Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Beanoa Skillet Dinner

Here's one idea for a quinoa skillet dinner, but I bet you can make almost any flavor with your leftovers! Good enough that my teenaged son said, "This is actually something I would eat."

2-4 TBS Butter / Coconut oil (or combination)
3 garlic cloves
8 c. quinoa
3 c. frozen green beans
2-3 c. chopped cooked chicken
1-2 C. cheddar
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
garlic salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter, fry minced garlic cloves. Add quinoa, beans & seasoning, saute for about 5 minutes until beans start to defrost. Add chicken, saute for another 5 minutes. Add cheese, stir it in until melted and serve.

Other flavor combo ideas (add all or any combo):
Summer: Ground bee/chickenf,Zucchini, Basil & Mozzarella
Mexican: ground beef, beans, corn, green onions, tomato sauce, cumin, garlic salt, cheddar
Italian: Sausage, basil, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, parmesan
Fajita: Chicken, onions, peppers
Oriental: Eggs, green onions, soy sauce, stir fry veggies, sprouts, cashews

You don't have to add a protein, as quinoa is a complete protein. Add any veggies, seasonings, nuts, meats, cheese, etc for a tasty dish!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why we use agave

There's a huge controversy about agave. Many people say far worse than corn syrup, others say it's the best natural low-glycemic sweetener. Dr. Mercola wrote this article two years ago, and he vilifies agave. Dr. Weil says it's not so dangers in this article.

Who to believe? I liked what Green Smoothie girl says. Essentially she says that saying fructose is bad is crazy because fruit has fructose in it too. Agave is not on par with an apple, but it has it purposes.

Sweeteners should be used in moderation, no matter what they are. If you avoid processed foods, you can avoid many sweeteners. And if you make healthy treats at home rather than buying convenient ones, you will also avoid many sweeteners because you'll have to make it first. Agave is a good substitute in our home-sweetened foods as we transition away from sugar. And more importantly, my husband likes it. I know it's not a whole food, but I think it's a better choice.

In my research, I've found that source and processing matters a lot. I try to purchase from the company I believe has the best: www.xagave.com. They often sell 1 gallon jugs at Costco when the vitamix or blendtec people are there.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quinoa

I've just recently dared to try quinoa. I always hated the smell of it. Big surprise! After cooking it up I found it's actually really tasty, and everyone in the family liked it. If you have cooked quinoa on hand, it will make fast, versatile dinners! And even if you don't, quinoa cooks pretty quickly.

Quinoa is a complete protein, is very nutritious and is gluten free. To properly prepare quinoa, you should soak it first.

To soak:

1 cup quinoa
1-2 TBS of an acid (whey, buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar or lemon juice)
1 c. filtered water

Put in a cooking pot, let it soak for 7-24 hours. Rinse overnight in filtered water and an acid. In the morning, rinse it well. This is much easier if you have a fine meshed strainer, but if not, you can put in a tea towel.

Pour it back into the pot and add 1 c. filtered water & 1/2 tsp real salt. Bring it to a boil, then turn down to low. Cover it and let simmer for about 12-15 minutes.

1 c. dry quinoa will yield about 4 cups cooked quinoa.

I cook extra and freeze it in 4 c. bags.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coconut German Pancake with Apple Pie topping

This disappeared so fast that I'm afraid I'll have to make TWO next time. This recipe is adapted from www.freecoconutrecipes.com.

2-3 TBS coconut oil (best quality)
1/2 tsp real salt
1/3 c. coconut flour (or blend coconut in seed grinder)
6 TBS arrowroot powder
8 eggs (farm fresh)
1 c. coconut milk

Preheat oven to 425. Spread the coconut oil thick and generously in a 9x13 pan. Mix together salt, flour and powder. In another bowl, mix eggs and coconut milk together. Whisk liquid into dry and mix well. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until set and golden on top.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple pie filling:

3 large apples, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS butter
2 TBS honey

Mix apples with cinnamon. Melt butter & honey in skillet. Add apples and stir fry until apples are soft.

Serve german pancake with butter and apple pie filling on top.

NOTE ADDED: Don't forget to add the milk. Not so fun. Still edible, but not nearly as tasty. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Instant Oatmeal

It's better to soak your oatmeal first to make it more digestable, but this is a nice quick breakfast option to have around.

4 c. rolled oats (GF with gluten free oats)
1/2 c. sweetener (sucanat, evaporated cane juice, sugar, etc)
1 tsp real salt
2/3 c. Coconut milk powder (you can use dry milk, but coconut is healthier!)
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pulse the rolled oats in the food processor 8-10 times. Mix all the ingredients together and put in a container with the directions:

2/3 c. mix
1/2 TBS dried blueberries, apples, raisins
1 c. boiling water

This way you don't have to put everything in individual baggies as "packets" - which is a whole lot more work and a lot more wasteful.

OPTIONAL:
Before you mix it all together, take 1/3 c. sweetener and add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp butter. Bake in 250 oven for about 1 hr or until dry. Pulse in the blender. It expands from the butter so you need less sweetener. You may want to store this in the fridge if you're not going to eat it quickly.

I tripled the batch and put it in a big container. Of course, I also have 7 children including two teens!