Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

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Foolproof Cream Biscuits

I raised a “carb queen” with a great palate and then there’s me,  I’m NOT a bread lover AT ALL, but I am PERSISTENT. Very rarely do I eat sandwiches or even toast, but my youngest is a true connoisseur with very distinguished taste. I’d love to have her palate! At the age of 8, she announced, “Mom I LOVE sourdough bread and I’d like my own loaf when you go grocery shopping!” I think that was the birth of an unspoken challenge between me and the little miss. I’m determined to create the carbs she loves and gain her stamp of approval. So imagine my surprise when I came across such a SIMPLE recipe that left her dancing in her seat and my son finishing the last morsel! Gail 1, Kids 0 🙂

Cream Biscuits

Literally you only need 2 ingredients to create such light tasty biscuits in minutes! Ready…set…go!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c self rising flour

1 1/4 c heavy cream

*If you’re anything like me, I don’t have an abundance of self rising flour in my pantry so to make the use of your all-purpose flour for this recipe, use the following recipe:

1 tablespoon of baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

**I like my biscuits on the sweet side so I add a pinch of sugar

Directions:

Elevate the oven rack to the second highest position in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare your pan for baking. I prefer soft, flakey biscuits so I used my cast iron coated with sweet cream biscuits. If you prefer your biscuits a bit more crisp, use a baking sheet and make sure the biscuits are placed far enough apart to allow air to flow between them.

Whisk 2 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Make a deep hollow in the center of the flour with the back of your hand. Pour 1 cup of cream into the hollow and stir with a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, using broad circular strokes to quickly pull the flour into the cream. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the sticky dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If there is some flour remaining on the bottom and sides of the bowl, stir in 1 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved cream, just enough to incorporate the remaining flour into the shaggy, wet dough. If the dough seems too wet, use more flour when shaping.

Sprinkle a cutting board with some of the reserved flour. Turn the dough out onto the board and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Flour your hands and then fold the dough over in half. Pat the dough into a round about 1/3 to 1/2-inch-thick, using a little additional flour if the dough is sticky. Fold the dough in half a second time. If the dough is still clumpy, pat and fold it a third time.

Choose your biscuit size! Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick round for a normal biscuit, 3/4 inch thick for a tall biscuit, and 1 inch thick for a giant biscuit. Brush off any visible flour from the top. Dip a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter into the reserved flour and cut out the biscuits, starting at the outside edge and cutting very close together, being careful not to twist the cutter. Re-flour the cutter after each biscuit. (The scraps may be combined to make additional biscuits, although these scraps make tougher biscuits so cut your dough carefully.)

Using a metal spatula, move the cream biscuits to the pan, skillet, or baking sheet. Bake the biscuits for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan so the front is now turned to the back. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, slide another baking pan underneath to add insulation. Continue baking another 4 to 8 minutes until the cream biscuits are lightly golden brown. When the biscuits are done, a total of 10 to 14 minutes, remove from the oven and lightly brush the top of the biscuits with softened or melted butter.

Noodle Soup with Vegetables and Beef

It’s official…I LOVE soup…I LOVE NOODLES…and I’m COLD! I think I’m driving my daughter bonkers, but it’s quick, filling, healthy, and easy to make. What’s NOT to love? This is my “go to” meal after a weight lifting session to help power me back up, but tonight this is my “go to” warm me up meal (smile). If you’re familiar with Bim Bim Bap, a wonderful Korean dish made with rice, this is a quick version using noodles as the primary starch.

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Ingredients:

1 package of Ramen noodles

2 oz raw flank steak

2 green onions chopped

5 baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced

1/4 cup matchstick carrots

1 half cucumber sliced

1 cup wilted spinach

1 tsp sesame seeds

drizzled sesame oil

Prepare the Ramen noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking, slice the raw flank steak as thinly as possible and set aside. Slice all of the remaining veggies and place in small piles. Place cooked noodles in the bowl and arrange veggies and steak on top of the noodles.  Pour the hot broth on top of the noodles and veggies, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle with sesame oil….ENJOY!