Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grilled Zucchini Over Quinoa

I keep forgetting I have this blog.  I've made some new things but haven't taken pictures or thought about posting.  Oy.  Anyway, so here I am with a very simple, yet very tasty recipe that I made tonight. It's vegan and only takes about 20-25 minutes from start to finish.  Very few ingredients are needed.  Quinoa, zucchini, olive oil, and some daiya mozzarella type cheese.  You could skip the cheese but I thought it added a nice flavor.  It's soy free and gluten free as well.


3 zucchini, cut into strips
1 cup quinoa, dry
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Daiya mozzarella shreds to sprinkle on top 


Cook quinoa per package instructions.  When the quinoa is almost done, heat olive oil over medium heat in pan.  Add the zucchini and salt a pepper to taste.  Stir the zucchini about every minute or so and then it brown a little.   Put cooked quinoa on your plate, top it off with grilled zucchini, and sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Makes 2-3 servings depending on your appetite.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gluten and Dairy Free Crepes

I was craving something dessert-y but not too sweet.  I also didn't want to leave the house and didn't want anything cold.  I started searching around for quick and easy gluten free dessert ideas.  I was trying to find something that I could either make or adapt to what I had in the house.  I thought of microwaving an apple and pear with some cinnamon but that didn't sound good enough.  I thought about cutting up a mango and serving it with coconut milk ice cream.  I was kind of cold and that would involve leaving the house and buying something so that was out.  I came across some crepe recipes but they all were made with things I didn't have, and dairy, and weren't as quick and easy and I was hoping for.  I changed my search to look for gluten free dairy free crepes and came across a little crepe shop near my house that says they have gluten free vegan crepes.  Then I saw they are made on the same equipment as the gluten filled crepes, which is really pointless for someone with celiac or high sensitivity.  I think some of these place are following along diet trends and making gluten free things for people who believe it's the next best thing for weight loss.  I'm sure you know, as I know, that being gluten free doesn't necessarily have anything to do with weight loss.  In fact, in can have a lot to do with weight gain, especially if you were having trouble keeping weight on before being diagnosed.  Many, if not most, gluten free "convenience" foods and baked goods are higher in calories and fat than their gluten filled counter parts.  Ok, stepping off my high horse now, I just needed to get that out.

So, as I was perusing the world wide web I came across a recipe on Living Without.  Living Without also publishes a magazine and is not only a great resource for gluten free foods and recipes, but for all kinds of food allergies.  Their recipes always looked good to me and I can't even tell you how many times I saved recipes from the magazine, but somehow never got around to it.  I did use the references in the back to find out about substitutes for things like butter, and to get flour recipes.  On the web site they are just called Easy Breakfast Crepes.  I did not make them breakfast crepes, however.  I may in the future.  Throw some veggies and scrambled egg in there.  Maybe meat and cheese for the family.  Tonight it was all about my sweet tooth.  I had a nice, ripe mango that I wanted to eat so I decided that mango crepes would be a delicious and not too terribly unhealthy dessert.  I had extra batter after I made my two so I made a crepe for each of the kids and they couldn't tell they were gluten free and thought they were super delicious.  For their crepes I spread some butter on the crepe and then put some strawberry jelly and whipped cream in the middle, rolled it up and sprinkled some powdered sugar on top.  I called them strawberries and cream crepes.  I didn't want the dairy so I simply cut up my mango and rolled the pieces inside and sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  They were delicious, filling, and super easy.  This is one of those recipes that is versatile and all about personal taste.  Fill with whatever fits your fancy.  Make them into breakfast, dessert, lunch, or dinner.  The possibilities are endless.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup milk or milk substitute (I used Silk Pure Almond unsweetened vanilla)
2 eggs*
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oil

Heat oil in pan over medium high heat.  Mix flour and sugar together.  Add in vanilla, milk, and eggs.  Batter should be thin (the website says like cake batter).  If it's too thin you can add more flour one tbsp at a time.  I found this to be unnecessary.  Pour batter onto skillet and spread around to evenly coat.  It'll start to bubble up a lot and the you can take a thin spatula and flip.  Cook for a just a minute or two and transfer to your plate.  Put your ingredients on, roll them up and enjoy!

*The website also has instructions for making these if you're egg free so they can easily be converted to vegan.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scallop and Cabbage Tacos

Obviously this recipe isn't vegetarian or vegan, but it could be if you omitted the scallops and just ate the veggies in a corn tortilla.  I originally got the idea for the recipe on Pinterest.  I changed it up a bit though, to suit my personal tastes.  The main veggie here?  Cabbage.  I don't know what it is about cabbage but I love chopping it up and smelling it.  It smells so good to me.  Is that weird?  Anyway, in my produce box this week I received a yellow onion and a bunch of little radishes.  I decided to cook up the radishes and onion, along with the cabbage, as the main filling for my tacos.  Throw in a little cilantro and bam,  you've got flavor.  This is also enhanced with fresh lime juice.  I think lime juice is essential for just about every Mexican inspired dish.  It's very complimentary.

I've also been using all organic ingredients lately.  All of my produce is exclusively organic.  Some of the spices and things I use may not be organic at this time but I'm getting there.  I'm also trying to use whole ingredients to add flavor instead of sodium filled spices.  Limes and lemons add a lot of flavor to a lot of things naturally.  As do certain herbs, as well as the flavors of the vegetables themselves.  I do like to cook with a little bit of salt and pepper but not much, just enough to help enhance taste.  I also bought a cool new gadget that allows me to take my olive oil and turn it into a cooking spray.   It's called the Misto.

This thing is great and I highly recommend it.  I don't have to buy sprays that have all kinds of crazy ingredients.  I can simply use olive oil.  Or whatever oil you prefer.  You can use this to spray onto your food as well.  I found it at my local grocery store but Amazon sells it too if you can't find it.

So, the first thing I did to make the tacos was to wash all the radishes.  I threw away the greens and cut off the ends.  I then sliced them into round pieces.  I peeled and cut half of the onion into slices.  Then, I chopped up a head of cabbage.  I heated a pan with a bit of olive oil then put in the shredded cabbage, onion, and radishes.  I let them simmer for a few minutes, turning the cabbage a bit brown.  I then added some salt and pepper and stirred semi frequently until the cabbage had softened up.  I added in some fresh chopped cilantro and squeezed the juice out of two limes.  I turned the heat down to low and covered it.  In another pan I sprayed some olive oil and then cut up 10 sea scallops into four pieces each.  I put them in the pan and let them sauté a bit.  I added salt and pepper and then squeezed the juice of a half a lemon over it and cooked until the scallops were solid white and meaty.  Next, in a small preheated pan, heat the corn tortillas until soft and brown spots start to form.  Put scallop pieces on the tortilla and top of with a good amount of the cabbage mixture.

10 sea scallops, cut into fours
1 head cabbage, shredded
2-4 radishes, depending on size, sliced into rounds
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 lemon
2 limes
Soft corn tortillas

Preheat pan or skillet to medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add cabbage, radishes, and onion.  Let simmer for a few minutes, stir.  Begin to stir all ingredients every minute or two until the cabbage starts to soften.  Turn heat down to low and let sit.  In another pan, heat to medium heat and spray some olive oil into the pan.  Add scallops and let sit and brown up a little.  Stir and turn them.  Add lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper (to taste) and let simmer until the scallops are white all they way through and meaty.  While the scallops are simmering squeeze the juice from the limes directly onto the cabbage mixture.  Add the cilantro and a little bit of salt and pepper and stir.  For the tortillas you can either heat them in the microwave to soften, or heat them on a small skillet (my preferred method) until brown spots start to form.  Put a few scallop pieces in the tortilla and add the cabbage mixture right on top.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Simmered Greens and Brown Rice

This meal is an idea I got from my throw it together meal, and from my first time eating rainbow chard.  Rainbow chard is delicious, at least I think it is.  Chard in any form is a very healthy vegetable.  I know, I know, but all veggies are healthy.  True.  However, not all veggies are created equal.  Different vegetables have different vitamin contents and phytonutrients.  Chard is know is known to have at least 13 different types of antioxidants.  It contains an antioxidant called kaempferol, which is a cardio protective flavonoid.  It can also be found in broccoli and kale.  So, chard equals good for your heart.  Chard leaves also have a flavonoid called syringic acid.  This is known for it's ability to help regulate blood sugar.  It is chock full with all kinds of antioxidants.  It is also chock full of all kinds of vitamins, particularly K and A.  In only one cup of cooked chard you get 716% of your daily value of vitamin k and 214% of your daily value of vitamin A.  It has a lot of other vitamins too.  If you'd like to see them all please visit this website for more information.

I'll admit, I'm not very well versed in cooking chard.  I've eaten once where I simply sautéed it with garlic and a bit of fresh squeezed lemon.  The way I cooked it this time came from an idea from a friend.  I will be looking up more ways to cook chard though.  Regular chard is great, I like the rainbow chard because, typically, more colors equals more phytonutrients.  For this meal I also included green kale, purple kale, and yellow onion.  I served it over brown rice and really enjoyed it.  My husband said it stank, lol.  He's a steak and potatoes kind of guy.  I, however, and leaning more and more towards vegan.  The only thing I can't give up is eggs and I'll still probably eat a little seafood from time to time.  I'm really loving experimenting with new vegetables.  So, here's my recipe.

1 cup chopped green kale leaves
1 cup chopped purple kale leaves
2 cups chopped rainbow chard, including stems
1 medium sized yellow onion, cut into slices then into fours
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup brown rice

Start the rice first.  I used a half cup of rice and one cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and let simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water.  In a preheated pan, set on medium, add coconut oil.  Wait just a few minutes then add garlic and onion.  Sautee until onion becomes translucent.  Add in the vegetable broth and kale leaves.  Turn heat down, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until kale starts to become soft.  Add in the chard leaves and stem, cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes, allowing everything to soak up the vegetable broth.  Put rice in a bowl or plate and add the vegetable mix.  I put it right on top with some broth for the rice to soak up and add to the flavor.  Here's how the veggies looked when they were done.  I took the picture with my phone so I apologize for the cut off sides.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Throw it all together

I've been experimenting with different vegetable lately.  Trying new things, finding what I like (turnips) and things I don't like (beets).  I have signed up for organic produce delivery and I love that there is usually at least one thing in the box that I haven't tried before.  I've also tried rainbow chard and liked it very much.  I made it very simply.  I heated up a bit of olive oil, cut up the chard, and sautéed with some minced garlic.  When it was finished I squeezed some fresh lemon on it. Delish!  Sorry, I wasn't thinking of taking pictures when I made it but I hight recommend it.

I couldn't figure out what I wanted for dinner the other night.  I dug through my fridge to see what kinds of veggies I had left.  I found some kale, a huge yellow onion, a leek, a couple of roma tomatoes, some fresh green beans, a few baby turnips, and fresh parsley.  I heated up a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil in a pan.  I cut up all the veggies into good bite sized pieces.  I even sliced a little bit of ginger.  I put some lentils in a pot and let them cook.  I sautéed all of the veggies in a pan, cooking the turnips for about 5 minutes or so by them selves.  I threw everything else into the pot and squeezed from fresh lemon on it.  I really enjoyed it.  The flavor of the coconut oil along with the natural flavors of the vegetables made it taste fabulous.  I mixed in some the lentils and called it a meal.  It was literally a throw it all together meal.

I'm also now convinced that organic produce really is superior.  They taste better and I know it has more nutrients than their chemical sprayed counterparts.  I buy most of my produce at a local organic co-op and their prices aren't that much more than regular grocery store produce.  I've been reading a lot on diet, nutrition, and food in America which is what has sparked this turn in the foods I eat.  I've completely cut out dairy and soy.  I drink almond milk to get my calcium.  I'm eating mostly vegan but I am eating eggs.  I could never give up my eggs.  Or my coffee.  I look forward to experimenting with more fresh produce and coming up with yummy dishes.
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