Quinoa – – All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

I didn’t figure I would be alone in my choice to use quinoa, and I was glad to see another blog post about it already. Quinoa is one of those things I had in my cupboard because I had been wanting to play around with it, so it was great to have this assignment as an excuse to finally take it out of the cupboard.

The first recipe I tried also allowed me to take some pumpkin out of my (infamous) freezer. Healthy Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes:

https://www.simplyquinoa.com/healthy-pumpkin-quinoa-pancakes/

The first pic you see is actually of ground oats and not quinoa. This would-have-could-have-been a gluten free recipe except for the fact that I didn’t have almond flour. I used regular, and it turned out just fine. The pancakes were easy and tasty. One of the serving suggestions is to top with pumpkin butter. I didn’t have or make any on Saturday when I first made the pancakes, but I did find a fun recipe on All Recipes for it and made some (cutting it down by about 3/4). So I look forward to trying it with leftover pancakes tomorrow morning.

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Tangy Pumpkin Butter:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229338/tangy-pumpkin-butter/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%201

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On Monday, I went with a recipe that I have made a couple times before and really like. Quinoa Chili: http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/16/quinoa-chili/

This is really good for those wanting a vegetarian chili recipe, and it freezes well– which is great, because the recipe makes a TON. I portioned it out for  lunches and will continue to do so until I have a batch that will fit in my freezer. When I make it, I use vegetable broth to cook the quinoa. I don’t add any water later like the recipe calls for. Instead, I use seasoned beans and don’t drain them. For me, it’s a good consistency. I want it to be thick enough that it is chili rather than soup.

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Last, but not least, I tried Parmesan Quinoa Pancakes with Whipped Feta.

http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2013/05/parmesan-quinoa-pancakes-with-whipped-feta-spread-marinara-dipping-sauce/

I cut the whipped feta spread recipe in half, and there was still plenty. I didn’t use marinara, although it  would be good, because I didn’t have a jar open. I did have some pesto open, so I gave that a shot. It was good, and I’d do it again, but the feta and the marinara are probably better options. This recipe was really easy and turned out well. I will make it again for sure.

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Overall, I was pleased with all the recipes. And  there were others  I wanted to try but haven’t had time to tackle yet. This Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole is on my list for later  this week or weekend:

http://www.theironyou.com/search?updated-max=2016-02-03T14:17:00-05:00&max-results=10&start=40&by-date=false

I didn’t end up making a huge pot of quinoa as the base for my recipes, mainly because I already knew  that I wanted to prep the quinoa for chili in vegetable broth. I did make quinoa ahead of time for the pancakes (both kinds), and I really appreciated what a time saver it was to do that once and have it ready to go for two different recipes.

I plan to continue playing with quinoa, and I need  to invest in a strainer of some sort (regular colanders are too big). For as nice as it is to make ahead and have ready to go, quinoa is a real pain to rinse and strain– especially without proper equipment.

I am going to miss these homework assignments, but I AM looking forward to not having to cook for a while and focusing on using up what is in my fridge and freezer at the end of our four weeks!

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