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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Tag Archives: quinoa

The summer continues to fly by and I can’t believe we’re past the middle of August already!  I have been doing tons of cooking and baking, but obviously not a lot of blogging!  I’m going to try and get some of my new creations written down over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Canadian Living Magazine has been busting out some awesome editions lately and this month included a little bonus mag called “Just for Moms” which highlighted some back to school lunchbox recipes.  One recipe for Chewy Quinoa Bars caught my eye because of an ingredient I haven’t tried yet: quinoa flakes!  I found some at Bulk Barn – they aren’t exactly cheap (over $6 for 350g, but it seems like there are many applications for these fluffy things!)  I fooled around with the recipe and came up with something I knew I would like.  A lot.  These have been a big hit at our place and around the office; they are quite filling too!

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Chewy Chocolate Quinoa Bars (adapted from Canadian Living Recipe, Fall 2013)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa  IMG_0690

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup tahini

1/3 cup liquid honey

1/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 cups large flaked rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (in Red Deer, buy at Pure Earth Organics)

1 cup quinoa flakes

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1/2 cup pepitas

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a 13×9″ cake pan with baking paper and coat with non-stick spray.

Toast the quinoa (not the flakes!!) in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

While the toasting is going on, combine the corn syrup, tahini, honey and oil in a medium sauce pan, stirring often until smooth and combined.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted quinoa and quinoa flakes, coconut, pepitas and chia seeds.  Pour in the liquid mixture and stir to combine; at this point add about half of the chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Press the mixture into your prepared cake pan (isn’t it nice being prepared?)  Chuck into the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on the top, pressing in slightly.  Let cool completely and then shove into the fridge for about half an hour before cutting into bars.

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I haven’t been doing a lot of baking lately, mainly because we are experiencing an unusually hot hot hot summer!  Who wants to turn the damn oven on when it’s already 26degrees in the kitchen?  Barf – not me!!  A rainy patch finally blew through and I was able to blast out some cookies that I found in my favourite cook-book on earth, yep you guessed it Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood!!  I adapted the recipe ever so slightly and just love the cookies that came out!  They are rich and chocolatey – I love biting into the chocolate chips too!  These freeze great and make a nice little treat straight out of the freezer – the 7 year old definitely was down with these cookies – he called them “brownie cookies” and that is as good as a description as any!!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Double-Chocolate Cookies 

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350degrees and line cookie sheets with baking paper.  Set aside.  wet to dry; about to get married

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add the dry to the wet and blend well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls, and flatten slightly with your hand or with a spoon (the cookies will flatten slightly as they bake). Bake in the centre of the oven for 8-10 minutes.

The cookies will seem puffy when you remove them from the oven, but they flatten out as they cool.  Let the cookies set on the sheet for at least a minute before removing to cool on a rack.

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Often on gloomy Sundays, I like to take Nick to the Red Deer Public Library and challenge him to a “read-off” – yep, I know what you’re thinking: “what kind of jerk drags a 7 year old to the library on a WEEKEND!?” Well, I’m that kind of jerk, and guess what? He totally loves going there and he is still young enough to actually believe we are really engaging in some sort of competition for reading.  Ha ha – kids are so dumb!

Anyways, one of my fave things about the library is checking out all of the Food/Cooking Magazines and Cook Books.  I was flipping through the January/February 2012 Clean Eating Magazine and stumbled across their recipe for Gluten-Free “Taco” Bowls.  I showed it to Nick and he agreed we needed to give it a try.   The recipe itself needed a lot of work, and I ditched the brown rice (gross) and subbed in quinoa (nom), I also amped up the spices by x100% because it was kind of bland looking.   I actually changed up quite a bit and by using quinoa instead of brown rice, ended up cutting the prep time down by about 30 minutes – making this meal a fairly quick weeknight dinner!  Ready in under an hour for sure and a super big hit with both kid and husband!   (apologies that I didn’t actually take a lot of pictures during assembly, but seriously this is one of the best quinoa recipes I’ve busted out in a long time!!)

Quinoa Taco Bowl

Quinoa Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup quinoa

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp chile powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp dried oregano

2 cups water

Taco Meat Ingredients:

1 lb extra lean ground beef

2 tsp chile powder

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

3/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 cup water

Salad ingredients:

1 Romaine heart, chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 jlapeno, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

3/4 cup Mexi-blend cheese

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (fat or non-fat up to you!)

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Method:

Get the quinoa going – in a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over high and add the chopped onion, garlic and quinoa.  Saute until fragrant – the quinoa will start to smell nice and nutty/toasty.  Add in the seasonings and tomato paste, stir to coat the quinoa.

Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Stir and then drop the heat to low – cover and cook for 20 minutes.  When times is up, turn off the heat but let it sit on the burner for another 5 minutes before taking off the lid and fluffing with a fork.

MEANWHILE – quinoa is cooking and you need to get your taco meat ready (you could also do ground chicken or pork – even that veggie ground round if that’s something that turns you on!).  In another skillet, brown the meat, drain any excess fat, then add the seasonings and tomato paste to coat.  Add a cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Drop the heat to medium and let simmer till this thing has thickened up – guess what?  I bet that quinoa is about ready.  Add the cilantro at the end and stir.  Set aside for assembly.

While all that is going down, prep the salad ingredients – or get someone else to do it for you!  Wash and chop those veggies and dinner is almost on the table!

To plate – start with a good scoop of quinoa, then a scoop of meat right in the centre of your bowl.  Build up the edges with lots of that lettuce, then sprinkle with onions, peppers, whatever else you got going on – some cheese, more cilantro, a big dollop of the yogurt and the grand finale – a couple lime wedges.  Quinoa Taco Bowl is served and it’s awesome!

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