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Cilantro & Lime Quinoa #glutenfree Salad

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Summer holidays are winding down but the rugby girls got one more BBQ opportunity before school started. This quinoa salad was light and citrusy, a perfect contrasting flavour to the smokey BBQ meat! And we were even blessed with a lovely sunset 🙂 Continue reading

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Quinoa Thai Style with Chili Pumpkin Seeds

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The finished product: Thai Style Quinoa

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but pumpkins are in season. I’ve had pumpkins in my puddings, risottos, pastas and salads. I’m almost over it.

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There’s pumpkin …. in everything!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1-2 stalks of kale, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cups stock (veg or chicken works best)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • chili powder
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your pumpkin seeds first, so you can wash your quinoa while they cook. Quinoa can be quite bitter because of the coating on the outside of the seeds, so be sure to give it a good wash. I use a metal strainer and really push the seeds into the metal to help release that bitter outer coating.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of water into a small sauce pan and get it to a raging boil. Then add your quinoa. As the water evaporates, gradually start adding in the stock.image
  3. Start prepping your veg. As the quinoa cooks, you can add in a little bit of garlic and kale each time you add the stock. The flavours of the garlic will mix with the quinoa, while the stock will cook the kale and take away its bitterness.image
  4. Test the quinoa – you don’t want it to be al dente. When it is soft enough, pull it off the heat and mix in the cilantro, spring onions. Squeeze the juice out of the limes and mix well. This produces a light and tangy flavour for the quinoa.
  5. Season with some pepper (and I like to add a little chili pepper) and then serve with a wedge of lime and chili pumpkin seeds on top. This is great as a side dish, or as a main meal.

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Quinoa Protein Bars

Protein-bars

Mmmmm

My first quinoa experiment was with GF Choc PB Balls and they turned out great. The sad part is, they didn’t last long!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 16 whole (pitted) dates, no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds with skin
  • 1/3 cup Skippy crunchy peanut butter (almond butter is an option)
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips (make sure they are made in the USA)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Directions:

TIP: Make this recipe into 20 Quinoa Protein Bites at about 1″ each, and you’ve got a snack that’s under 100 calories!

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  1. Add quinoa and water to a small sauce, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Overnight will is ok too.
  2. Using a food processor, add dates and pulse until they form a ball. Remove dates and place in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill.
  4. Add dates, almonds, peanut butter and cold quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined.
  5. Return ingredients to the mixing bowl, shape into 6 – 2″ x 1″ bars, about 1″ thickness. Place on a dish, refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  6. In a small saucepan, add chocolate chips and honey. Melt over low heat or in a double-boiler. Evenly spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of each protein bar, return to the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden.
  7. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

**Optional, omit the honey and add chocolate chips to the food processor when adding the quinoa.

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GF PB & Choc Balls

I would end my life if someone told me I could never have peanut butter

I would end my life if someone told me I could never have peanut butter

Last Saturday, I bought a bag of quinoa. I am a quinoa virgin. Ok, well I have had it in stuff, like Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burgers. But I have never cooked it. However, I am a confident person and an acceptable chef. So I know I can deal with this protein packed little grain.

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A vegetarian’s friend

Since I eat lots of GABA rice and tofu, I wanted something that was healthy, but also a little bit of a treat. Say, at 2.30pm, when I am looking at the clock thinking Only 45 minutes left of my school day, a pick me up like peanut butter and chocolate might make that time more bearable. 

This recipe is very easy and idiot proof: Puffed Quinoa Peanut Butter Balls. Please note that you can buy quinoa already puffed, or you can pioneer through it (like me) following these instructions. No oven required 🙂