low heat, stirring every couple of minutes, for 5-10 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft (including the frozen ones!).
  3. To cook the egg, push all the vegetables to the side of your wok (or even transfer them to a separate bowl for a couple of minutes) - this helps the egg to cook without getting lost through the veg. Crack the eggs into the empty part of the pan. Cook over a fairly low heat for a few minutes, scrambling them with your wooden spoon, until cooked. The vegetables can then be mixed back in.
  4. When the quinoa is cooked and drained, add it to the pan, and mix well. Add black pepper and soy sauce to taste. I like quite a lot of soy sauce, but add a little to begin with - you can always add more as you're eating. Serve immediately.

Notes

Wendy's Note: if you are gluten free use gluten free tamari

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Visit Becca over at Amuse Your Bouche for more simple vegetarian recipes. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Garlic Croutons

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When I first started eating gluten free, I felt deprived. There were so many things on my “I can’t have that list”, that it was hard not to get a little down as I watched everyone else in the family enjoy a great sandwich or “Mom’s world famous” Mac n Cheese.

Now that I’ve been at this a while, I have realized that there are very few things I can’t make gluten free. I make pancakes a couple times a week for the boys, cookies and from time to time even whip up a loaf of bread.

I’ve had an idea for a kale salad I wanted to do in my head for a while. I just couldn’t get past the idea that I wanted some crunchy croutons for texture. Maybe you can buy gluten free croutons, but I’ve never seen them. Easy solution: Make them!

This is a no fuss process that involves little more than cutting up your bread and tossing it with oil, garlic and seasonings. The result is crunchy goodness that won’t leave you feeling like you are missing out on things.

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Garlic Croutons

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Garlic Croutons

Ingredients

  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Croutons
  • 2 gluten free baguettes (about 8 ounces - I used Udi’s)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Salad
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a blender, food processor or jar combine all dressing ingredients until well blended.
  3. Cut baguettes into cubes. Place in a large bowl and toss with garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook until crispy but not burnt, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, wash kale and cut stems from leaves. Finely chop leaves and place in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing and massage leaves. (Use gloves if you don’t want the garlic on your hands.) Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Add quinoa, Parmesan, apple, pumpkin seeds and cherries to kale. Add desired amount of dressing and toss.
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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean-Quinoa-Salad-1

Mediterranean-Quinoa-Salad-1
This is the time of year that I feel like things go into overdrive.

First my birthday (not such a big deal), then Thanksgiving, then Alex’s birthday, then Christmas, then New Year’s, then Christian’s birthday. This year we have Skye’s birthday to add to the mix a little over a month after Christian’s birthday.

Whew! Though I get tired just thinking about it, I love every minute of it. Kid’s are so much work, but so much fun! Nothing is better than their crazy excitement, even if on occasion the volume reaches levels that can make me reach for a glass of wine. :)

This year, I’m really trying to plan ahead, and also making an effort to keep things simple. Whether I will accomplish this or not is another story, but one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is how we all tend to get so caught up in the doing of the season that we forget to actually enjoy it.

I’m so excited to share this amazing quinoa salad from Lisa and Anna from Garnish With Lemon. It’s the perfect simply delicious dish that us busy moms need!



Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 238

Fat per serving: 14g

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed in quinoa. Fluff with a fork and cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oil and vinegar and let quinoa come to room temperature. Add onion, tomatoes, pepper, olives, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Stir gently.
  3. Add feta cheese and gently combine. Chill for 2 hours to let flavors combine. Squeeze lemon juice over salad right before serving to brighten flavors.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 238, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 22.5g, Protein 6.4g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 633mg, Fiber 3.5g, Sugars 2.9g, WW Pts 6

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Artichoke, Arugula & Quinoa Salad

ArtichokeArugulaQuinoaSalad

ArtichokeArugulaQuinoaSalad
Happy Halloween week! I am happy to announce that (for once) the kids already have their costumes and we even know what we are doing. Yes, you can all give me my mother of the year award now.

For most of you moms, having costumes more than a week in advance probably isn’t that big of a deal. But for some reason I always seem to slack on Halloween.

The boys do love everything about it, and never even make a fuss when I restrict their candy intake. (Or when I trade out their high fructose corn syrup candy for organic.) They get such a kick out of just getting dressed up and talking to people.

This year it will be super fun because my princess will be wearing her first tutu. I know I’m predictable, but what can I say? I never though I would have a little girl and now that I do, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity. Pictures will be forthcoming.

To make up for the added junk I’m sure they will be having this week, I’m trying to make sure we all eat extra healthy now. Healthy salads like this one are on the menu!

What are your plans for Halloween? How do you keep your kids as healthy as possible?



Artichoke, Arugula & Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 259

Fat per serving: 11.2g

Artichoke, Arugula & Quinoa Salad

This classic combination is made healthier with the addition of quinoa.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups fresh arugula, chopped
  • 14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine quinoa, arugula, artichoke hearts, cherries, green onions and walnuts. Toss with vinaigrette and serve.

Notes

Not including dressing: Servings 4, Calories 259, Fat 11.2g, Carbohydrates 33.1g, Protein 11.6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 103mg, Fiber 9.8g, Sugars 2.6g

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Blueberry, Pecan & Goat Cheese Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

blueberry-pecan-goat-cheese-quinoa-stuffed-portobello-mushroom-caps2

blueberry-pecan-goat-cheese-quinoa-stuffed-portobello-mushroom-caps2
Do you ever have those weeks were you just feel like a klutz?

This week was one of those for me.

Inside of two days I gave myself the worst burn I’ve ever had in the kitchen (on the palm of my hand in the super-tender spot between my thumb and index finger), broke a plate, bruised my rib and acquired a host of other bruises of unknown origin. I also accidentally made my white towels blue by washing them with a beach towel that one of the boys had put in an empty washing machine and knocked over a glass of Miner Chardonnay. (Those of you who have had Miner before know that this is very much a bad thing.)

So if you guys need me, I’ll be the one inside the padded room for the next week or two until I’m sure my energy has shifted. :)

In the mean time, I’ve got a great recipe for you from Carrie of Carries Experimental Kitchen. Hope you enjoy.



Blueberry, Pecan & Goat Cheese Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cap

 Blueberry, Pecan & Goat Cheese Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

Ingredients

  • 4 Portobello Mushroom Caps
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1/2 c. Quinoa
  • 1/4 c. Pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Mariani Wild Blueberries
  • 2 oz. Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Add the water to a pot and bring to a boil; then stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Drain the quinoa and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Next, add the quinoa to a bowl and mix in the pecans, blueberries, cheese and parsley. Mix well.
  4. Top each mushroom cap with the quinoa mixture, place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
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Sage Maple Chickpeas with Creamy Pumpkin Quinoa & Millet

sagemillet2

sagemillet2
I am so excited to have Katie here with us today to share an amazing Pumpkin Quinoa recipe with us just in time for fall!

~

Hello, Cooking Quinoa readers! Delighted to meet you!

 

I’m Katie, the host of a vegan health food blog called, Produce On Parade. I was born and raised in Alaska, a mammographer by day, I currently live in Wasilla, Alaska with my husband and our furry dog-child. We went vegan about half a year ago. Eeek! Scary, I know. But it doesn’t have to be, and that is the premise of our blog. That and our Alaskan adventures of course. Please, we’d love for you to head on over to produceonparade.com and join us!

me-(2)

So what’s Fall without pumpkin? I don’t know the answer, but I do know it’s that special time of year when the food blogosphere erupts with all things pumpkin. It’s a Pumpkin Palooza! You can bet I won’t be missing out on that. No Sir!
roastedchickpeas

Around Fall, caramel makes more of an appearance as well. It’s a shame it doesn’t have a bigger presence year round. I love caramel. Who’s going around not liking caramel? No one. That’s why everyone is going to love this dish. Crispy roasted sage + sweet maple syrup + creamy pumpkin = the most wonderful and fragrant taste of toasted caramel. Yes, it’s true. That’s exactly what this dessert dinner tasted like. Caramel. This quinoa dish goes down as one of the best I’ve ever had. You’ll love that there’s no pasta too! Just seeds. Yep, quinoa and millet are both seeds! Much more nutritious than pasta.

 

Sage Maple Chickpeas with Creamy Pumpkin Quinoa & Millet is your go to dinner to kick off that pre-Winter, snuggly hug from nature…better known as Fall. This dish is great alone, or pair it with a green, leafy salad. Who needs meat and dairy when you can have this instead?

sagemillet4

So make this pumpkin quinoa, start up a crackling fire, and gather around good company because it’s that time of year. Afterward, curl up with a steamy cup of Chai tea and a good book for the perfect Fall evening.



Sage Maple Chickpeas with Creamy Pumpkin Quinoa & Millet

Yield: 4 serving

Calories per serving: 423

Fat per serving: 9.3g

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dry millet
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. full-fat coconut milk (or soymilk)
  • 1 tsp. lite salt (or additional salt), to taste
  • pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the chickpeas, oil, herbs, salt and maple syrup.
  3. When the oven reaches temperature, scatter across a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 F, stirring at 10 minutes.
  4. Remove when 20 minutes is up and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, bring the millet and 1/2 cup water to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Now add in the pumpkin and continue to cook on low for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. The millet will still be slightly crunchy.
  6. While the millet cooks, in another small saucepan bring the quinoa and 1 cup of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, the water should all be gone. Fluff with a fork at set aside. The quinoa should be soft and fluffy.
  7. Add the cooked quinoa, maple syrup, coconut milk and additional salt to the millet and pumpkin mixture and stir well to combine.
  8. Serve warm with the roasted chickpeas (make sure to get all the crispy sage leaves too!) over the millet, quinoa, and pumpkin mixture. Garnish with additional fresh herbs and pepitas.
  9. Now go celebrate Fall in all it's spiced, chilly splendor!

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 423, Fat 9.3g, Carbohydrates 75.4g, Protein 12.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 913mg, Fiber 12.3g, Sugars 12.7g, WW Pts 11

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Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

summer-veggie-quinoa-bowl-2

Some summers seem to drag on forever and some seem to be gone in a blink. Right now, the days can seem long (if you are a mom, you understand…), but on the whole it feels like time is passing so quickly.

This summer has been such a special one for me, filled with firsts. First smiles, first laughs, first “conversations”, first kisses! We’ve also been on the go a lot, traveling to Texas, Colorado and Arizona. Though my intention was to slow down, in some ways it feels that I’ve been so busy that time is just flying.

There are lots of things about summer I love, but one of my favorite things is all the amazing produce. I have really been making an effort to appreciate summer’s bounty before it is gone. Nothing quite like fresh homegrown basil and perfect tomatoes fresh from the vine. Oh, how I will mourn the loss of those tomatoes this winter.

This little quinoa bowl is a perfect way to appreciate summer’s finest.

summer-veggie-quinoa-bowl

Easily adaptable this has become my favorite way to enjoy whatever fresh produce I have on hand!

Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 16 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 275

Fat per serving: 10.6g

Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup fresh basil, torn
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper’
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped summer squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine quinoa, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
  2. Spray a skillet well with olive oil and heat to medium high. Add zucchini and summer squash and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to the quinoa mixture along with the olive oil and toss well. Top with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 275, Fat 10.6g, Carbohydrates 35.4g, Protein 12g, Cholesterol 3mg, Sodium 370mg, Fiber 8.2g, Sugars 4.9g

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

quinoa-stuffed-peppers

quinoa-stuffed-peppers

Like I was talking about last time, I am all about easy meals these days. Sure, I’d love to be able linger in the kitchen, but right now I’m lucky to be getting dinner made at all.  (Thanks to the nap boycott-er.  Good thing she’s cute. :))

In addition to casseroles, I’m loving any dish I can put together ahead of time.   These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, which are brought to us by Chung-Ah Ree from Damn Delicious, are a perfect example.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 pepper

Calories per serving: 205

Fat per serving: 3.8g

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling each each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 205, Fat 3.8g, Carbohydrates 35g, Protein 8.4g, Cholesterol 6mg, Sodium 179mg, Fiber 6.7g, Sugars 7.5g

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Chung-Ah Rhee
Damn Delicious
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Quinoa & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes

quinoa-ricotta-stuffed-tomatoes

quinoa-ricotta-stuffed-tomatoesYou guys will not believe what I’ve done.

About three weeks ago, my knee started hurting badly. It was bad enough to make me whine to the hubs but not so bad that I though anything serious was wrong.  I don’t take OTC medications (especially when nursing) as I am a big believer in natural remedies.  So I took a Epsom and  Magnesium Flake bath and assumed it would be better in the morning.

It wasn’t, and it continued to get worse daily for the next week, until the point I was forced to spend the weekend on the couch watching golf with the hubby.  I could barely walk and carrying Skye around was out of the question.  Getting out of bed or off the couch brought tears to my eyes.

I was not a happy camper.

It started to get better slowly but surely and I was elated.  I ordered a Fitbit Activity Tracker and 10-Minute Trainer because I’ve got way more baby weight to get off than I’d like.  (Pregnancy + over 40 = Not Pretty!)  I started cooking for the family and thinking about work again.

I have a new (mostly) food site I had planned to launch around the time I found out I was pregnant with Skye and it is a project I really want to do for myself.  (There is so much more to cooking than just quinoa! Shocking, I know…)

Between working on my 3rd cookbook, working on my next ebook (Casseroles & Freezer Meals!), this website, homeschooling and a new baby I was at a loss as to how to get everything done, much less add on another project.  Since I prefer to do all the child care myself as I refuse to miss the precious baby moments, we decided that  we would get someone to come help out around the house a few days a week so that when Skye naps I could be productive instead of doing housework.  Since I am not a great housekeeper this is a solution that I am quite enthusiastic about.

I was so excited that I spent the first day in the kitchen testing numerous recipes and getting a couple more prepped.  At first, I was feeling like wonder woman.

Somehow in the process, I blew my knee out again.  Only this time it is worse than before.  I just had the joy of having a conversation that went something like “You can rest now or you can rest after surgery, but either way you are going to have to get off your feet and let your knee heal.”  And by off my feet we are talking hubby is having to do everything and I’m stuck either rolling around in my computer chair, in bed or on the couch.

I am so not good at being still.  I share this not so you will feel sorry for me.  Oh, no.  It is most definitely the family you should feel sorry for.

Luckily, I have a whole days worth of cooking to get us through the next few days.  Starting with these tomatoes.

quinoa-ricotta-stuffed-tomatoes-2

These quinoa stuffed tomatoes are a yummy appetizer or side dish, and I can attest to the fact that they heat up quite well as leftovers. If you want to make them vegan, just use cashew (or tofu) ricotta and a vegan Parmesan substitute. You can make either or buy them if you are short on time. (You can get Vegan Parmesan Cheese at Amazon if you can’t find it locally.

I’m off to ice my knee and read cooking magazines!

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1 tomato

Calories per serving: 121

Fat per serving: 4

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 8 – 10 medium to large tomatoes
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese or cashew ricotta
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup red onion chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice the tops off your tomatoes and scoop the pulp out of the centers. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes well with salt and turn cut side down on a paper towel.
  2. Remove the seeds and chop remaining pulp. Combine pulp with ricotta, cooked quinoa, corn, carrots, red onion, chives, garlic, hot sauce and salt.
  3. Place tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Lower heat to 350 degrees.
  4. Divide filling between tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 121, Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 15.5g, Protein 7.4g, Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 248mg, Fiber 2.7g, Sugars 4.3g, WW Pts 2

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Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

italian-zucchini-quinoa-casserole

italian-zucchini-quinoa-casserole

 

I feel like we haven’t talked in forever!

I’ve been a little busy.

You know, hanging out with her:

skye-7-wks

 

Pretty cute, huh? (If I do say so myself)  I had planned to get back to blogging on at least a semi-regular basis last week, but we’ve been having a bit of a rough time.

It seems that my little princess is gluten sensitive.   For the first six weeks of her life, Skye was an amazingly happy baby.  Of course she fussed.  As I’ve tried to explain to the boys  – who both think that the world is coming to the end any time she makes an unhappy sound – all babies fuss.   But Skye never cried without there being some reason that was relatively easy to figure out.

A little over a week ago all that changed.  She cried.  For hours.  And went from sleeping one 4-5 hour stretch to not sleeping more than two hours at a time. And not napping more than 15 minutes at a time.

It was miserable and I was completely baffled as to what might be going on.  More than anything I just wanted my happy girl back.

Of course I considered my diet.  I cut out garlic and cabbage and tried to figure out what else it could possibly be.  Too many vegetables?  Too many beans?  I was driving myself crazy.

Sunday morning it was so bad that I send hubby to the farmer’s market without me.  The week before we’d had an amazing family day out and I was really wanting him to get some more of the simply amazing gluten free sandwich buns we’d gotten.

Before he left I casually mentioned that he really should verify that the bread was gluten free because it was just so darn delicious.  I was joking.  Of course it was gluten free, I’d purchased it from a vendor while standing underneath their very large gluten free bread sign.

As it turns out it wasn’t .  Apparently, I’d picked up the only bread that they sold that wasn’t gluten free.   And I’d eaten it just about every day for a week.  (I wasn’t feeling good either and my skin was a wreck but I attributed that to 7 weeks of no sleep and exhaustion.)

When he came home and told me, it occurred to me that I had my answer as to what had been going on, but honestly I was doubtful.  Neither of the boys have ever shown signs to gluten sensitivity, though Alex did have colic for about 5 months which was strikingly similar to what I’d been experiencing in the last week.

Still, I vowed to be very vigilant of every bite that went into my mouth going forward and crossed my fingers that it would at least help a little.

Miraculously, my happy girl slowly reappeared about 36 hours after her last exposure to gluten.  And she’s been happy for the last 5 days straight!  We had an amazing weekend, though I’m pretty sure I annoyed Vincent by saying “I’m just so happy that was the issue”  at least once an hour.

Looking back, I have to wonder if Alex suffered from a food sensitivity too.  Obviously beating myself up over that isn’t productive, so let’s talk food!

Today’s Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole is a super easy weeknight meal.  It’s an easy one to play around with too, so feel free to add meat, tofu or tempeh or substitute other vegetables.  (Sauteed spinach would be good too!)

 

italian-zucchini-quinoa-casserole-2 

Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 56 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 307

Fat per serving: 11.8g

Italian Zucchini Quinoa Casserole (& My Gluten Sensitive Baby)

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 3 zucchini, sliced and cut into half moons
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or ¾ teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Daiya Shreds
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Vegan Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a skillet well with olive oil and heat to medium. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove zucchini from skillet. Res-pray skillet and add onion. Cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic and quinoa and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring often. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9 baking pan. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 307, Fat 11.8g, Carbohydrates 35g, Protein 18.7g, Cholesterol 32mg, Sodium 802mg, Fiber 6.9g, Sugars 9.2g

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Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa with Lemon Tahini Sauce

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roasted-cauliflower-quinoa-3

When I was growing up, cauliflower was merely a vehicle for lots of ranch dressing.  I never really wanted to eat it but  you had to have something to dip into your ranch.

I’ll never forget my first encounter with roasted cauliflower.

I was in my early 30′s, engaged and we had been invited over to a client of hubby’s for dinner.

Since I’m shy,  I was a nervous wreck.  To make matters worse, the wife of the client was a high level executive for a major corporation while I was on a break from my corporate career trying to figure out what it was that made my heart sing.  (Read:  I was unmarried and unemployed by choice which was hardly impressive to someone as accomplished as she was.)

I spent most of the evening in awe, pretty sure I was dining with super woman.

She was warm and friendly and not the least bit pretentious.  The kind of person you just can’t not love.   Their house wasn’t just amazing, it had been made amazing by all of her DIY projects. You know, little things, like refinishing the kitchen cabinets.  Did I mention that she’d just had the most adorable baby…at 41?   (Which at the time seemed positively ancient to be having a baby but yet she had done it.  The renegade.   Yeah, that last one makes me laugh more than a little right about now.)

And then there was the dinner, which was not only delicious but she seemed to put it together effortlessly after a full days work and while making sure her 2 month old was taken care of.

Looking back, I know it seemed so effortless because she stuck with dishes that are simple but reliably tasty, like roasted cauliflower.   At the time though, I didn’t know just how easy it was to transform something that was known to me as only a ranch dipper into something pretty darn spectacular.  Good thing I’m a quick study.

I’m not really sure why it took me this long to put quinoa and roasted cauliflower together, but I will tell you that it was so worth the wait.

roasted-cauliflower-quinoa

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 202

Fat per serving: 10.5g

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack in the top position and preheat oven to 425.
  2. Toss cauliflower with 2 teaspoons of oil and season with salt. Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil over medium heat and add garlic. Cook for one minute. Add tahini, lemon juice, water and salt. Cook over low heat for two minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Toss cauliflower with quinoa in a large bowl. Divide among serving plates. Spoon sauce over the cauliflower mixture and sprinkle with parsley and sesame seeds.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 202, Fat 10.5g, Carbohydrates 22.3g, Protein 6.6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 126mg, Fiber 4g, Sugars 1.3g

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

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It goes without saying that the last (almost) six weeks have been chaotic for our family. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for the sleep deprivation and fatigue that comes along with the blessing of a new baby.

Even having done it twice before.

It’s kinda like child birth. The memory of how hard it was fades and all that is left is how beautiful it was.  I knew I was going to be tired, but I’d forgotten just how tired.

For the record, I’m not complaining. I know that someday in the future I will again be able to form a coherent sentence, and that the dark circles under my eyes will fade. I’ll stop putting the ice cream in the pantry and trash bags in the freezer. (True story.) When my youngest son asks me what 23 + 9 is, his question won’t always be met with a blank stare followed by his brother answering before I can even digest what it is that he is asking me.

It’s temporary and the flame is most definitely worth the candle.

I am still enjoying every single precious second. Even when those seconds happen to take place at 3 am. And 4 am. And 5 am.  (Baby girl did not get the good-sleep-at-an-early-age-gene.)

The boys have adapted well too, though one thing I hadn’t fully considered is how the demands of a baby were going to impact them. I think when Christian came along it wasn’t such a big deal because Alex was still a baby himself.  I vaguely remember Alex pouting with me for a couple of months.  (Now Christian pouts with Alex because Alex is obsessed with his sister and C wants his favorite playmate back!)

It’s not all bad and in fact in some ways I think its good for them. They are learning to take care of themselves in ways that they should have years ago. I’ve established a “snack cabinet” in the house filled with things they don’t have to ask if it is OK to eat so that they never have to wait for me to finish nursing to get them something.  (I’d done this before and for some idiotic unknown reason didn’t keep up with it.)  Their daily around the house “to do lists” have been re-instituted and (strangely) met with great enthusiasm.

Seeing the impact of a chronically exhausted mom & dad had on the boys has also led to some new decisions.

Our family is location independent and we had planned to spend the first few months in the Colorado mountains, but after a couple of weeks it was clear that it wasn’t the best decision for right now. Skye’s been battling a little congestion and the weather was crazy cold.  Who takes their newborn out in this?

from-the-deck

So, in a move that left me more than a little exhausted, we decided to ditch the cold weather and head to a warmer climate where Skye and I wouldn’t feel so housebound and the boys could enjoy letting off a little steam via the pool without having to wait for Mom and Dad to have the energy to actually take them somewhere.

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So far it’s working out great, though we had a bit of a scare after we got here. More on that later – I’ve rambled enough for one day and it is time to talk food.

Today’s offering is another casserole.  This one is so yummy and is so easy to put together that I managed to make it and get the kitchen clean all in a single cat-nap. Score!

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 254g

Calories per serving: 279

Fat per serving: 6.9g

Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup cottage cheese OR silken tofu
  • ¾ cup (vegan) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 6 ounces chopped baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounces water packed artichokes, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese or Daiya Harvarti

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with olive oil.
  2. In a blender, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Add artichokes and quinoa and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the cottage cheese/tofu mixture. Stir well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 279, Fat 6.9g, Carbohydrates 32.8g, Protein 20.3g, Cholesterol 74mg, Sodium 456mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 2.2g

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Broccoli Quinoa Salad

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broccoli-quinoa-saladThis time of year, I can’t get enough of salads.

It makes sense.  The weather is warmer and eating lighter is natural.  Produce gets a little cheaper and better looking.  And of course, there is the ever looming swimsuit season.  (Which this new mama isn’t going to think about this year.)

If you happen to share my love of salads, I challenge you to not let this love affair turn into a rut.

I am one of the worst at getting into food ruts.  As an example, I ate the exact same salad for breakfast every day for a couple of years.  I eat a variation of this wrap at least five times a week.  Two years ago, I ate a variation of this (from the amazing SpaBettie) every single day for over a month.

You get the idea.

The problem with food ruts – especially healthy ones – is that eventually you get bored and then you don’t want to look at your previous rut for ages.

To avoid that, this year I’m trying to mix things up a lot.  This salad, from my first book, is not your typical quinoa salad.  Packed with herbs and a creamy dressing, its enough to bust right through that rut of same-old-same-old and keep my taste buds guessing.

To see some amazing salads that don’t include quinoa (remember what I said about ruts?) check out my Sensational Salads Board.

 

Broccoli Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 344

Fat per serving: 9.6g

Broccoli Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

    Herb Mixture
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1 T fresh dill
  • 1 ½ tsp grated lemon rind
  • 2 T fresh mint leave
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salad
  • 6 cups broccoli, diced small
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 T capers
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Dressing
  • 3 T herb mixture
  • 1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese or vegan sour cream
  • ¼ cup low fat buttermilk or ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta or nut cheese

Instructions

  1. If using non-dairy milk, combine almond milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle.
  2. Combine ingredients for herb mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Set aside 3 T for the dressing and reserve the remainder.
  3. In a large bowl combine broccoli, grape tomatoes, quinoa, shallots, capers, artichoke hearts and reserved herb mixture.
  4. In the bowl of your food processor, place 3 T herb mixture, cottage cheese or sour cream, (butter)milk, lemon juice, vinegars, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Process until well combined. Stir in feta and toss with broccoli mixture.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes and serve.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 344, Fat 9.6g, Carbohydrates 50.7g, Protein 17.4g, Cholesterol 14mg, Sodium 473mg, Fiber 10.7g, Sugars 4.1g, WW Pts 9

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