Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

 

I love it when I come across a recipe that is not only delicious, healthy and easy but its also made in one pot in 30 minutes!

Mexican Quinoa

  • 1 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeño (minced)
  • 1 cup quinoa  (rinsed well & drained)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans  (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (can use fresh peeled & diced)
  • 1 can kernel corn
  • 2 tsps chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 avocados (diced)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro or green onion to garnish
  1. Heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in quinoa, broth, black beans, tomatoes, corn, chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is cooked, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in avocado and lime juice.
  5. Garnish with cilantro or green onion.

I can think of so many ways this recipe can be changed to suit your needs and leftovers can be stuffed into green peppers or squash, or try adding shredded cheese.

 

 

Adapted from Damn Delicious

 

 

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Butternut Squash & Potato Soup

Ever had one of those little food experiments that turn out far better than expected? Me neither, until last night.

It is so hot and dry here right now that we seem to be living off salads, smoothies and BBQ suppers and yesterday was no exception.  We didn’t want anything fancy so ended up with potatoes, onions and garlic cooked in foil, veggie patties and good old baked beans.  As usual I made too many potatoes for just the two of us (I would argue you can never have too many potatoes but that’s the Brit in me), there wasn’t enough left over to make another supper so I needed another idea.

Earlier that day I had thawed out a bag of cooked butternut squash which I had mistaken for cubed cantaloupe (it was a bit disappointing when I went to make a smoothie for lunch but it will teach me to label next time).  Anyway a light bulb came on and I threw the butternut squash, leftover potatoes, onions and garlic, 2 cups of water, 1 veggie stock cube, a bit of salt and pepper in my blender and voila!

butternut squash & potato soup

The results were sooo good.   I think that roasting the potatoes, onions and garlic with some olive oil and seasoning in a foil packet added so much flavour to the soup that I don’t think I could have replicated it if I had made the soup from scratch.

Tonight’s menu….my new delicious soup experiment, a fresh green salad and gluten free dinner rolls.

It’s a good day!

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

For me, nothing beats the comforting warmth of Shepherd’s Pie.

This version is vegetarian which makes it an easy choice in this house, plus it’s so simple to make its a win win really.   The beauty of making this for tonight’s supper is that I already had left over mashed potatoes from last night (actually it was a potato, cauliflower & garlic mash so bonus!)

Veggie Shepards Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 package of veggie ground round
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten free brand)
  • 3/4 cup of warm water

Heat oil in pan over medium low heat.  Add vegetables, salt & pepper and sautee until onion is soft and clear.

Add veggie ground round and heat through.  Stir in corn starch until blended.

Stir in soy sauce and water stiring until it thickens slightly.

Add mixture to a medium casserole dish.  Top with mashed potato and heat in oven at 375 degrees for 20 mins or until heated through.

Serve with a fresh green salad for a balanced meal or if you’re like me just dig in, stuff your face and enjoy!

If you are interested in making the Potato, Cauliflower & Garlic Mash I have included the recipe below.  

Potato, cauliflower & garlic mash

  • 4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter (substitute – vegan butter  of choice)
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (substitute – vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh parsley (optional)

Place potatoes, cauliflower, garlic and salt in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook until potatoes are cooked though.  Drain water.

Add butter and milk and mash together with vegetable masher until fairly smooth. Add parsley and mix through.

Experimenting with Quinoa

I have to admit that I am slow to jump on the quinoa bandwagon and although I don’t mind the taste, I haven’t really used it as part of our regular menu.  This weekend (since the weather was crap anyway) I decided to experiment a little and see if I could find a way to incorporate it in our meals other than a rice substitute (boring).

This is what I came up with……quinoa

My first thought was a way to make meatballs that were tasty but also needed to be gluten free and vegan.  That meant no eggs or breadcrumbs to hold them together and they turned out great with a tomato sauce on top of pasta. quinoa meatballs

But then I got lazy (also hate touching food with my hands) and made the executive decision to make patties instead.  This way I could drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and flatten them out with a spatula ….yey no messy hands!  These patties worked great in a burger. quinoa patties

Also tried using them over pasta, added sauce and topped with vegan cheese and threw it under the broiler and voila! quinoa pasta bake

I actually don’t think I did too bad on my first attempt at experimenting with quinoa and it passed HSA (Hubbys Seal of Approval) so that’s a bonus 🙂

Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try and feel free to tinker with the seasoning but I think the more flavour you add the better the result.

Quinoa GF Patties

1 cup Quinoa

3 cups water

½ tsp salt

Rinse quinoa under cold water and drain.  In a medium pot, bring water, quinoa and salt to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir until it starts forming more of a dough like texture.

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp parsley

Add rest of ingredients to quinoa and stir until thoroughly combined.

Allow mixture to cool slightly until you can handle it safely.

Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

Form mixture into meatballs and add to pan.  Cook until meatballs are browned on all sides. 

For patties, drop large spoonfuls of mixture into the pan and flatten with spatula. Turn over to brown both sides. 

Note:  More water than usual is used to cook the quinoa in order for the mixture to be moist enough to hold together .  Eggs are usually used in meatballs to bind the mixture but I wanted to go vegan for this recipe.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Here’s another great soup recipe that’s delicious, healthy and easy to make.  Perfect for a cold winter’s day especially when served with a hearty cheese and chutney sandwich. 🙂

butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

1 med sized butternut squash

1 apple peeled and sliced

1 onion diced

2 carrots sliced thinly

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ quarts vegetable broth

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Slice butternut squash lengthwise and remove seeds.  Place cut side down in casserole dish and add 1 cup of water.  Roast at 450 for 40 – 45 minutes until soft.

In large pan, sauté onion and carrot in olive oil until soft.  Add sliced apple and vegetable broth and simmer until apple is soft.

Remove skin from squash and add the squash to pan.  Add the salt and pepper.

Puree in blender or use hand blender until smooth.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.

This makes approximately 4 large servings and is easy enough to store in mason jars for lunchtime.  I dislike plastic storage containers so I save my soup in mason jars.

Bonus …… if a friend or co-worker is sick, whats better than giving them a fabulous homemade healthy soup in a jar?    (yep, your welcome 🙂 )

Healthy Creamy Soup

If you love soup like I do, then you will love this recipe. It’s not only delicious, it’s easy to make and so frickin healthy you will be amazed. It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and inexpensive so there’s no excuse not to make this soup.
Do I have you convinced yet?

soup

Healthy Creamy Soup

1 small head cauliflower chopped

1 onion diced

1 clove of garlic minced

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp parsley (optional)

Salt, pepper to taste

In large pot, cook cauliflower in the broth over medium heat until soft. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft and clear.

Add onion and garlic to cooked cauliflower. Add parsley (optional). Leave to cool.

When cooled, place in blender and blend til smooth or use hand blender.

Salt and pepper taste.

See…. how easy is that?  For those of you that don’t like cauliflower, it tastes exactly like potato soup, honest , so try it before you judge it 🙂  Plus it makes approximately 6 cups of deliciousness so place in mason jars and you have enough for lunch all week.