Showing posts with label rice and grains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rice and grains. Show all posts

05 June 2014

Plated: Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

When I selected Plated's "Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes," I was pretty sure I was taking a big risk at it simply isn't the kind of thing The Husband would ever consider eating. Indeed, when it came down to it, I completely chickened out on serving it to him and kept all the tomatoes to myself. He was happy in his ignorance and I was in heaven. Who knew mixing quinoa with goat cheese could make it so darn delicious?!

Ingredients straight out of the box
Unwrapped ingredients
Obviously, this dish would be better in a few months when tomatoes are in season, but roasting makes most vegetables taste better and these pale, refrigerated tomatoes were no exception. They turned out juicy and flavorful and I was quite pleased to not have to share them.

I did not think the instructions for preparing the quinoa were very good -- not enough time or liquid -- so I chose to make them The Kitchn way and with low-sodium fat-free chicken broth instead of water. Other than that, the instructions were fine and I didn't have any trouble preparing this "plate."

The salad dressing was surprisingly tasty. Creamy balsamic is never something I'd ever considered and the color was a little off-putting, put the flavor was good and I'd definitely make it again. The recipe made a little more than I needed and I'll probably use the extra on that head of butter lettuce I forgot to serve with the seared salmon.

Every bite was delicious!
I had two tomatoes for lunch the day I made them and then took the others to work over the following days, packing the tomatoes separately from the (undressed) salad so they could be reheated in the toaster oven. They reheated well and made an elegant meal there in the staff room amongst the snack machines and work safety posters.

So that's my first Plated box done with and I can't wait for my next!

15 February 2014

Eating A to Z: B is for Bay Boletes & Barley

I've found that Polish import shops are excellent places to pick up an interesting variety of good quality dried mushrooms for much less than regular grocery stores or, godloveaduck, Williams-Sonoma. Unfortunately, as a non-Polish speaker, I'm frequently at a loss as to what kind of mushroom I'm purchasing. This doesn't stop me, of course, and when I get home and run them through Google Translate, I find they're never so weird that I don't know what to do with them.

Most recently I purchased a 20 gram package of dried Bay Bolete. Bay Bolete is found in both North America and Europe and, according to the internets, make a perfectly okay substitute for porcini. They dry very easily and can be used in soups, stews, and sauces.

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Of course, I used mine in soup for February's Eating A to Z Healthy Recipe Challenge hosted by Meal Planning Magic, Sparkles and a Stove and Alida's Kitchen as now is the season for hearty soups that speak comfort and warmth. This is a real ribsticker, so feel free to add extra broth (or vegetable juice!) for a soupier soup.
Bay Bolete Mushroom Barley Soup
Serves 4 as a main dish

Ingredients
¾ oz dried mushrooms [IMBA Suszony Podgrzybek Krajanka aka bay bolete]
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend [Whole Spice]
2 8 oz containers fresh crimini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp concentrated beef base [Penzeys Beef Soup Base and Seasoning]
3 Tbsp sherry [Taylor]
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 oz quick-cooking barley
32 oz low-sodium fat-free chicken broth [Pacific Organic]
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and leave to soak for 25 min.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch/French oven and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and seasoning blend. Sauté for 5 mins on a medium heat or until softened. Drain the dried mushrooms, saving the liquid, and finely chop.

Add both mushrooms to pan. Sauté for another 5 mins, then add the concentrated beef base, sherry, tomato paste, barley, broth, bay leaf, and strained mushroom liquid.

Cook for 30 mins or until barley is soft. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with garlic bread or biscuits.

Mushroom & Barley Soup

27 August 2013

Eating the Alphabet: M is for Mango (& Mint!)

For this August's Eating the Alphabet Challenge we're selecting M, N, and/or O ingredients. I chose mango and mint (with a little bit of spring onion) and made a yummy quinoa salad appropriate for breakfast or a light lunch. It was only after I'd made and eaten the salad that I realized it might be better to save it for September's tricky "Q" and make a different mango and mint dish for August. Trouble is, it's nearly the end of the month and I haven't come up with anything I liked better!

Mango & Mint

Mango is one of my favorite flavors, but it's not a fruit I cook with much. For the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, I wanted to push the envelope a little by trying something more savory, rather than going for a sweet like mango lassi or pudding. I paired the mango with mint simply because I thought it sounded like a great idea and not because I actually knew how the two would work together. I also decided to add spring onions (scallions) to my ingredients list as I reckoned the inclusion of onion would land whatever I made squarely in the land of savory. Also, it's an "O" ingredient and I am nothing if not an overachiever.

Mango, Mint, and Quinoa Salad

I based my salad on BBC Foods' Quinoa Salad With Mint and Mango" recipe, but I changed it up a bit -- adding crushed almonds, increasing the mint, decreasing the spring onions, and cooking the quinoa in orange juice.
Mango and Mint Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
4 oz quinoa, well rinsed
8 oz fresh orange juice
1 mango, peeled, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves (omit stems to avoid soapy flavor)
2 spring onions, including the green parts, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of ½ a lime
4 Tbsp crushed unsalted roasted almonds

Directions
Toss mango with mint, cilantro, onions, lime juice and zest, and olive oil. Set aside and allow the flavors to marry.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa in orange juice using your favorite method. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Toss quinoa with mango mixture. Divide between two plates. Garnish with extra mango and mint and crushed almonds.
This is a fabulously refreshing summery salad well-suited to a humid August morning. The flavors are really clean and bright and the whole thing positively shouts "good health!"

That said, this salad is best eaten within a few hours of making it. You don't want to refrigerate it unless you're going to let it come back up to room temperature before consuming. Trust me, it just doesn't taste very good chilled.

If you want to add meat to this dish and serve it for lunch or supper, I would serve it over a bed of baby greens with a skewer of citrus-grilled shrimp.


26 June 2013

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Bowl

Southwestern Chicken & Rice

As with many of the dishes I've made lately, there's no real recipe for the above -- it's just beans and rice, sliced grilled marinated chicken, and guacamole. It's yummy, though, and worth posting about simply so I remember to make it again.

The rice is my first attempt at beans and rice and I think it turned out pretty well. Maybe not restaurant-worthy, but I wouldn't be ashamed to feed it to supper guests.

Start a pot of rice. Sauté chopped red onion and garlic in olive oil. Add one can drained, rinsed black beans and a splash of broth. Season with salt, pepper, and Penzeys Arizona Dreaming. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through and broth has evaporated. Give them a bit of a mash and set aside. When rice is done, add to beans and stir well. Sprinkle with cilantro and adjust seasonings as desired.

A bit of lemon or lime juice would be a nice brightener. Oh! A little lemon zest mixed in with the cilantro?

Southwestern Chicken & Rice

16 May 2013

Not Improv Challenge: Cinnamon & Not Sugar

When I saw April's Improv Challenge ingredients were cinnamon and sugar, I immediately knew I wanted to do something with that bundle of cinnamon sticks lurking in the back of the spice cabinet. I also knew I wanted to use maple syrup or honey, as refined sugar is something I'm using less and less of. I figured maple syrup would be fine, as participants are allowed to make substitutions due to dietary restrictions, but then I actually read the monthly email ...
You can use cinnamon in any form: ground, whole, extract, baking chips. Sugar
forms: white, powdered, brown, cane juice. I think we will save honey,
maple syrup, and other sweeteners for other challenges.
Erk. As I'd already made my dish and had no time to make another, I give you my Not Improv Challenge recipe, "Breakfast Barley."

Raspberries & Barley for Breakfast

I've been toying around with the idea of eating other grains for breakfast ... mostly because I have a cupboard full of random grains, but also because even the most delicious oatmeal gets a little boring after a while.  I'd seen recipes for quinoa and barley "rice" puddings, so I guessed what I wanted could be done.

In the end, I went with quick-cooking barley and prepared it mostly by following the directions on the back of the box. Coconut milk for water, of course, because I wanted delicious creaminess and I didn't see why I needed to bring the liquid to boil before adding the barley, so threw them into the pot together.

I think the dish turned out pretty well. Creamy, nutty, slightly sweet, and very filling. (The Husband, however, took one look at it and said "that looks horrible" so ymmv).
Breakfast Barley
Serves 3

Ingredients
1 cup quick-cooking barley [Mother's]
13.6 oz can coconut milk [Thai Kitchen]
Water, as needed
⅛ tsp salt
1-inch cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp flaxmeal [Bob's Red Mill]
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Fresh raspberries, as desired

Directions
Dump the coconut milk into a two-cup measuring cup and whisk it about until the solids are reincorporated. Add enough water to equal 2 cups. Add to saucepan with barley, cinnamon stick, and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring regularly to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes or until barley looks creamy, but not all liquid has been absorbed.

Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in maple syrup and flaxmeal. Let sit 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Taste. Add more maple syrup, if desired.

Portion into bowls. Serve topped with raspberries and, if desired, grated cinnamon and more maple syrup.

07 March 2013

Quinoa & Ham Salad

The Husband does not like ham. Therefore, I seldom buy ham. However, I like ham. And Dakin Farm was offering a 1.5 pound boneless smoked ham with free cob-smoked bacon and since I needed to stock up on Cabot cheese anyway ... well, it's no surprise there's a ham in my fridge.

I've been making ham-and-cheese microwave scrambled eggs -- beaten eggs, splash of milk, shredded Seriously Sharp, diced ham, cracked pepper all in the microwave for a minute or so -- a while that's a nomilicious combination, it's not very adventurous. Also, I neglected to go grocery shopping over the weekend, so I really needed something hammy to take to work.

Ham & Quinoa Salad

Obviously, I made a salad. Salad-making has become my default cooking setting. When I don't know what to eat, I just start chopping all the things and then toss them in a bowl with random vinaigrette and call it a meal.
Quinoa & Ham Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to packet directions, cooled
15 oz. low-sodium black beans, rinsed, well drained
1 small shallot, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
8 oz cooked ham, chopped
½ cup vinaigrette of choice [Cindy's Kitchen Fresh Avocado Vinaigrette]
Chopped cilantro, as desired

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until vinaigrette is well distributed. Serve over salad greens with additional dressing on the side.
I served this salad over mache, my new salad green BFF. Not only is it tasty stuff, but mache is high vitamins A, C, K and omega-3 fatty acids. Yum.

27 February 2013

Fishy Rice Salad

I saw a sardine rice salad posted on flickr a while ago and the idea of it has been lurking in the back of my mind ever since, waiting for an "I'm starving, but there's nothing I want to eat" moment. Which was yesterday.

Fishy Rice Salad

The original version used canned sardines in olive oil, warm jasmine thai rice, lettuce, mayonnaise, onions, and lemon juice, but I adapted it for my kitchen. I imagine most tinned fish would work well -- particularly a really good olive-oil packed tuna -- but I went with mackerel, because it's my fishy new BFF.
Mackerel & Rice Salad
Makes 1 large serving

Ingredients
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped fine
1 can oil-packed mackerel fillets, drained and flaked, oil reserved
1 cup cooked brown rice, hot
Lemon juice, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions
Toss lettuce, mackerel, and rice together in a large bowl (the heat from the rice will wilt the lettuce a little bit). Add reserved oil, lemon juice, and black pepper, until salad is dressed to your taste. Nom away.
(If you're using fished packed in water, definitely add a tablespoon of olive or flaxseed oil to the dish).

10 February 2013

The Blizzard of 2013: What We Ate

My cupboards and fridge always have food in them. My mother raised me to keep a little extra laid by in case Something Bad Happened and I didn't think this was unusual until I stopped at a grocery store Wednesday night to pick up cat noms and was bewildered by the number of people zooming up and down the aisles, their carts overflowing with food as if they might lose access to the grocery store for a week or more. Aside from the people whose regular shopping days fell on Wednesday and Thursday, I have to wonder ... do you all not have food at home? Is there nothing in you cupboards or fridge that could tide you over for a few days?

From our preexisting food stocks, I made:

Vegetable Beef Barley Stew

A fabulous pot of vegetable beef-barley stew we ate over three days with buttery slices of toasted home-baked bread.

Ingredients: thawed beef (cut into thumbnail-sized cubes), pearl barley, sliced mushrooms, red onion, garlic, carrots, frozen corn, frozen peas, canned diced tomatoes, marjoram, thyme, bay, Penzeys beef soup base, water, leftover Layer Cake Malbec, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper.

Mushroom Barley Pilaf w/ Smoked Lamb Sausages & Green Beans

"Byrdhouse Mushroom Barley Pilaf" with smoked lamb sausages and green beans. The Husband liked this so much he had seconds! I used a combination of pearl and quick-cooking barley, simply because I did not have enough pearl barley left, and the quick-cooking gave the dish a comforting creaminess while the pearl barley remained slightly chewy. It was a good combination and I must remember to do it that way again.

Ingredients: thawed smoked lamb sausages, pearl barley, garlic, red onion, sliced mushrooms, dry sherry, low-sodium fat-free chicken broth, Penzeys herbes de provence, black pepper, parsley, garlic oil, fresh green beans.

Making Pumpkin Oatmeal

"Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot," because oatmeal is the best comfort food for consecutive snow days and pumpkin is full of good nutrition.

Ingredients: steel cut oats, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, Penzeys baking spice, pumpkin oil flavor. (I sweetened each individual portion to taste with maple syrup and drizzled it with flaxseed oil for extra goodness).

I made pancakes and waffles, as well, but was too hungry at breakfast time to faff about with the camera. Not a morning person, anyway. Food and hot tea must go in my belly before I can function properly.

I heated up a frozen lasagna, too, but since it was made by Marie Callender it does not count as real cooking. It was, however, pretty darn good and I will be stocking up on more "Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna" the next time they go on sale. (I know, I know ... "Making and freezing your own is so much healthier/thriftier").

Our regular shopping day is usually Sunday so we're a bit low on milk and I've switched over to green and white teas to save what remains for The Husband's tea. Otherwise, we're in fine kip and could avoid the shops until next weekend. Which would be great, because here's the thing: while I like eating and enjoy cooking, grocery shopping does not fill me with joy. And, yes, we use Peapod quite heavily, but there are things Peapod can't be trusted to supply properly. What I really need is a replicator.

30 January 2013

Accidental Workhouse Porridge

I know. My soup looks like the kind of wretched porridge they would have served at a Victorian workhouse, if the Victorians had known about quinoa. It's not at all pretty. Indeed, it's down right homely. But, O my darlings, it is quite tasty.

Quinoa & Acorn Squash Soup

This soup is based on Crisco's "Butternut and Quinoa Soup," but I used an acorn squash, yellow bell pepper, and no-sugar added cashew butter. Also, I was out of cayenne so seasoned the finished soup with sriracha.

I blame the soup's sad, washed-out color on my choice of ingredients as orange butternut and red bell pepper would have held their own against the brown cashew butter and ultimately yielded a prettier soup. But yellow and yellow, when mixed with the brown cashew butter, just went ... beige.

And then I had the brilliant idea to puree the finished soup as the large chunks of squash didn't really seem to go with the tiny grains (would really recommend dicing squash into fingernail-sized cubes) ... No, pureeing did not help its looks at all.

But the taste was better! The squash blended with the quinoa and corn forming a spicy/sweet/nutty/creamy amalgam that I couldn't stop sampling.

Since it looks like porridge, I've been eating it for breakfast and find a one-cup serving (4 WWP+ as I made it) is quite filling and doesn't leaving me starving by midmorning. I do look forward to making it again, but with a butternut squash and a red or orange bell pepper.

18 October 2012

Improv Challenge: Oatmeal & Raisins

October's Improv Challenge ingredients, oatmeal and raisins, are a traditional combination and can be combined in many delicious ways. Being on an oatmeal-for-breakfast kick, I decided to make Sunset's "Aloha Oatmeal" which uses steel-cut oats, golden raisins, flaked coconut, sliced almonds, pineapple, and banana. It's a tropical flavor explosion and perfect for giving good belly cheer on a wet, grey October morning when leaving a warm bed to go to the dentist just seems unbearable.

Aloha, Oatmeal!

I omitted the honey from this recipe as the fruit and coconut provided enough sweetness. I also omitted the extra milk/water the original recipe suggested stirring in at the end because this oatmeal was already plenty creamy for me and I don't like porridge-y oatmeal.

This was good with steel-cut oats, but I don't see why you couldn't use whatever kind of oats you prefer or have on hand. I happened to have both old-fashioned and steel-cut oats as I use the old-fashioned quite a lot and keep buying the steel-cut out of some kind of misquided cookery guilt -- "I should prefer steel-cut oats! They're so good for me! The extra time is worth it! The tin is so pretty!"
Aloha Oatmeal
Adapted from a recipe by Sunset

Ingredients
1 cup Irish steel-cut oats
3 oz golden raisins
1 tsp canola oil
1 pinch sea salt

1 cup chopped banana
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
½ cup toasted sweetened coconut

Directions

Cook oats according to package instructions, but adding ½ cup more water. As soon as the oats come to a boil, add the raisins, oil, and salt. Continue to cook as directed.

When the oats are done, divide between four bowls and top with banana, pineapple, almonds, and coconut.
(I toasted the coconut and almonds by heating a nonstick skillet up and then stirring the coconut and almonds around for about 5 minutes).



13 October 2012

October is for Oatmeal

It's October! Time to dust of the slow cooker and make with the oatmeal. There are many ways to make oatmeal in the slow cooker, but it basically boils down to 4:1 ratio of liquid to steel-cut oats, plus flavorings, all in the slow cooker for eight hours on low.

The first few times I made oatmeal in my slow cooker, I was fairly worried about leaving the appliance on overnight. I don't know why, really, as I leave it on all day while I'm at work and don't even think about it. There was just something about an appliance working away while I slept that made me uneasy. As if the slow cooker would run mad and burn the house down around us while we slept.

Well, that did not happen. I eventually got over myself and now love slow-cooking oatmeal overnight. (Tomato sauce is good for overnight slow-cooking, too, as long as you don't mind waking up with a terrible craving for spaghetti for breakfast!)

Breakfast, Woo
Pecan-cranberry oatmeal topped with fresh banana & flax seed oil. Yum!
Over the weekend, I made pecan-cranberry oatmeal to use up some odds and ends hanging out from last winter's holiday baking. I could just as easily have used dried blueberries or golden raisins and slivered almonds or walnuts. And probably will try those combinations out over the next few weeks. My baking cupboard overfloweth with bits and bobs.
Pecan-Cranberry Oatmeal

Ingredients
Cooking spray
4 cups water
½ cup low-fat milk
[omit if you don't like creamy oatmeal]
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 oz dried cranberries
1 scant cup chopped pecans
1 tsp Penzeys baking spice blend
1 tsp Penzeys Mexican vanilla
1 scant tsp sea salt

Directions
Spray slow cooker insert. Add all other ingredients, stir, cover, cook on low for 8 hours. Stir. Adjust seasonings or add more liquid, if desired.

Portion out for later or eat with fresh sliced banana and a little honey or maple syrup.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal

17 April 2012

My First Kabobs

Several years ago, when my parents were moving house, my mother gave me her old set of stainless steel kabob skewers. I didn't really know what to do with them, having never made kabobs, but I was loathe to refuse them as I had fond memories of using them to toast marshmallow/fence with my cousins at many family picnics.

I was the Errol Flynn of marshmallow toasters, I tell you.

Anyway, the skewers sat, unused and unloved, in the back of my kitchen's junk drawer until last week when I decided it was darn well time to skewer something or let them go.

There was a pound of thawed beef chunks in the fridge I'd intended for stew, before the marvelous spring weather we've been having persuaded me that stew was the last thing I wanted to eat. Why not, I thought, skewer and broil 'em?

Beef Skewers, Marinated

I marinated the beef for two days (it was supposed to only be overnight, but ...) in McCormick Grill Mates® 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Marinade prepared with vegetable oil, water, and zinfandel vinegar. Sunday afternoon, I threaded the meat onto two metal skewers, lay them on a broiler pan, poured some of the remaining marinade over each skewer, and let them sit for about 20 minutes on the kitchen side.

Beef Skewers, Broiled

Then I heated the broiler and broiled the kabobs about four inches from the element for about 4 minutes on each side.

Beef Skewer Over Rice w/ Pigeon Peas

I served the kabobs on a bed of Southern Living's "Basmati Rice and Pigeon Peas" and it made for a rather nice Sunday dinner. The kabobs were tender and peppery with a good hit of garlic and the lemony basmati rice paired well with them.

Beef Skewer Over Rice w/ Pigeon Peas

Overall, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself and expect we'll be eating a lot of meat-onna-stick this summer!

13 April 2012

Cookery Catch-Up Or "Food, There Has Been Some"

I haven't menu-planned in over a month and my last few posts have all been about cooking challenges or The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook (which I still seriously , by the way), but I have still been cooking food as hungry people need to eat. While it's mostly been how-fast-can-I-get-a-meal-on-the-table type food, it's all home-made and that has to count for something, I think.

Leftover Lamb Stuff

Mom sent us home from Easter dinner with a packet of leftovers, including some really nice lamb. I thought about shepherd's pie, but felt too lazy even for that. So I made lamb "stuff" -- kind of, but not really, like the "goulash" my mother used to make from leftover pot roast:

First, I made Betty Crocker's "No-Drippings Gravy" with low-sodium beef broth, Penzeys beef base, dried parsley, and salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Then, I set the gravy aside and turned my attention to the rest of the dish.

I sauteed shallots, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper in olive oil until they were crisp-tender and then added in the lamb and thawed pearl onions. Let everything sizzle in the pan for a few minutes and then poured the gravy over it all and let it cook until the onions were tender and everything was hot. Seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper and served it over parslied rice.

Chicken Barley Risotto w/ Edamame

Betty Crocker's "Chicken and Barley Risotto with Edamame" was one of the recipes I tried for April's Cooking the Alphabet Challenge. Sadly, it was pretty terrible and we threw out the leftovers. I'm deeply embarrassed to write that as I have been conditioned to never throw out leftovers, but there was simply no way either of us would eat it again. It was bland. Horribly, horribly bland. And the texture was just unfortunate -- creamy/gooey with slightly crunchy edamame. It just didn't work.

Dinner Salad

Salad, it's what's for dinner! I seasoned chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and sauteed them in a very hot pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then I set them aside and prepared two plates of tossed salad -- butter/bibb lettuce blend, cherry tomatoes, radish, celery, orange bell pepper, red onion, shredded cheese, hard-cooked egg, and garlicky croutons. Topped salad with chopped chicken, Cindy's Kitchen's Fresh Buttermilk Ranch (simply fab, darlings), and freshly ground pepper. Nomnomnom.

28 March 2012

Cooking The Books: More From The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

Working my way down the list of recipes I want to make from The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook before it has to go back to the library next week. This third recipe I made, "Fresh From the Careers' Packs: Super Healthy Dried Fruit Quinoa Salad," is very delicious and so flagrantly healthy that I couldn't help feeling smug as I ate it. It also has a many ingredients:

IMG_3233

Ingredients: quinoa, salt, water, scallions, celery, dried cranberries, dried cherries, golden raisins sriracha, garlic powder, canola oil, lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, cilantro, almonds, shelled sunflower seeds. (The golden raisins were an optional ingredient recommended under "Tips from Your Sponsor").

IMG_3239

Sriracha, canola oil, toasted sesame oil, garlic powder, and lemon juice whisked together to make a tasty vinaigrette. (I recommend doubling up on vinaigrette as the salad was a little dry).

IMG_3241

Cooked quinoa, vinaigrette, dried cranberries, dried cherries, golden raisins, celery, and scallions mixed together.

Yummy

Serve at room temperature sprinkled with cilantro, almonds, and shelled sunflower seeds. Pretty to look at, yummy to eat.

This would be really good for breakfast, if you omitted the celery, cilantro, and scallions and used the maple vinaigrette recipe from Prim's salad.

14 February 2012

Easy Baked Apple Oatmeal, Yum!

I've gotten away from making oatmeal in my slow cooker -- don't even keep steel-cut oats in the house, anymore -- and this was a bit of a problem over the weekend when cold, blustery weather created an unbearable craving for slow-cooked oatmeal. Happily, I had a partial canister of old-fashioned oats on hand and knew there was a recipe for baked oatmeal squirrelled away somewhere. I eventually found the recipe ("Baked Apple Oatmeal") in Betty Crocker's Heart Healthy Cookbook. I've owned the Heart Healthy Cookbook for a while now and, judging by the number of sticky notes that decorate it, I've had every intention of cooking many things from it but ... well, the world is full of cookbooks.

Baked Apple Oatmeal w/ Blueberries

I don't think I can recommend this recipe enough -- it's incredibly easy to make and tastes really good. Not sweet at all so the apple, raisins, and cinnamon really pop. I ate mine reheated with a little milk and topped with blueberries. Yesterday, I like it so much for breakfast that I had it for lunch, too!

Baked Oatmeal, Ingredients

Combine old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and raisins in a big bowl. I used golden raisins, but dried cranberries or blueberries would also be delicious.

New Chopper

Chop two apples. The recipe doesn't say to peel them, but I did as my organic apples seemed to be coated with a sticky, waxy substance that would not wash off.

Baked Oatmeal, Unbaked

Combine everything together in a two-quart baker. It will look soupy. Don't panic. Bake.

Baked Oatmeal, Baked

See? 40 minutes later, most of the milk is absorbed and everything looks nomilicious. As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell like apple pie.

12 July 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Good Noms

Sunday night I realized I had nothing to take to work on Monday. Sure, my kitchen was full of odds 'n ends, but what could I really do with them? This, apparently:

Kitchen Sink Barley Salad

Kitchen Sink Barley Salad

Ingredients
1 cup quick cooking pearl barley, prepared as instructed
2 scallions, sliced
2 small cucumbers, diced
3 large radishes, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
4 marinated artichoke hearts, diced
1 leftover grilled chicken breast, chopped

½ cup light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp light Greek vinaigrette
1 lemon, zested
black pepper, to taste

Directions
In a large bowl, combine first set of ingredients. In a small bowl, combine second set of ingredients.

Add mayonnaise mixture to barley mixture. Stir well. Let sit overnight
.
How was it? Pretty darn tasty! Certainly, I felt like some kind of genius as I devoured a portion of it at lunch today and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's lunch!

14 December 2010

Boo, Bland Bulgur

Last week I was all set to make Betty Crocker's "Chicken & Veggies with Bulgur" from Whole Grains: Easy Everyday Recipes (Wiley, 2007) when I realized that, while the recipe called for bulgur, the photo showed barley. Which should I use? I am a fan of both, after all! A quick tweet to @BettyCrocker resolved the issue -- either would work, but as bulgur was in the recipe, they recommended using that.

Well, I used bulgur and we thought the dish was okay, but a little bland. Next time, I'll try the recipe with barley and cook the chicken and vegetables with garlic, dill, and a little lemon zest. As the recipe is written, the chicken and vegetables lack any seasoning whatsoever and, oh, it just made my tongue go "meh."

Chicken & Bulgur

Ingredients: bulgur, low sodium chicken broth, dill, garlic, boneless skinless chicken breast, carrots, onion.

07 December 2010

Pie-A-uh

Monday, made Betty Crocker's "Easy-Does-It Barley Paella" from Betty Crocker's Whole Grains Cookbook. Simple to make and pretty tasty -- I will be making this paella again.

Barley Paella

I had to make a few alterations to the original recipe, mostly because of the ingredients I had on hand. Substituting a can of Muir Glen's fire roasted diced tomatoes for a can of petite diced didn't make much of a difference, step-wise, but substituting two links of Aidell's fully-cooked "Cajun Style" andouille sausage for bulk chorizo made a significant difference -- I cooked the onion, bell pepper and garlic first and added the andouille in at the end with the chicken and shrimp.

I also cooked the pearl barley in low-sodium chicken broth in my rice cooker. This is, frankly, my favorite way to cook barley and I recommend it to anyone who has a rice cooker. I just dump a rice cup of barley into the rice cooker pot, fill the rice pot to the "White Rice 1" line, and turn the machine on. It starts up with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and then away it goes, steaming my barley to perfection.

Recipe says it serves five, but we only managed four (generous) servings.

02 November 2010

Cheesy Rice & Bean Goodness

Halloween, I made "Corn, Black Bean, and Rice Burritos" from Good Housekeeping's Family Vegetarian Cooking for supper. These "burritos" were quite tasty and dead easy to make. I think they would serve well as a work night supper -- prepare them the night before and then pop them in the oven upon arriving home from work.

Rice & Black Bean Rollups

Ingredients: brown rice, low-sodium black beans, low-sodium corn, diced chiles, shredded Cabot Monterey Jack, Green Mountain Gringo Roasted Garlic salsa, reconstituted dried cilantro, flour tortillas.

Good Housekeeping says that it serves four, but I found one burrito per person worked just fine. I must admit I did tweak the recipe a little -- stirred the salsa into the rice filling, and topped the assembled with the remaining jar of salsa and shredded block of cheese as more cheese is always better. With less cheese, however, you might want to eat two?

(I think The Husband suspects there's something up as I served him three yummy meatless suppers last week. Oh, The Husband, if you only knew ...)

24 October 2010

15 Minute Supper

While I've made Taste of Home's "Creole Tuna" a couple times now, I still continue to be surprised by how tasty it is considering how little time it takes to make -- fifteen minutes, not counting the time it takes to cook the rice. If I used minute rice, then the whole thing really would only take 15 minutes, but I prefer to use my rice cooker.


Ingredients: red onion, red bell pepper, flour, salt, pepper, sugar, milk, low-sodium stewed tomatoes, low-sodium tuna, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin.

While the recipe calls for green bell pepper, I use red as that's what I always have on hand. I also sauté a quarter cup of diced red onions with the peppers, because I think a little onion can't do any harm.

As I don't own any Creole seasoning and (as far as I can see) Penzeys doesn't sell anything similar, I substitute ½ teaspoon each Hungarian Sweet paprika and garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon each French thyme and cumin.