Thursday, March 31, 2011

Red Quinoa and Avocado Salad

I think Quinoa is such an amazing grain.  The health benefits are ridiculous including the fact that it is jam packed with Calcium!!! Here is a recipe using Red Quinoa, but you can substitute with regular Quinoa just fine.

1 Cup Red Quinoa, measured and then rinsed
2 Cups Water
1/2 Red Onion
2 Avocados, cut into chunks
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Cut Tatsoi or Spinach, finely chopped
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons Cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

How to Cook Quinoa:
Always pre-measure the Quinoa first. Rinse thoroughly.  Add Quinoa and water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes.  Once most of the water is absorbed turn heat off and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Let it cool down before using in this recipe.
Once cooked it opens up and looks like this.




Tatsoi or Spinach ...

Parsley, Cilantro, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard, Salt and Pepper.

Add the cooked and cooled Quinoa and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

How can you not love this!

Swiss Chard & Pancetta

I had a ton of fresh Swiss Chard from my CSA Harvest 2U  Box from LAST WEEK!!! Yes... if you wash and properly store greens they will last for up to 2 weeks!!!  I came up with this side dish and just had to share.  My kids loved it.... and that makes me happy!!!

6-8 Cups of Swiss Chard
1 (4oz) Container Diced Pancetta
1 Shallot, Finely Diced
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to Taste
Parmesan Cheese, Grated

When you purchase Swiss Chard, take it home... thoroughly wash each leaf and wrap in paper towel.  You want the leaves to be a little wet.  Place the roll of greens in a zip lock bag... remove as much of the air and put in refrigerator. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.

The stems and spines are perfectly edible... I find them to be rough.  I remove them
Chop the Swiss Chard and set aside.

Get all your ingredients ready and heat your skillet.

Add the Pancetta to the hot skillet without any oil.

Cook for approximately 2 minutes to render some of the fat.

 Add the Shallot and the Garlic, cook for about 1 minute.

Add the Swiss Chard, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook until the Swiss Chard wilts.

Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese right before serving. It is so delicious. I know that 6-8 Cups of Swiss Chard sounds like a lot... but it's not. They whither down significantly. You can also substitute for other greens like Spinach, Kale, Mustard, or even Arugula. Get comfortable with using greens... they are a wonderful way to add so much nutrients to a meal!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Very Simple Veggie and Potato Soup

This week has been cold and rainy... I wanted to have something Hearty... Warm... and Cheesy for my babies to come home to. I usually clean out my fridge on Wednesdays and try to use as many of the veggies I have in there.  I threw this together in less than 20 minutes.  It tasted so good and kids at the whole pot!!!! 

1 Whole Onion
3-4 Carrots
1 Kale
1/2 Bag of Baby Spinach
1 Zucchini
1/2 Broccoli
1 1/2 Containers of Chicken or Veggie Broth (or 6 cups)
3 Potatoes, Peeled and cut into slices
Mozzarella Cheese

Wash and chop all the veggies into medium chunks... using the broth... blend the veggies a few at a time, except the potatoes. 
Put in pot and bring to a boil. Add the Potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
But some of the cheese on top and serve with some rustic French or Italian Bread.
Seriously... does it get any easier???

So easy and so savory!!!


So my kids are fans of anything with Cheese and Noodles. I found that if I stick veggies in their food... as long as there is Cheese and Noodles... they will eat it.  You can use your food processor to chop them up even smaller... they will probably not even notice they are in their if they are small enough.

1 Whole Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
1 Pound Ground Turkey, Chicken or Beef
4 Cups of Chopped Veggies, I used Spinach, Tatsoi, Zucchini and Broccoli but you can use any combination you have
1 Jar of your favorite Pasta Sauce
1/2 Bar of Low Fat Cream Cheese, you can also use 1 cup of plain Yogurt (Greek works best)
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
Sharp Cheddar
1 Box of Pasta, cooked and drained. I used Brown Rice Pasta

Brown your onion in approx 4-5 tablespoons of Olive or Canola Oil ....

Add the meat and the garlic...

Cook and brown for about 5-7 minutes

Chop up all your veggies... use the processor to make them easy to hide.

Add to the meat and onion mixture

Add the pasta sauce and the Paprika

Simmer for about 5 minutes covered.

Add the cream cheese of yogurt... melt it in.

Turn the heat off and add the pasta...

Mix well ...

Add your cheese... I used 1 cup of extra sharp cheddar

All done....  Serve nice and hot.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Savory Mexican Rice with Secret Veggies...

I am always on the hunt for ways to sneak veggies in food... This rice made my house smell SO GOOD....!!!!

2 Cups Jasmine Rice (you can use Long Grain Rice)
4 Cups Water, Veggie Broth or Chicken Broth
1/4 Onion
1 Cup Cilantro
1 Roma Tomato
1-2 Cups of Baby Spinach
2 Carrots
3 Cloves of Garlic
Powder Tomato Chicken Bouillon
1 Teaspoon Cumin
4 Cups of Water
4-8 Tablespoons of Olive or Canola Oil

To make my Sofrito place the Onion, Garlic, Tomato, Spinach, Carrots and Cilantro in the food processor.

Place the rice in a large pan and lightly brown with about 4 Tablespoons of oil.

When your rice reaches the right color... keep the flame on and form a well in the middle.

Add a few more tablespoons of oil in the middle and add sofrito... cook for about 1 minute...

Stir throughout the rice... and cook for another 2 minutes approx...

Use as much or as little of the Tomato Chicken Bouillon base... if you are vegan omit this step and use only the veggie broth. Use some additional Vegetable Better than Bouillon and salt for stronger flavor. I used approx 4 tablespoons of the base.

Stir in the Powdered Bouillon and 1 Teaspoon Cumin.

Bring to boil... lower heat to Medium Heat and cover.... DO NOT OPEN THE LID AND SMACK ANYONE WHO DOES.

If you can use a glass lid so you can see the rice... Keep it on medium heat until it looks like....

This!!! I never open the lid... but I did this time so you can see what it should look like when you turn off the heat. Keep covered for another 30 minutes.

Fluff rice and serve warm.

This rice is so savory... and no one will ever know there are veggies in there!!!! Get creative... you can add any combination of veggies.