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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Chocolate Cake with Coconut Icing (Gluten-Free)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This delicious gluten-free chocolate cake is for those of you that want a real moist chocolate cake. We do not eat dessert very often (unless you count chocolate as dessert which I do not) so when hubby asked for a chocolate cake I decided to make the best gluten-free version I could come up with. I searched the web and through trial and error and tweaking (I made 4 before I was completely satisfied) we have declared this the winner!
This is not a healthy recipe for chocolate cake by any means but that wasn’t my goal. This is a special occasion cake that you make for family and friends who will love it despite the gluten-free label.  No more making a cake for gf people and another one for everyone else 

Chocolate cake (gluten-free)

1/3 cup milk (or milk alternative)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup coconut oil melted (or melted butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup hemp seeds (optional)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Place milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine.

Add cooked quinoa and coconut oil and puree until very smooth and the consistency is thick and creamy.

In a separate bowl combine sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and hemp seeds.

Add quinoa mixture to the bowl and stir until combined.

Bake in 2 greased cake pans at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Coconut icing

2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp milk

Combine in bowl and beat until consistency is soft and easy to spread.  Add more milk if required.

 

NOTES:

  • I used coconut oil because I love the subtle coconut taste it gives to the cake and icing plus I use it in most of my baking in place of butter.
  • Hemp seeds were added for additional protein and it adds a very slight nutty texture to the cake but omitting them from the recipe make no difference in the final product’s taste.
  • I admit that the recipe calls for a large amount of sugar but I wanted the cake to taste like a real chocolate cake and not be short of sweetness. This amount tastes just right to us and I’m not sure if sugar alternatives could be used.
  • This recipe can be easily made vegan.

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.