Posts tagged ‘quinoa’
I had a girls night a couple weeks ago with a new girl friend in Helena. I love a good excuse to try a new recipe and get together in the kitchen!
Thank goodness my guest was not picky at all; that makes for a stress-free and fun-filled evening. I had my eye on Lindsay’s Kickin’ Cashew Chicken at Pinch of Yum so Indian food was on the menu I increased the tomato paste along with a few of the spices, added a serrano for a kick and tossed in some fresh veggies to bulk up the meal. Winner! Both my food-loving guest and the hostess were delighted with the results!
Classic — the original recipe called for the cashews to be blended into the sauce. I got to talking (and of course, not paying attention) and wound up adding them in with the golden raisins toward the end of cooking. This was fine by me since I love texture in my dishes – another happy accident
Kickin’ Cashew Chicken (adapted from Pinch of Yum)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
6 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup cashews (I bought raw and toasted them but already roasted is fine too)
1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder (I used mild)
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2 Tbsp plain yogurt (I used Greek)
1 serrano chili pepper, deseeded and deveined (omit for mild dish)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (grapeseed, canola, ghee or butter can be used)
3/4 to 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 1/2 cups fresh mushroom slices
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 handfuls of fresh spinach (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup water
For serving: cooked rice, quinoa, millet etc (I used brown rice)
1. In a food processor, process the onion pieces for about 1 minute or until a smooth puree forms. Add the next 9 ingredients (paste through serrano) to the onion mixture and process for another 1-2 minutes. If you want a chunkier sauce, pulse until desired texture is reached.
2. In a heavy pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the spice mixture from the food processor into the pan and saute for 2 minutes. The lightly cooked spices will start to give off a nice aroma.
3. Add the cubed chicken breast, veggies, half of the cilantro, and the golden raisins. Stir-fry for another minute or so.
4. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice and garnish with remaining cilantro and/or cashew pieces. Enjoy!
In my opinion, beautiful food speaks for itself – and this dish is an example of just that. No frills but it sure looks fancy!
I explored my true love for lentils several months ago when I made my lentil “bread” and consumed more lentils in two months that I had over my entire lifetime. I’ve made a few dishes since with lentils or served them as a side dish but it was time that they were star of the show again – enter Lemon Lentil Soup.
This comforting soup is lightly adapted from 101 Cookbook’s Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. If you are a fan of lentils, this is a must-make recipe. This comforting vegan soup is brilliantly colored from ground turmeric, has lovely texture and flavor from sauteed onions, spinach and brown mustard seeds and is finished with plenty of fresh lemon juice for brightness and tang.
Instead of brown rice in the original recipe, I served mine with nutty red quinoa and topped with a dollop of creamy plain Greek yogurt. I skipped a step or two and didn’t saute the spinach separately but added the greens along with the cooked onion and allowed them to wilt and maintain a nice texture. I subbed brown mustard seeds for the yellow that were originally called for and used coconut oil instead of butter…though I am sure butter/earth balance would add a rich flavor to the base. While completely optional, I added a jalapeno for a bit of heat and several tablespoons of chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and enjoyed both additions!
Lemon Lentil Soup (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g split red lentils, picked over and rinsed well (I think other colored lentils may work too)
1 Tbsp turmeric
3 Tbsp coconut oil (butter, ghee or earth balance could be subbed – use oil of earth balance for vegan)
fine grain sea salt
1 large onion, diced (2- 3 cups, I used the latter because I love onions)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (yellow could be subbed)
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined and minced, optional
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of three lemons, or to taste
4-5 cups of baby spinach or 1 large bunch of spinach leaves, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
plenty of cooked (warm) quinoa, to serve (brown rice, millet or rice couscous could be subbed)
plain Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream, to serve
2-3 Tbsp chopped walnuts (or pine nuts), optional (omit for nut free)
1. Put the lentils in a pot with 7 cups / 1.6 l water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart – twenty minutes or so. Puree with a hand blender. Add more water until the soup is the consistency you like, then taste and add more salt if needed (soup will thicken upon cooling). Keep the soup warm/hot.
2. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion. In a skillet over low heat cook the onion and jalapeno (if using) in 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil along with the cumin and mustard seeds, stirring occasionally. When the onions have softened, roughly 10 or 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a few seconds before removing from the heat.
3. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of the lemons, one lemon at a time – until the soup has a nice bit of tang. Add spinach to the soup, stir and let wilt. Season with more salt and black pepper to taste and stir in chopped walnuts or pine nuts if desired.
4. To serve, place a scoop of quinoa in each bowl, then ladle soup, a dollop of yogurt and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Serves 6. *Leftovers freeze well; if freezing, leave yogurt out and add when serving.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 30 minutes
Happy Friday lovely readers!
I’ve got a breakfast quinoa bake that is packed with decadence and nutrition! Just like my banana bread flake bake from a while back, I’m on a quinoa breakfast kick again. Must be the colder weather that makes me crave a warm and comforting breakfast with lots of flavor AND stars two of my all-time favorite ingredients – nut butter and chocolate. Feel free to use your favorite nut butter and chocolate (or carob) for the bake – the recipe is flexible. I used peanut butter but sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cashew, pecan etc would all work well here.
I’ve listed both quick cooking and baking instructions, just in case you need a fast breakfast or snack on the go.
So I thought I’d give the winter squash a rest…just for a day! Don’t worry, I have plenty of upcoming recipes that will be a great addition to your holiday menus that use your favorite fall flavors and ingredients
Chocolate N’ Nut Butter Quinoa Bake (adapted from my Banana Bread Quinoa Bake)
½ cup quinoa flakes (can sub oats but cooking time will be less*)
1 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats or millet, optional but adds a nice texture
2-3 tsp chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ small banana, mashed
2 Tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 1/2 tsp chocolate chips and/or coconut sugar, agave or honey, optional for a sweeter variation
dash of sea salt
dash of pure vanilla extract
Raw or roasted nuts (I used chopped peanuts) OR more nut butter
Chocolate (or carob) chips or chunks (I used chopped unsweetened Bakers, love this for breakfast)
Coconut butter, optional
(Oven and Microwave Cooking Methods Included)
1. In a small bowl, add in all ingredients and stir until well combined.
2. Grease a 12 to 16 oz microwave safe ramekin or bowl with coconut oil then add quinoa mixture to prepared dish. Press mixture in the ramekin and use fingers, fork or spoon to smooth out create an even surface.
If baking in the oven
Preheat oven to 350F, then place dish in oven and bake for 22-27 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly and then invert onto serving dish, garnish with toppings and enjoy!
If using quick microwave method
Place dish in the microwave and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (microwaves vary). The “bake” will slightly rise and will be more firm to touch and mixture will pull away from the sides of the baking dish. Be careful not to over cook or you will have a hard hockey puck that you will have to give to your dog. Let cool for one minute and then invert onto serving dish, garnish with toppings and enjoy!
Indian food is quickly becoming my favorite cuisine! I love bold flavors and spices that are used in the dishes; it’s all much less intimidating that I originally thought. As mentioned previously, Aarti Sequeira has been my Indian food muse so to speak, and I’ve been creating my spin on her recipes for a few months now.
While I do eat beef occasionally (a couple times a month), I tend to favor fish, seafood, chicken and turkey over red meat. Aarti’s recipe for Beef Vindaloo was easily adaptable to a chicken variety. I decreased the amount of meat by a 1/4 (saves $) and I bulked up the mixture with fresh vegetables to add some color. Apple cider vinegar really brightens up the dish while my addition of coconut milk helps balance the acidity, though this is optional. I opted to mince a serrano pepper for extra heat but feel free to leave sliced in half and remove after simmering.
Don’t be scared by the list of ingredients, the “wet masala” blend pulls together quickly and I whirled it all in a blender for easy prep. I used all pre-ground spices to help speed up the prep time too so I could get the (dinner) show on the road!
Aarti serves this dish with rice or chapatis – whole wheat griddle bread – but for gluten free, I served the curry mixture over a bowl of steamed rice (Chris’s pick). Cooked quinoa or millet would be delicious as well if you want to change things up!
We will be making this again and again – bright and beautiful flavors, packed with protein and veggies and yields a good amount so we can enjoy leftovers
Chicken Vindaloo with Vegetables (adapted from Aarti Party’s Goan Beef Curry)
For Wet Masala:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/8 ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste OR omit if you don’t want heat
6 garlic cloves
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled (if desired)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp coconut oil, grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 serrano pepper or 1 jalapeno pepper, deveined and deseeded and either sliced in half (less heat) or minced (for more heat)
1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed (or beef sirloin)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 zuchinni, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp honey or agave
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used full fat but light is fine), optional but if omitted add more water
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice, quinoa, millet
1. For the wet masala: In a small food processor or blender, combine the wet masala ingredients (cumin, turmeric, cloves, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, ginger and vinegar) and process until smooth. Set aside
2. Place a large (preferably nonstick) pot over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and serrano pepper. Stirring frequently, saute the onions until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Don’t let them burn! Turn the heat down to medium-high if they’re starting to burn.
3. Add the ground wet masala, taking care because it will sizzle wildly and steam up your glasses, if you wear them. Stir quite vigorously and turn down the heat if it’s bubbling too furiously. Don’t wash the food processor bowl yet. Keep stirring, with short pauses, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the masala comes together as one mass, about 2 minutes. Also, you may see little droplets of oil on the perimeter of the masala. That’s a good sign!
4. Quickly add the meat and stir, coating the meat in the masala. Stir and cook about 5-7 minutes until the meat browns.
5. Remember that dirty food processor bowl? Fill it with 1/2 cup of hot water, swirl it around so it picks up any leftover masala, and pour that into the pot. Add chopped veggies (tomato, zucchini and bell pepper), honey/agave, coconut milk, salt and pepper, stir, bring the curry to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
6. For the less spicy version, remove the two halves of the serrano pepper (skip if you diced the pepper).
7. Taste, add salt and pepper if needed and served over cooked grains and enjoy!