Quinoa Recipes

I have a bag of quinoa in my pantry that stares at me every once in awhile and makes me think, “Hey – I should really figure out how to use this.” Here are a few recipes that I have found that look promising:

Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole from Eating Well…..Living Thin(ner)

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa from Epicurious

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili from myrecipes.com

Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers from wholeliving.com

Lentil Quinoa Salad from Melissa d’Arabian

Quinoa Tabbouleh from Aarti Sequiera

Corn and Manchego Tri-Color Quinoa Salad from Cheese Please

Wow! These look good. What are your favorite Quinoa recipes?

Enjoy! :)

LT 1

Vegetarian Tacos

These are actually delicious. Shocking, I know. Especially since they are made from….lentils. But don’t tell anybody.

Last year I decided that I wanted to make more vegetarian meals for our family, so I asked some of my friends for their favorite vegetarian recipes. This one can be found at allrecipes and was passed on by a friend from high school who said that she was vegetarian for seven years and this was one of her favorites.

So I thought we could try it. And I actually like this BETTER than normal taco meat. Crazy, right? It has the same flavor, but the texture is, in my opinion, MUCH better.

In case you have never cooked with lentils before and are wondering what to look for, here is a picture for you:

You can find them with the dried beans, which is normally by the rice.

Ingredients:

1 c. finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. canola oil

1 c. dried lentils, rinsed

1 T. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano

2-1/2 c. chicken broth (or dissolve 3 chicken buillion cubes into 3 c. water, and use 2-1/2 c. of it)

1 c. salsa

12 taco shells or tortillas

Step 1: In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender.

Step 2: Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Uncover and cook for 6-8 additional minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.

Step 4: Add salsa. Serve up and enjoy!

MC 4

Easy Manicotti

This recipe is easy, delicious and another family winner dinner. It is always nice to have an easy weeknight dinner, and this qualifies. I found it in the Kraft Magazine a few years ago, back when they used to send them out for free. Those were good days. You can still find the recipe online here – along with their other recipes. This recipe introduced me to the joys of pesto – yummmmmm.

Ingredients

12 cooked manicotti shells, rinsed in cold water

2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided

1-3/4 c. Ricotta cheese

1-1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. pesto

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you haven’t done it yet, cook your manicotti shells according to the directions on the box. Rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Step 2: Line the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan with foil. Spread 3/4 c. spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Step 3: Mix cheeses, egg and pesto in a bowl. Move your mixture into a resealable bag. Clip one of the corners of the bag off. Our favorite pesto is Classico’s Traditional Basil Pesto. I’m sure any pesto would be great, though.

Step 4: Fill your manicotti shells by squeezing some of the cheese mixture into EACH side of the manicotti shells. Place the shells in a baking dish and cover with the remaining spaghetti sauce. Cover. If some of your shells have split open in the cooking process, just lay them in your dish, squeeze some of the cheese mixture into the shell, fold it closed, and pretend like everything is okay. :)

Step 5: Bake for 40 min. or until heated through.

There ya go! Sorry for the ugly picture….I think we had some ravenous children so I took one quickly and served them up. At any rate, this is very tasty, and actually, kind of fun to do. I normally end up with 8-9 filled manicotti shells – I think I am a little extra generous with my cheese filling. If you want more filled shells at the end, just watch how much you fill – you won’t want to stuff them completely.

Enjoy!! :)

SAH 8

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

I was having a conversation with one of my sisters a while back, and the subject of artichokes came up. Normal conversation, right? :) She was talking about how much she loves artichokes, and I was telling her that I had recently realized that I don’t know if I really have consciously eaten an artichoke. So she passed on this recipe for us to try from the Pioneer Woman.

That was delicious. And pretty easy too – artichokes and all. :)

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 lb. pasta (she does thin spaghetti – I prefer something with more texture)

2 T. butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 can artichoke hearts (14.5 oz.), drained

1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

salt and pepper, to taste

1 c. Parmesan cheese

 

Step 1: Cook your pasta. Drain, and set aside. (see? easy so far.)

Step 2: Put olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat & melt. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 min.

Sauteed onions have to be one of my favorite smells. And tastes. So good.

Step 3: Add artichoke hearts (drained) and tomatoes (with juice). Stir and cook for 8-10 min. I also chopped up the artichoke hearts before I threw them in so they wouldn’t be so hugely chunky.

Step 4: Reduce heat to low and add cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and keep cooking on low until heated through. Make sure you use enough salt so you have flavor. That means to test your sauce and make sure you can taste it.

Step 5: Place pasta in a large bowl, and pour Parmesan cheese over the top. Then pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat.

Done! That was very delicious, pretty easy and it made a LOT of food. My sister had told me that they usually have it for dinner, then for leftovers at lunch for a couple of days – which I interpreted to mean that my family would finish it off in one night. Nope. We also had it for dinner that night, and then happily had it for leftovers at lunch for a couple of days afterward.

Thanks Jen for passing that one on! And thank you to the Pioneer Woman for sharing this awesomeness in the first place. :)

BB 4

The BEST Bakers

My five-year old will NOT eat potatoes. Except for french fries. But no mashed potatoes, no bakers, no breakfast potatoes, no potatoes in soup, no nothing. Until we found these bakers.  They. Are. Awesome! He is actually excited to have them, and will eat them skin and all.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Wash your bakers, and poke them all over with a knife. This allows the steam to escape from the bakers while they are in the oven.

Step 3: Put oil and kosher salt into small bowls. Take a small amount of oil (enough to lightly coat the potato), and rub it on the potato skin. Then take some kosher salt and rub it over the newly-oiled potato skin. This will be a little messy. We have tried both olive oil and vegetable oil, and have found we like vegetable oil best. Canola oil would be great too, I’m sure. Don’t worry about over-salting at this point – you can always brush salt off at the end – but you don’t need a ton of oil. You could use less than a teaspoon per potato and it would be enough. This helps keep your fat down to keep the oil down.

Here is what they will look like before you put them in the oven:

Step 4: Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and put on the bottom rack of your oven (this will keep the oven clean while the bakers are cooking). Place the potatoes on the top rack in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. If you have more than four bakers, you may need to increase the time by up to 15 minutes. When they are no longer firm, they are done.

Step 5: Take out the potatoes (using tongs or oven mitts), and carefully brush off the extra salt – the bakers are hot! You just want to leave enough salt on to have tasty bakers, but not to make you sick. :)

Step 6: Cut open and marvel at the fluffy yumminess inside.

For the bit of extra time this takes, it is totally worth it. The skin is slightly crispy and delicious, the inside is perfectly cooked, and even potato-haters will be happy with it. Enjoy!

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