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.)