Quinoa with Peppers and Onions

This easy recipe let’s you cook some quinoa as the perfect complex carbohydrate side dish.

Ingredients
1 Tsp coconut oil
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
* or you can use the frozen mix available in stores
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 Tsp of black pepper
1 cup Quinoa
2 Tb fresh cilantro or 1 Tb of cilantro paste
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable broth

Method

Heat oil on skillet and add onion and pepper mix with garlic, cumin and black pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.
Add in quinoa, water and vegetable broth. Stir well and let simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add in cilantro and continue to simmer until water has been absorbed and quinoa is cooked throughly.

IMG_0528.JPG

IMG_0527.JPG

IMG_0532.JPG

Watermelon Salad

Here’s a delicious and refreshing recipe for the hot summer days. Best part- it’s so easy to put together!

Ingredients

1 watermelon – cut in cubes
1/2 bunch of mint
1/2 red onion- diced or sliced
2- limes
Feta cheese
Optional: salt and pepper

Method

Toss everything together and serve! Enjoy.

20140630-124859.jpg

Save the leftovers and it was a nice snack paired with some hummus.

20140630-124955.jpg

Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa is a great complex carb to have but the taste is very plain. I stumbled upon a website called 86 lemons that has this great recipe for a quinoa casserole.

Check it out, it was pretty delicious!

I followed the recipe as is, with the only exception of using chickpeas instead of beans. I was also very excited of using fresh organic white corn (which I roasted in the oven first) and fresh parsley from my herb garden. This was a great side for any protein. Enjoy!

20140620-113759.jpg

20140620-113813.jpg

Cooking Green Chard

Here are some ideas for getting your greens intake. At home I have to cook collard greens, kale, chard or any other leafy vegetable in an appetizing way so everyone enjoys them. If you have a picky eater, this can be helpful.

Here is cooked green chard on a skillet with coconut oil and some prosciutto.

20140311-132102.jpg

This time I cooked green chard on a skillet with sliced mushrooms and apple chicken sausages with coconut oil.

20140311-132421.jpg

Feel free to experiment when cooking these leafy greens and get them in your diet. They’re so good for you!

Baked Plantain (Maduros)

Plantain has got to be one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately, it’s most commonly seen fried in dishes. I don’t cook it often but since I love it so much I like to have it from time to time. When ripe it is a great complex carb to compliment my eating plan.

Here’s a version of making it in baked slices or Maduros style.

Ingredients

Coconut oil -2 tablespoons per plantain
Plantain

20140424-185927.jpg

Method

Slice plantain about one inch thick and slightly diagonal.
Melt coconut oil in a bowl.
Dip each slice of plantain in the coconut oil and place it on baking sheet with parchment paper.
Baked at 325 for about 15-20 mins and flip once the bottom side is golden brown. Cook for another 15 mins.

20140424-190023.jpg

Makes a great side to any dish!!!

20140429-131810.jpg

Roasted Artichokes

I received these beautiful artichokes as part of my organic share this week and I was a bit taken back. I am sure the face I made when these were handed to me must have been pretty amusing. I always see them at the market, know what they are, know that I like them (at least in dip form) but somehow always just pass right by without hesitation. Artichokes were not a food I grew up eating or ever seen it being cooked by my family. So I had no idea what to do with these! Well… Thank God for Internet!!!!

20140507-131641.jpg
My recipe of choice was found on here on this wonderful blog. Thanks to Pinch My Salt I knew exactly what to do and they turned out AMAZING!! Good thing she also explains how to eat it because I didn’t know where to start.

Follow her instructions and I’m sure it will come out just as delicious as mine.

20140507-131735.jpg

Salad Dressing

In search of the perfect (or better) salad dressing that does not consist of sugar, high calories or processed ingredients, I have found my best option. You can never go wrong with making your own. Recently, I found this glass container at a Home Goods store and was immediately excited about all the different recipes I could try. This container came with recipes printed on it and they were great options. I did some research and decided to try my own. Here I’ll leave you with two I found online.

Garlic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (basil, oregano, chives, and thyme are all nice)
scant 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (or oregano)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.

20140424-184811.jpg

Boring? I Think Not!!

Dressing up bland foods is important in my house hold. Not everyone can eat the same type of food without getting bored, and that is the case here. What to do? Think of different ingredients to make the same recipe with. For example, the other day in a rush I bought some already made quinoa. If you’ve had it before you know quinoa is bland and has no taste. Instead of eating it plain I thought to throw in some veggies I had in my fridge and make it more appetizing. It worked! You can do this with brown rice as well and it’s another way of getting your veggies in. All I did was sautéed some Lacinto Kale and orange or yellow peppers in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and add it to the pre-made quinoa.

20140326-135310.jpg

Another example is making a simple protein dish and making plenty of it to use for the week as different meals. I bought this bbq seasoning mix and used it to make chicken breasts. I cooked 9 chicken breasts in the crock pot for 4 hours on high using only this seasoning. When chicken was done, I took it out and shredded it. Placed it in a glass container, ready to be consumed throughout the week.

Take a look at a couple of meals I made with same shredded chicken.

20140326-135858.jpg

20140326-140109.jpg

20140326-140325.jpg

Blueberry Sauce

Pancakes…..who doesn’t love pancakes??? Well, although I don’t have them often and when I do I make this recipe. But then I think, now what do I top it with if I just made a healthier version of the dish and don’t want to ruin it by pouring syrup?! Well, that’s how I came up with my blueberry sauce idea.

It’s as simple as placing a handful of blueberries in a microwaveable dish and heat for 20-30 seconds. I take them out and mixed them up and mush them with a spoon and repeat. Until I get the desired consistency.

Step 1

20140311-133458.jpg

Step 2

20140311-133540.jpg

Step 3

20140311-133607.jpg

Taco Mix

Time is of the essence and sometimes we don’t have enough of it. When I’m short on time I still plan to cook my own foods but just make things easier so that I can quickly whip something up and not spend hours in the kitchen.

I love using spices and recently I found this little gem at Trader’s Joe, but I’m sure you can find something similar at any market. Just make sure to read ingredient list and only buy those with no artificial ingredients.

20140311-134545.jpg

What to do with it??? So many options. I have used it on ground beef (delicious), on ground turkey and even shredded chicken.

When making it, I don’t measure anything. I just throw a package of meat on the skillet and brown it with this seasoning, I slice and cut up any vegetables I have available and throw those in as well. Cook everything until meat is fully cooked and vegetables and nice and soft.

20140311-134859.jpg

Here I cooked the beef and used it for stuffing peppers.

20140311-135014.jpg

Here’s the mix with Kale, onions and peppers.

20140410-120352.jpg

The possibilities and endless…. 🙂