Quinoa for days

Blueberry Quinoa “oatmeal”

I am not really a breakfast person so I decided to do two breakfast quinoa recipes to branch out a little. I had all of the ingredients for the blueberry quinoa except flaxseed.  It was pretty good but bland.  I think I used too much quinoa and not enough of everything else. It also seems like its “missing something” maybe more fruit like blueberries and strawberries would give it more dimension.

 

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http://allrecipes.com/recipe/230830/blueberry-lemon-breakfast-quinoa/

Quinoa and Black Beans

This was probably my favorite dish.  I love salad.  Again though, it seemed a little one dimensional with the taste.  The cilantro really stood out and the recipe also called for two cans of black beans. I only used one but it still seemed like a lot.The only ingredient I was missing was corn. I essentially just chopped up all the ingredients, mixed it up and then added the quinoa and avocado on top. I did decide to incorporate some cherry tomatoes the second time I ate this dish and I liked it a little better. This dish tasted “fresh.”

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http://allrecipes.com/recipe/49552/quinoa-and-black-beans/

 

The Savory Quinoa breakfast I liked a little bit better than the blueberry quinoa “oatmeal.”  This was a quick and easy recipe.  I also added some hot sauce to it as well.  This dish I thought was the best proportion of everything. I first made the quinoa, cooked down the kale (instead of spinach), cherry tomatoes, and onions.  Then I mixed them together and threw an egg over easy on top!

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https://www.toneitup.com/recipe/savory-quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

Homework Assignment 2 – Kale & Cauliflower

For my Homework Assignment I choose Kale and Cauliflower.  This may seem odd to some people but I promise I have never cooked with these two ingredients in my life. I know I need to branch out a little more.  I also had wine…

 

 

The first dish I made was pasta.  To make it a little more flavorful I added shrimp and tomatoes.  This was my favorite dish by far that I made.  I would actually serve this to other people and be confident that they wouldn’t hate it.  I essentially boiled the pasta, cooked down the cauliflower and garlic, then added tomato, shrimp, and kale, salt and pepper. When the the pasta was mostly done I through that in last and cooked for a few more minutes.

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https://snapguide.com/guides/cook-quick-healthy-pasta-with-kale-cauliflower/

 

My next dish was still pretty tasty but I would change a few things: Kale and Cauliflower Salad.  I didn’t have some of the other ingredients this recipe called for like pine nuts.  It was a good salad and I made a fresh dressing (fresh squeeze lemon, olive oil. salt and pepper).  However, next time I would chop the Kale and Cauliflower more finely.  It was really crunchy.  But it was actually very good and I had it with some chicken noodle soup!

 

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http://ahealthylifeforme.com/kale-and-roasted-cauliflower-salad-gluten-free-vegetarian/

The last recipe I made, or attempted to make was cauliflower and kale mashed potatoes.  However, I didn’t have a food processor so I used a beater I think (the tool for mixing up pancake batter).  Therefore it was still a little chunky.  It tasted O.K. but it had a weird texture.

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http://www.thewheatlesskitchen.com/cauliflower-mashed-potatoes-with-kale/

 

Overall, I would definitely make the Pasta again and probably the salad if I had leftover Kale. I think I would need a food processor to make the mashed potatoes truly “mashed.”  I was excited I had some new recipes for Kale because it is so healthy.  I also did an extra assignment and made kale chips.  They turned out mediocre. I think I needed to use more olive oil and garlic powder.  But I really enjoyed this assignment and happy I got to cook a little more out of my comfort zone!IMG_4370

Homework Assignment 1 -Freezers are the best

Generally speaking, I tend to make the same three meals I know I am really good at.  These are beef soft shell tacos, greek pasta, and lemon chicken.  Yes they are delicious but eating them every week can get a bit boring. So I was actually looking forward to this assignment.  On Wednesday, I got home from work and did an inventory.  What do I have to make that is different from the usual but also using only the things I have.

As I opened my freezer, I realized I have sausage saved from when my boyfriend’s family made it over Christmas (a tradition).  Now, I personally do not think I am a picky eater but I HATE sausage.  The look, the smell, ew.  But, I thought this may be a good opportunity to figure out what I can do with it so it won’t just be in my freezer for the next five years.

Meal One: Sausage Pasta

I have boxes and boxes of pasta because of those amazing “10 for 10” deals at Cub.  After doing some research for “Sausage Pasta” online I realized I had many of the ingredients.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19291/sausage-pasta/

  • 1 onion, chopped – Had Shallots
  • 3/4 pound pasta – My Pantry
  • Olive oil – My Pantry (extra virgin)
  • Spicy Italian sausage – Freezer

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced – My Pantry

  • Can chicken broth – Used Beef Broth instead
  • Dried basil – Not Fresh but in my spice rack
  • Can diced tomatoes – No tomatoes – decided to use mushrooms
  • chopped spinach – In my fridge
  • Parmesan cheese – Used Ricotta Cheese instead
  • I added some Cayenne Pepper (because I like spicy food)
I boiled the water for pasta.  In a separate pan, I combined ground sausage meat (took it out of the pig intestine casing, ew).  Once it got a little brown I tossed in the mushrooms and shallots.  Once the pasta had somewhat cooked (still a little hard) I tossed in the pasta, spinach and cheese and cooked until everything had been cooked down.  I will say, I was surprised how much I liked it! Looks like the sausage will get eating after all.
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Meal Two: Stuffed Peppers

I had actually bought peppers before our assignment with the intention of making stuffed peppers but I actually didn’t get all the ingredients I wanted to.  Therefore, I had to be a bit more creative.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16330/stuffed-peppers/

I cooked the beef for about 10 minutes or so  with spices maybe less and then put the meat inside the stuffed peppers and baked them for another 10 minutes.  Then I covered them with cheese and tomato sauce. I forgot to take a picture while I was cooking but I remembered yesterday to take a picture of the left overs.

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  • How does meal planning generally work for you?  Do you have a routine or strategy, or is it spontaneous?  Without judgment, talk about what works, and what doesn’t work about it.  

    I generally try to plan over the weekends to cook two or three meals for the week expecting that I will have a lot of left overs.  As I said earlier I tend to eat the same meals each week.  I try to be conscience about switching it up.

 

  • How does your pantry inventory look?  Do you think you have what you need to prepare food the way you want? What do you still need?  What do you have that isn’t necessary?

    I thought my pantry inventory looked good but I have way more snacks (popcorn, crackers, chips) and less staples than I should (meat, fish, etc).  I think I should have a few more types of spices and sauces to be able to have more flexibility in what I make such as cumin, paprika, nutmeg etc.