Queen-oa

The task this week – three recipes with quinoa.  Why quinoa?  Overall a versatile whole grain that I would use on a regular basis so seemed good to play around with some options. I used both regular and tri-colored quinoa during the week and although I couldn’t taste much of a difference, the added color of the tri-colored created more vibrant looking dishes.

Recipe #1:  Quinoa Enchilada:  A cheesy casserole with corn, beans, quinoa and good flavors.  Perhaps the cheese fest offsets the benefits of the whole grain but oh well.  With fresh toppings – avocados, tomatoes, lettuce – the heaviness of the dish is offset and becomes more like a mexican salad.

quinoa-enchiladas

Recipe #2:  Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa for breakfast was not as bad as I expected.  Basically it works as an oatmeal and the blueberries, almonds and honey make it nice and sweet.  A little goes a long way so don’t plan on eating a full cup of cooked quinoa as a light breakfast.

morning-quinoa

Recipe #3: Quinoa and roasted veggies

I cheated on this one and repeated the recipe from class. I had to bring a meal to a family event and really liked the sesame sauce and roasted flavors. I skipped the parsnips and turnips and replaced them with my favorite-yellow and green zucchinis.

quinoa-mixed-veggies

 

Homework #2

The challenge with this week’s assignment was to find veggies that everyone in the family will agree to try or eat.  I’m not going to do all this cooking if no one is going to eat it!  So when I went shopping, I found that this was near to impossible.  As a mostly vegetarian family, we cook with the veggies we like and we steer clear of the ones we can’t agree on. After finding a webpage called The Misunderstood Eggplant – I figured I would try again to cook with eggplant.  Then I grabbed some green beans to soften the blow.

Meal #1:  Bhartha  (Spicy Indian Eggplant)

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The Bhartha is the mix on the left.  After cooking the eggplant for 1 hour it was nice and mushy. I then added green beans (the recipe called for peas) and followed the recipe.  The Naan and dahl were not homemade but were nice to add to the meal.

 

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Meal #2:  Tempura
Another way to embrace the eggplant was to serve as Tempura along with some chili and hoisin sauce.  I fried up the green beans and added zucchini.  Flavor was good but since I don’t eat too many fried foods, it was a bit much. My dog enjoyed them too!

Meal #3: Breakfast

I went to the standby of breakfast frittata.  To be honest – the eggplant didn’t make the cut.  Would you have eggplant for breakfast?  However, I did use the green beans, zucchini, and onions which I sauteed, seasoned, and then added scrambled eggs.  After a few minutes, frittata/scrambled egg mix.

The best way for me to add veggies to my diet is to keep a variety in the refridge.  That way I can throw them in a meal when the mood hits. I have a set of standard recipes that I can throw in any remaining veggies if I don’t use them.

 

 

Home Assignment #1

I tend to have a handful of go-to meals for our family that are variations of Mexican, Indian, Thai and Italian concoctions.  I buy foods that fit these meals so I don’t have to think too much at the end of the day.  Weekends are my time to be more creative or cook large batches of something for the week.  The good news is that our go-to meals are well-liked but it is getting repetitive and reinforces cooking as all work and no play making us all dull.

Now that I have discovered free grocery delivery for orders over $100, I stock up like the apocalypse is coming!  Up until last year, we were a 100% vegetarian family but a recent volunteer shift at a weeny-wagon lured half the family to the dark (meat) side.  Despite our divided household, we remain loyal to a vegetarian lifestyle in the house.  We have lots of good spices, staples, frozen meal starters and fresh produce on hand.  Mock duck is our staple as a meat substitute plus some pre-made Indian meals that we use as a base.

Meal #1:  Pasta Mix

A simple mix of items on hand – cooked/cooled noodles, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, cooked asparagus and cilantro. I mixed these with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper for a light and tasty seasoning.  Not bad with red wine.

Meal #2….Black bean burger

In an effort to avoid processed foods, I tried a homemade black bean burger rather than buying the frozen Bocas. It is one of those meals where you can use the veggies that are borderline skanky from your refridge and throw them in with the black beans.  The cumin and chili powder dominate so that helps!  The burgers were a bit on the dry side but a scoop of salsa and salad, all was right with the world. Overall it was easy, tasty and healthy.  Here is the final product:

black-bean-burger