Spanish Style Quinoa
I have heard so much about Quinoa over the past few years, yet never tried it. I think I was scared of it, not sure why, but I seem to do that sometimes. I know its silly! Oh well, we decided recently we wanted to give it a try, so at costco the other day I bought a bag of Organic GMO free Quinoa.
From what I have read about it, it seems like its a really great option to replace rice with, as the protein benefits from it are so substantial, so that is worth giving it a try right?
So, I searched and searched for a recipe, and ended up just using the ones I found as a reference and made up my own based on our likes. I must say it came out pretty yummy. The kids even liked it, so thats always a plus!
1 tsp Safflower Oil
1 Cup "uncooked" Organic Quinoa (rinsed)
2 Cups Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth (Vegetable, Chicken ,or Water)
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 cup Fresh diced tomatoes (about 1/2 a tomato)
1 Cup Organic Black Beans (Cooked Spanish Style - recipe below)
Approx 1 tsp fresh cilantro
Prep all of your ingredients, and then in a sauce pan that is preheated over medium heat add the safflower oil, and quinoa. While stiring cook for about 30 seconds, then add your broth and seasonings to the pan, cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce to simmer/low heat and cook for 10 mins. Next, remove the lid, and quickly add your black beans and cilantro. Then, replace the lid and cook for 2 more minutes. Now, remove your pan from the burner, being sure to keep it covered allow to cool for atleast 5 minutes. Now, fluff and serve.
Spanish Style Black Beans:
Combine one 15 ounce can of rinsed organic black beans, 1 cup broth or water, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp granulated garlic, and pinch of black pepper. Bring to a soft boil, uncovered for a about 8 minutes, then drain off excess liquid and serve .
Yummy to add into tacos, burritos, taco salads, rices, quinoa, over salads and more! :)
Simple French Bread
We really loved french bread, but as we began our journey into healthier eating it definitely was not on the list of things to eat often! Bread is a very useless carb., and with the bread in stores being full of unknown ingredients we just don't really eat it much anymore. Well, the kids have been asking for french bread, so I decided to make some.
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 Package Rapid Rise Yeast
1 TBSP Organic Unrefined Sugar
1 TBSP White Vinegar
Place all of these ingredients into the bowl of your electic mixer, and allow to sit for about 5 mins.
1/2 to 1 tsp Salt (we go for a low sodium diet, but 1 tsp is "normal" amount)
2 TBSP Safflower Oil
Approx. 4 Cups Unbleached ALL Purpose Flour (I used a little more, but it will all depend)
I used my dough attachment, and kneaded the bread for 3-4 minutes, then turn out onto a floured surface. Grease a cookie sheet with a small amount of safflower oil, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Then, roll your dough out into 2 "loaf" shape rolls, and place onto your cookie sheet. Now, slash the tops, and use an egg wash to brush over the top. Next, place in a warm area, and allow to rise for atleast 1 hour. Then, place into a preheated 375 degree oven, and bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool fully before you slice!
A few months back I began experimenting with making mexican refried beans.. While my first few attempts were edible, and even some what good they still were not exactly what I wanted. In the meantime I have been working hard on them, and this is the closest I have came so far, and we REALLY like time!! The receipe is pretty similar to the mexican pinto beans recipe I previously posted, but not quite. And, we like them SO much better!
2 Cups Dried Pinto Beans (rinsed)
2 tbsp sauteed sweet onions
2 garlic cloves minced, or chopped small
3 cups Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth
3 cups water
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 cup Salsa
a small pinch of crushed black pepper
Refrying: (DO NOT ADD TO CROCK POT)
1 tbsp safflower oil
1/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
In a small frying pan place 1 tsp safflower oil over medium heat, once warm add sliced sweet onions. Once, golden brown add them to the crockpot. Then, add all remaining ingredients. Now, cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. I usually do about 5 hours on high, and 1 hour on low. Once they seem done, using a potato masher, smash the beans until the are the consistancy you are looking for. Now, if you want to refry them, heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, then add 1 tbsp of safflower oil. Once, hot pour the beans in, this should sizzle a bit. Now, you can turn down the heat to low/medium you should be stirring frequently so they do not over cook on the bottom. Then, add your shredded cheese and mix in until melted. Refrying should take about 5 mins, they will be a little thicker then when you poured them in. Enjoy!
Vegis. Ready to Roast!
As, our diet slowly changes, we have been trying most days to fill our plates atleast 1/2 way with fruits and vegis. The health benefits of doing this is so extreme; we have already noticed a dramatic increase in energy, and overall feeling well..
2 sides of a bell pepper
1 patty pan squash
1/2 Sweet Onion
5-6 White Button Mushrooms
1 - 2 Leaves of kale
2 Green Onions
3-4 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Zucchini
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 small pinch of sea salt
a little bit of crushed black pepper
Chop up and toss all vegis together in some aluminum foil, or a bbq safe roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and once they begin to soften up uncover for a few minutes and then enjoy! You could also do this with so many other vegis., this just happens to be what I had in the fridge today!
Mexican Style Pinto Beans
I really, really love refried beans at a mexican restaurant, and would love to make them at home. I have attempted many times, and they never really come out right. This last time I made them, they were much closer! They are good, we really enjoyed them, but I will continue to toy with them to get them even closer to a restaurant refried bean! :)
2 Cups Pinto Beans
1/2 Cup Organic Salsa
3 1/2 Cups Organic Beef Broth (chicken or vegetable would work too)
3 1/2 Cups Water
1 Cup Diced Onion
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
1/2 - 1 tsp Chili Powder (or more)
1/2 - 1 tsp Cumin (again put as much as you want)
1 tsp Bacon Grease
pinch of Sea Salt
pinch of black pepper
Rinse beans, and then place all ingredients into a crock pot, I cooked mine on low all night, about 12 hours, and then when I woke up in the morning I smashed the beans with a potato smasher, and then cooked them on high for about 3 more hours. Other recipes I have seen, say cook on high for about 8 hours, so just keep an eye on how much liquid you still have. Enjoy! We had them with taco salads tonight, and everyone enjoyed them.. :)
For the apples
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
2 TBSP Dark Brown Sugar
1 Granny Smith apple cored, peeled, and diced small
1 Other Apple cored, peeled, and diced small (I used Gala)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
For the dough
1 Stick butter room temperature
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Very Ripe Bananas (mashed or smushed)
1/4 cup Apple Juice ( you could use orange also)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
In a small pan over medium heat place butter, apples, and brown sugar. Cook until the apples become soft. In an electric mixer combine butter, and sugar and blend until fluffy. Now, add the eggs one at a time. Add, the bananas, apple juice, and vanilla mix until well combined. Next, ad the dry ingredients and mix again until well combined. Then, fold in the cooked apples. Pour into a well greased bread pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for around one hour, it may take a little longer depending on your oven! Then enjoy this deliciously moist bread, I know my kids do!
2 lbs Ground Pork
Egg Roll Wrappers
1/2 cup chopped cabbage
1/4 sweet onion
3 baby carrots
2 Cloves Garlic
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 tsp Johnny's Seasoning Salt
Place all ingredients except the Ground Pork and Wrappers into a food processor. Process until everything is the same consistancy. When ready mix in with the ground pork, using your hands make sure it is mixed together well. Cover, and place into fridge for atleast one hour. However, the longer it sits the more flavor! I usually allow it to sit for 2-3 hours. I then slice my egg roll wrappers in 1/2, if you have to much wrapper its harder to cook the meat on the inside, and the wrapper takes away the meat flavor. Using a spoon take about 1 TBSP of meat mixture and make a line across one ege of the wrapper, then wrap tight. Fill a small dish with a little water, and using your finger rub a small amount of water on the edge of the wrapper so it will stick together. Place in deep fryer and cook until golden brown. We enjoy using sweet chili sauce to dip them!
*I will add pictures soon, I didn't get a chance to take pictures this time. Enjoy!
Garlic & Herb Pull Apart Bread
Dough: 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a mixing bowl combine water and yeast, allow to sit for about 5 minutes. then add the remainder of the ingredients and using the dough attachment knead/mix the dough for 5-7 minutes until it forms into an elasticy ball. (if you do not have a mixer, knead by hand for 6-8 minutes) Now place in a cleaned greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 -2 hours or until it is atleast doubled in size. Punch down the middle and roll out onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out into a large square, and then cover and allow to rise for about 5 minutes. Now, top with the seasoning spread (directions below).
Spread & Assembling Directions:
In a microwave safe dish place 1/2 cup of butter melt for about 10 seconds or just until softened enough to spread, not melted! Now, add smashed minced garlic, parsley, and salt to the butter and mix well to combine. I allowed my spread to sit and marinate while the dough rises. Once you have your dough rolled out cover the entire top of the dough with a thin coat of spread, and then top with a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan cheese. Now, slice your dough into three even parts (picture below) and stack ontop of one another. Then, chop into approx. 7 smaller sections (picture below) Next, place all the stacks into a greased bread pan, and allow to rise for about 20 minutes or until the dough has risen up above the sides. Cook for approx. 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. If the top becomes browner then you'd like lay a piece of aluminum foil over it while it finishes baking.
3 long pieces on top of one another, and then sliced into 7 equal parts.
All baked and yummy!
Mini Bagel Pizzas
Mini Bagel Pizzas
What you need:
10 Mini Bagels
1 Cup Pizza Sauce, or Spaghetti Sauce
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
1 Cookie Sheet
1 tsp Garlic Salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350, and then open Bagels and lay each half onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little bit of garlic salt onto each bagel. Now, place the bagels into the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with about 2 tsps of sauce, and a small handful of cheese. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is all the way melted.
Makes 20 mini bagel pizzas
I use my frozen sausage spaghetti sauce, and that is fantastic on them.
Cheese Fondue - for the Melting Pot Experience at home
4 Cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 Heaping TBSP Salsa
1 Jalepeno chopped fine - remove seeds if you dont want it spicy.
About 1 Cup Beer - add tbsp more at a time if needed.
1/4 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Directions: Place all ingredients into a fondue pot, bring heat up to medium and stir until desired consistancy.
*you can replace the beer with water.
Great Dipping Choices: Carrots, Celery, French Bread, Rye Bread, Nacho Chips, Cauliflower