Saturday, December 12, 2009

| dragon tofu |

I've been trying to re-create "dragon tofu" from my local food co-op and I think I've come fairly close. This is really tasty stuff....eat it on salads, on stir fry, plain, or in slices on a sandwich.

DRAGON TOFU:
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce (find it in a jar in the Thai section of the grocery store)
1 tablespoon honey
2-3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
ground black pepper

  1. Press a large block of extra firm tofu for about a half hour to get the excess moisture out. Wrap it in a towel, put it on a plate wrapped up, and put something heavy (like a cast iron skillet or heavy pan) on top of it.
  2. When it's pressed out, slice it into about 10 pieces.
  3. In a plastic container, combine the ingredients listed above. Put the slices in. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, turning over every half-hour to make sure it all gets soaked.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

| my favorite new salad dressing |

Don't know why I've never tried this before, but it is awesome. I put some in a little tupperware container and took it in my lunch the other day.

- dash of olive oil
- dash of balsamic vinegar
- about a teaspoon of fruit jam (I used apricot)
- sprinkle of salt and pepper

Shake up. Serve on salad. I'm sure you could make it in larger batches, too. The fruit jam was such a nice addition. Yummers.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

| easy recipes from my mom ]

Some recipes are just too wonderful and simple not to share. There are three that I picked up over Thanksgiving and wanted to pass along.

CRANBERRY SAUCE
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until the cranberries are mushy and the sauce begins to look like jelly. Cool and refrigerate. That's all (seriously).

CRANBERRY-ORANGE RELISH
1 bag FROZEN fresh cranberries (buy the fresh bag and then freeze it)
1 cup sugar
1 orange, cut into 1/8s

Combine all in a food processor. Chop until it looks like relish. Refrigerate and serve.

HOMEMADE EGG NOODLES
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine well with a whisk. Add 1 1/2 cups flour. Form into a ball. Roll out on a VERY well-floured surface until thin like a pie crust. Let dry until it's easy to move the dough about without it sticking (keep flouring). Make sure it's not stuck to the surface, too! When it's pretty dry (maybe an hour?) fold it on top of itself a few times, then slice into thin ribbons (1/4 inch?) with a pizza cutter. Unroll the pieces and break into shorter noodles (you can just tear them). Now they are ready to cook!

Put them into boiling broth (veggie or chicken). For noodle soup, you can add veggies (and chicken chunks, if you want). For "chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes" (my all time favorite), just add chicken, no veggies. Serve over mashed potatoes. So delicious.

Monday, October 26, 2009

|quick and cheap black bean soup|

My husband and I were craving some black bean soup the other day, so I invented this little recipe. So easy. It came together in less than 10 minutes and probably cost less than $3 to make.

FAST BLACK BEAN SOUP
Makes 3 servings.

1) Saute half an onion (diced) with some minced garlic.
2) Add about 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and some cilantro. If you don't own smoked paprika, you should. It's amazing and adds this great adobo-like flavor to things.
3) Dump in a can of Rotel (undrained) and a can of black beans (undrained).
4) Heat through. Top with shredded cheese and/or plain yogurt (or sour cream). Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

|vegetarian comfort food|

Fall is here and that means comfort food. I did a google search for "vegetarian comfort food" and found a great website with a huge list.

This was a recipe that I picked out and tried. It is amazing. I highly recommend checking it out.

Noodles and Cheese

Saturday, October 17, 2009

|on the importance of frozen rice|

I don't remember where I learned that you can freeze cook rice, but it has truly changed my life. Every time we make rice, I almost always make extra and then I freeze it in those snack-sized zips (they hold about a cup). When I come home and am starving and we have "nothing to eat" I always use those frozen bags of rice as a fall back.

Today, I thought we had "nothing to eat" for lunch, but I popped a bag of rice in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Then I rummaged around in the fridge and found a few leftover veggies from a crudite platter. In less than 10 minutes I had super awesome stir fry....broccoli, celery, carrots, garlic, tofu, sesame oil, soy sauce, and frozen rice. Tasted better than any of the local Chinese places and it was faster, too.

I love frozen rice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

| bowl of fall goodness |

Sweet potatoes abounded at the market on Saturday, so I picked some up. I wanted to find a way to make them into a complete meal (which, in my world, basically involves adding grains and protein). Here's what I came up with. It is tasty, if I do say so myself.


BOWL OF FALL GOODNESS
3 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or maple)
½ cup raisins
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Cinnamon and nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Quick cook barley

Combine all ingredients except the black beans and barley in a large casserole. Bake at 350-375 until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 30-45 minutes). Meanwhile, cook up about 4 servings of quick cook barley according to the package directions. Once the potatoes are done, add the can of black beans and stir. Serve the potato mixture over the barley.

NOTE: you could probably use another grain, like rice, but boy is the chewiness of the barley a good choice.

Monday, September 7, 2009

| more potatoes from the CSA|

Believe it or not, we don't cook with potatoes too often. It's hard to do because so many of our entrees are built around a starch already - rice, pasta, quinoa, etc. And then when you make potatoes as a side, you don't want all that starch, you know? Well, I WANT the starch, but probably shouldn't.

Anyway, I made this recipe up earlier today to use up some of the tiny, delicious red potatoes from the CSA. It was tasty and provided more support for an important cooking theory - everything is better with cream of mushroom soup.

LAZY WOMAN’S SHEPHERD’S PIE

Small red potatoes (about 3 cups)
1 cup dry lentils
1 large carrot, diced
Small onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
Whatever other veggies you want (yellow squash, green peppers, green beans?)
½ cup or so of jarred red peppers, diced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Seasoning – pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning (or whatever kind you prefer)

1) In a large pot of boiling water, boil potatoes, lentils, and carrots for about 10 minutes with some salt. Drain.
2) While that’s cooking, mix together everything else in a big bowl. Add the drained potato/lentil/carrot mixture when done.
3) Spray the bottom of a casserole. Spread the mixture in the dish and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. You may want to top it with some bread crumbs or crackers, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

|what up, vivanno?|

So, I pretty much can make a chocolate banana Vivanno at home. It's awesome and every time I do it, I smile because I'm saving 4 bucks. Also, it's faster than going to Starbucks.

MAKE YOUR OWN VIVANNO

Combine in a blender:
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup light vanilla ice cream
1 banana, previously frozen and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon protein powder

Blend. Eat. Smile.

NOTES:

  • I use the ice cream to help with the consistency. I also think you could probably add a second frozen banana and get the same thing.
  • If you don't have protein powder, I'm sure it wouldn't affect the taste. I just add it to help with my protein consumption. I use the big canister kind in all my smoothies/milkshakes. It helps.
  • To freeze bananas, just take ripe ones, peel them, cut into thirds and put on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight. In the AM, take them off the sheet and put into a plastic baggie. They make your smoothies have a fabulous consistency. This works with pretty much all kinds of smoothie fruits (berries, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, mango, etc).

|crockpot cheesy potato soup|

This is a recipe from a lady who went to my church when I was growing up. Actually, I think it was her grandmother's. When I got married, my mom gave me a recipe card box full of some of my favorite recipes. This was definitely in there.

CROCKPOT CHEESY POTATO SOUP

  • 4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 4 cups water and 4 cubes of bouillon)
  • 1 cup water
  • small onion, diced
  • 8-9 potatoes, cubed (you can peel if you prefer)
  • 1-2 carrots, diced small or shredded
  • dried parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1 can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 8-12 slices deli-style American cheese (these are the thick slices that come in a big block but aren't individually wrapped)
Combine broth, water, onion, potatoes, carrots, and seasonings in a crockpot. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 8-12 hours. About an hour before serving, cool it down a bit (just take the lid off and put your crockpot on warm). Add the evaporated milk (the cooling is so it doesn't curdle the milk). Take the slices of cheese and slice them into little strips (or just pull them apart). Add to the mix and stir. Just before serving use a potato masher to mash up the potatoes a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

NOTE: This isn't the world's healthiest recipe (especially with the amount of bread I prefer to dip into it) , but it's not horrible. It's also AMAZING comfort food.

Friday, August 7, 2009

|still working on that lentil soup recipe|

There is a Turkish restaurant in our town that has a lentil soup that is AMAZING. It's super minty and just wonderful. I keep trying to re-create it - usually with no luck. This time, I didn't get close to their recipe, but I at least ended up with a good end product, so I thought I'd post it.

ALMOST THERE TURKISH LENTIL SOUP

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 1/2-2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. coriander
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 2 T finely minced fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4 T. lemon juice
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for about 5-6 hours. Mash the soup with a potato masher (or blend - but you'll have to cool it first if you want to do that). Add about 2 T more mint and garnish with about a tablespoon of good olive oil.

CHANGES:
Next time I make this, I will change the following things....still trying to get closer to the Turkish restaurant:
- I really do think I need to go ahead and buy the red lentils - they just have a different flavor
- This soup was MUCH thicker than the one they have, so I'm going to use only 1/2 cup
- I will use about twice as much mint (I was running low outside)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

|veggie gumbo goodness|

Disclaimer: I am not a cajun food expert, by any means, so this may be a bit untraditional, but I found this recipe TASTY!

I had a craving for some cajun food, so I did some googling to see if I could find a good vegetarian recipe. I found a few for veggie gumbo and tweaked them to make this delicious concoction in my crock pot.

VEGGIE GUMBO
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 16 ounces okra (frozen, but cooked up in the microwave first)
- 1 cup corn (frozen, but you can cook in the microwave with the okra)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, sliced
- 1 can of spicy diced tomatoes, undrained (Rotel would work, too)
- 2 T Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- veggie boullion cube
- 1/2 cup white grape juice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 2 T fresh basil, minced
- 1 T brown sugar

Serve over rice. This is especially tasty with garlic bread....just be sure to put some Tabasco sauce in your melted butter before slathing it on your bread.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

|tasty radishes|

We've been getting radishes for several weeks in our CSA. They are so good! We have little tiny red ones, and big giant red ones, and long carrot-like white ones. Today, I made a little salad of radishes....

  • Sliced radishes
  • Drizzle of olive oil and balsamic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chopped parsley and basil
  • Dollop of strained yogurt on the top
Yummy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

|finally|

Slowly, but surely, I find vegetarian recipes to replace my old meaty favorites. There are still I'm waiting to discover...like meatloaf, barbecue, chicken noodle soup, and all varieties of luncheon meats.

BUT...today is a big day because I finally found a vegetarian biscuits and gravy recipe. Actually, I found it about 6 months ago in Vegetarian Times, but just now got around to cooking it.

A few tips/alterations that I suggest....

  • Yes, you do need SMOKED paprika. It's necessary.
  • The recipe doesn't call for salt, but you need it. A lot.
  • Up the amounts of paprika, garlic, pepper, and sage.
  • Add some ground cayenne pepper, too.
  • Any kind of ranch will do.
The recipe is huge. It yields about 6 cups when finished.

Enjoy...and if you have a vegetarian recipe for meatloaf, PLEASE let me know ASAP.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

|end of the day CSA snack|

I came home from the gym ravenous and was going to have an apple with peanut butter...but then I saw all the goodies in our CSA basket and made this instead....

Wilted Spicy Greens & Strawberry Goodness

  1. Heated up a little olive oil and balsamic in a skillet. Sauteed a little wild garlic in it.
  2. Added a large handful of arugula and wilted it.
  3. Added 4 strawberries, sliced.
  4. Turned off the heat - seasoned with salt and pepper and a wee bit o' honey.
  5. Served it over 1/2 brown rice (leftover in the fridge) with a tablespoon of sliced almonds.
Crazy delicious.

Also in our CSA this week we received...
  • more tiny, delicious red kale
  • a spring salad mix with flowers in it!
  • spring onions
  • more cilantro (currently hanging to dry in my laundry room b/c I have tons more growing outside)
  • along with the luscious strawberries (!) and the arugula mix
CSA is the greatest thing ever.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

|csa begins...and greek spaghetti|

This past week marked the beginning of our summer CSA. Yay! I was sooooo excited. We get ours from a farm near us. We pick up with a group of folks at our church, so we don't have to drive there every week, which is really excellent. It's like Christmas all summer long. This week we got the following in our basket:
- watercress
- red kale
- cilantro (tons!)
- rosemary
- wild garlic (it looks like scallions, but tastes like garlic - so good)

My lovely husband whipped up a delicious dish with it all....he sauteed the garlic, some onions, and some ginger in sesame oil. Then he added the watercress, kale, and cilantro and wilted it a bit. He added in some leftover soba noodles we had in the fridge and topped it with a little soy sauce. It was really yummy.

Also...in a completely unrelated note, I was in Chicago about a week ago and ate at a Greek restaurant in Hyde Park. A friend and I split the Greek spaghetti and I recreated it at home last week. It was amazing.
- saute scallions in some olive oil
- add cooked spaghetti
- add crumbled feta
- pepper it

That's it. It's so simple and so good.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

|probably never buying nut butter again|

So...I was getting really bored with my reduced fat brand-name peanut butter. I keep reading everywhere that the reduced fat stuff is actually not as good for you as the real deal (preservatives, corn syrup, etc. etc. and there's not that much of a difference in fat content, either - plus, let's face it, it tastes like poo).

Then I remembered that I had often seen a friend make walnut-butter balls in her food processor. She puts her son's medications and supplements in them and then they're tasty. And, man, are they ever tasty. I could eat a ton of those things. They are just little rolled-up balls of walnutty goodness.

This made me think - hmmm...I bet I could make almond butter in my food processor. So, I bought a bag of roasted unsalted whole almonds and went to work. I just threw them all in my processor (about a cup at a time, till they were all in there) and just kept spinning and spinning. After a long time of wondering, "Will this ever work?" and a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, it magically turned into smooth, creamy, amazing almond butter. I added a little salt, too, and next time I think I'll add some honey.

Next time might happen really soon becuase this stuff is so so so good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

|delicious tofu creation|

I was craving some tofu but sick of the regular stir fry type thing I usually make, so I made this. It turned out amazing.

FLAVORFUL BROWN RICE AND TASTY TOFU

  1. In my rice cooker, I put in enough brown rice and water to make 4 cups. With the rice and water, I added a large handful of chopped kale, 3 large mushrooms (sliced), a grated carrot, and a thumb-sized piece of ginger (peeled, but not cut up).
  2. While the rice was cooking, I made the tofu in the oven....heat to about 375 and take a block of extra firm tofu and cube it up. Mix together a couple tablespoons soy, a couple teaspoons oil, and some minced garlic. Add a couple teaspoons of lemon juice, too. Put the tofu in a casserole dish and pour the sauce on top of it. Stir until all the tofu is covered. Bake about 30 minutes, stir. Bake another 15-30 minutes.
  3. When the rice is done, fish out the ginger and discard. Put it into four bowls and top each one with 1/4 of the tofu and a splash of olive or sesame oil. Add some sliced water chesnuts and a splash of soy.
  4. Enjoy! This is so surprisingly flavorful.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

|i accidentally made polenta nachos|

If you've never had polenta in tube, I highly recommend it. It's basically like very firm grits in a tube. You slice it into little rounds and then fry it up in a pan (I just use some nonstick spray). I like to eat it with all kinds of stuff on top of it. Tonight, I made up a Mexican kind of dish to put on top of the polenta. When I was done, I realized that it looked and tasted a lot like nachos. Yum!

POLENTA NACHOS:

  1. In a small pan, saute 1/2 a finely diced onion in about a teaspoon of oil. Add in about a tablespoon minced garlic and about a tablespoon of canned green chiles. Saute until the onions are soft. Add about a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder and stir.
  2. In another skillet, start frying your polenta slices.
  3. Add 1 cup of rinsed black beans (canned), about 1/2 cup drained diced tomatoes (canned), and about 1/3 cup salsa (I used salsa verde). Heat through. Season at the end with salt, pepper, and a splash of lime juice.
  4. Arrange the polenta rounds on a plate and pile up the bean mixture on top. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese (1 ounce per serving).
This makes 2 big servings that are about 7 WW points each. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

|tasty little salad|

I invented a little wilted spinach salad with some stuff I had on hand. It turned out to be very tasty, so I wanted to share it:

TASTY LITTLE SPINACH SALAD

  1. Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and about 2 teaspoons of honey. Stir.
  2. Throw in about 3 big handfuls of fresh spinach. Heat until the spinach starts to wilt - about 30 seconds. Salt and pepper. Drain.
  3. Place on a plate and top with about 1/2 cup of cold blueberries. Enjoy!
The coldness of the blueberries next to the hotness of the spinach makes it really fun. It's also pretty. I'm sure you could add some almonds for a delicious crunch, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

|my favorite chickpeas, too|

Over Christmas, my sister-in-law-in-law (that would be my brother-in-law's wife) gave me her copy of the Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw. I love hand-me-down cookbooks, especially when someone has marked them up! I've been going through this one each week and picking out something that has a handwritten star by it. Too much fun. This, by the way, is a GREAT cookbook. I've never seen it before, but if you're thinking about eating more vegetarian meals, I would get a copy. It's enormous (almost 600 pages!) and covers EVERYTHING...basic recipes from all over the world; easy stuff, more complicated stuff; plus tips on how to stock your pantry, etc. It's fabulous.

I love chickpeas, so I was intrigued by a recipe called simply "my favorite chickpeas." Ms. Shaw says she found a recipe years ago in Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking that convinced her she never needed meat again. This is her version of it. It is truly fantastic. I ate mine all week long in lunches over brown rice.

MY FAVORITE CHICKPEAS:
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, grated (I used minced - it was fine)
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated (get out your microplaner...this is the only thing that takes some time)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (I'll probably use a little less next time...I don't love love love the taste of turmeric)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I also added 1/2 of a red chile, diced tiny tiny)
1 cup fresh or canned tomato puree (I don't actually know what that is, so I used tomato sauce)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoo fresh lemon juice

(I also added some fresh cilantro at the end and dumped in half a can of diced tomatoes that I had sitting around for extra volume)

Heat the oil in a skillet over med-high heat. When it's hot, turn the heat down to LOW and add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne. (NOTE: all of those spices except ginger are usually found in curry seasoning, so if you don't have all of them but do have curry powder, you might give that a try and see if it's still tasty).

Saute, stirring constantly, until everything is well combined and the mixture has a uniform color (about 4 minutes).

Stir in the tomato puree, turn the heat up to medium, and simmer gently.

Add the chickpeas and simmer some more. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Let the chickpeas sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve over a grain or as a stew. Yogurt as a side dish is great, too.

Also, I know I'm obsessed with lentils, but I'm fairly sure that this would be most excellet with lentils instead of chickpeas, too. Maybe served over some pasta? Yum.

4 servings
257 calories
12.2 grams protein
41 grams carbs
6 grams fat
0 cholesterol
19.2 grams sodium

Saturday, January 17, 2009

|whatever's in the fridge|

Today I bought an Amy's Cheese Enchilada only to get home and discover that the stupid box is 2 servings...which was just waaaaaay too many points. I hadn't been to the store yet, so I had to make do with what was in the fridge. Fortunately, as long as I have rice cooked up, I'm always good to go. Here's what I made. It was so freaking good.

Brown Rice with Green Beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 teaspoons light butter
onions, diced
green beans (cut into 1 inch pieces)
garlic
1 tablespoon ground walnuts
dash lemon juice, salt. pepper, red pepper flakes

I sauteed the onion and garlic for a few minutes in butter, then added the green beans. 1-2 minutes more, then added the rice. Heated through and then added the ground walnuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes at the end. This was so tasty.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

|i heart my freezer, part three: regular zips|

Okay, last post about this topic today....but I'd like to share how happy I was when I returned back home after my Christmas travels and had a happy, warm, delicious, already made rice bowl packed up in regular-sized ziploc bag in my freezer. Well, it wasn't warm while it was IN my freezer, but I was able to go from freezer to a meal that tasted like it was hot off the stove in a matter of minutes. That was really a happy moment because I had been traveling and was sick of eating out, but was also not at all in the mood to go to the grocery store.

I'm pretty sure you can make any number of things into single-serving lunches or dinners in these regular sized (1 quart?) zips. It's just like a frozen meal, but a lot cheaper and healthier. It's a handy thing to do when you have some leftover rice and can quickly saute up a few other thigns to put with it.

(sidenote: you DID already know that you can freeze rice, right? It's amazing. You can put those in those tiny zips.)

So...since you can freeze rice, you can also just add stuff to it and then freeze it up. I did this a few weeks ago with the following layered in a bag...

  • 1 cup of leftover rice
  • 1/4 cup of beans (from a can, drained)
  • sauteed onions, peppers
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese (I hear cheese gets weird if frozen, but I usually use light cream cheese in my rice bowls, anyway - it froze just fine)
  • a handful of diced tomatoes, flavored with green chilis and garlic
  • some corn
I just put them all in a bag and cooked them up later. So great.

Any other ideas for meals-in-a-frozen-bag?

|i heart my freezer, part two: tiny zips|


In my continued ode to my freezer, let me tell you how much I am in love with the snack-size ziploc baggies. They seem to hold just about a cup if you fill them really full, which means they are perfect for freezing all kinds of single-serving things, like...

  • Fresh corn...just cut off the cob and baggie them up
  • Cooked beans...I like to cook them in my crockpot then put in the tiny bags for later
  • Extra pasta sauce....the baggie is just the right size to make one more dinner for me + one
  • And my new favorite....BREAKFAST (see below for recipe)
In addition to loving my freezer, I also have a crush on Dr. Dean Ornish. I don't usually get into diet fads and he does technically write books about nutrition, but they aren't crazy. He is very well-respected in the medical/nutritional world for creating a diet that helps cure heart disease and prevent various kinds of cancers. I was recently perusing one of his books in the bookstore, and found a recipe called "Morning Quinoa." I altered it slightly based on what I had in the house and here it is. It is sooooo tasty.

Breakfast Quinoa and Fruit
1/4 c. orange juice + 1 3/4 cup green tea
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup quinoa (dry)
1 cup oatmeal (quick cook)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
3-4 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
Splenda to taste

  1. Bring the juice, tea, and cinnamon to a boil. You could just use water but I had green tea on hand, so I figured it would add some more nutrients. Who knows?
  2. Once it's boiling, add the quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. (note: if you only have rolled oats instead of quick cooking, you can add them at this point, too, so they get more cooking time)
  3. Add the quick cook oatmeal, and rest of the ingredients, too. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. You may need to add some more liquid to fluff it up.
This will make 5 generous servings. If you care about points, it's about 4 points a serving. Here's the BEST PART.....you can eat one this morning and then put the other 4 in the tiny snack zips. Flatten them out and squeeze the air out. Put them in your freezer. Have some happy, warm, whole-grain-goodness breakfast four more days in just a couple of minutes!

To defrost mine I made extra hot water when I made my morning tea. I poured it over the zip baggie and let it rest for a few minutes. Then I popped the thawed quinoa out into a bowl and microwaved it for one minute. Yum, yum!

|i heart my freezer, part one: ice trays|

I am not typically a person who likes a lot of stuff cluttering up my house. For example, my husband and I are making it our mission in life to ensure we never have a storage space. If you don't have room for it in your house, you don't need it. That being said, I do covet one storage-y item. Someday I want to have a giant freezer in my garage or basement so that I can freeze everything in the world. So, so handy and lovely.

That being said, I present to you my ode to freezers, part one....the beauty of ice cube trays. You can freeze all kinds of fun things in ice cube trays. Like when you were a kid and would make mini popsicles in them, remember? These days, my favorite things to freeze are pesto and broth. You just make up a ton of pesto (I love the cilantro kind, but basil is fine, too) then put them into the trays. Freeze them, then pop them out and put them in a big zip baggie. Whenever you need a little oomph in your pasta add a couple cubes. Nummy nummers. The same can be done with broth or stock.

What are your favorite things to freeze in ice cube trays?