Friday, March 30, 2012

Quinoa Happy Dance!!

When I was growing up my mom used to make baked macaroni and cheese. There was no cheese sauce. It was macaroni layered with cheddar cheese and then baked. This was my dad's favorite meal. Today I decided to make a quinoa version.

I simply cooked 1 cup of rinsed quinoa with about 1 3/4 cup chicken broth.
Then I layered the quinoa with shredded cheese.
On top I put a layer of cheddar cheese slices.
I then baked it for about 20 minutes to melt the cheese throughout the quinoa.
It was delicious!!
And it fit in with Laurence's allergies.
When I make it again I will stir the shredded cheese into the quinoa instead of layering it.
Quinoa is so dense that there is no place for the cheese to melt to like there is when you use macaroni.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Beautiful Beginning

I work a couple of days a week at the mine here and have the opportunity to see many sun rises. We truly  have beautiful sun rises in Montana!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dinner~~ Laurence's Style

Laurence really fights pretty severe allergies. His doctors just shake their heads and say they're sorry. He is very limited as to what he can eat. He is allergic to all grains (not the gluten in them) but he can have quinoa (which is a seed). I use a lot of quinoa because he can't have grains or potatoes. Tonight we had a couple of recipes that were designed specially for his needs.
First a little info about quinoa.
Cooking quinoa is a great way to improve your health. It is often called a supergrain, even though it isn’t really a grain at all! Quinoa is an ancient seed that has recently become popular again. It is considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all eight of the essential amino acids that the body is unable to produce on its own. Of special importance is the abundant presence of lysine, which is required for the growth and repair of body tissue. Most grains do not contain lysine and the absence of lysine can be a major issue for vegetarians if they are not careful with their diet.

The vegetable protein found in quinoa is much easier to digest than meat protein and the slow releasing carbohydrates help maintain blood sugar levels and keep you fuller longer. Quinoa is free of cholesterol and trans fats making it a great part of a heart healthy diet.

Quinoa is a great way for those who struggle with anemia to get some extra iron. Additionally, it is a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, B vitamins, B6, Niacin and Thiamine.

1 cup apple juice (I used white grape because that’s what I had)
1 cup water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (ALWAYS rinse quinoa well otherwise it is bitter)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium red or green apples, diced
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1 lemon, washed and cut in half

PLACE juice, water, quinoa and cinnamon in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool slightly; transfer to large serving bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

ADD apples, celery, and cranberries to quinoa. Squeeze lemon juice over salad; toss to coat.

Place 12 thawed chicken breast tenderloin strips in a bowl of milk. Let soak for 20-30 min. 
Mix in a Gallon Size Ziploc  bag:
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 T Italian Seasoning
1 c. Quinoa Flour
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 1/2 cube of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter in pre-heated oven. 
Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan.
Drain milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix shaking it in the closed zip-lock bag.
Place each piece of chicken in the pan. 
Cook for 15 min. Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 15 more minutes, or until cooked through.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Dessert

Quinoa Pudding
Yields 4-6 servings
3/4 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups milk (whole will give the pudding a creamier consistency)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pomegranate seeds, from one pomegranate (you may also substitute raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or other fruit) I used a frozen assortment of berries.
Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for 1 minute. (Never ever forget to rinse quinoa!)
In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add quinoa. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Cooking for the full 45 minutes will result in a thick pudding. For a thinner consistency, cook the pudding until desired consistency is achieved. Stir every few minutes to prevent a film from forming on the top of the pudding or bottom of the pan.
Serve chilled, topped with fruit of your choosing. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Next time around I will put in a bit more sugar and some cinnamon. This was good, but you needed about a 1:1 ratio of fruit to pudding. I think with additional sugar and cinnamon this wouldn't be so pronounced.

(Unfortunately I don't know where online I got this recipe to give proper credit.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quinoa Chicken Salad Recipe

Laurence struggles with allergies. They are really pretty pronounced right now.
It is a daily challenge to find things he can eat.
This recipe is one he can eat and we liked.
I come up with a lot of recipes that he can eat, but perhaps don't taste so great.

1 C. quinoa rinsed
2 C. water
2 C. chicken salad (use your own favorite recipe) adding extra moisture
2 C. red or green seedless grapes, quartered

Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and about 1/2 tsp garlic salt.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of liquid is absorbed,
that usually takes me at least 20 minutes.
Uncover and let cool.
(I put mine on a cookie sheet and put it outside in the January weather for quick cooling!)

In a large bowl mix together grapes, quinoa and chicken salad.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Things I would change if we didn't have allergies to worry about.
I would add onions, perhaps some kind of nuts for a crunch, however I used lots of celery.
I would also cook the quinoa in chicken stock,
but I was out of my own and I can't use packaged.

If you haven't tried quinoa; do it.
It's a seed from South America and is very healthy, not to mention,
something Laurence can eat!!