Wild Rice (of course) because MN

For the third and final assignment, I chose Wild Rice because we had plenty of it in the pantry and I’m a fan, although I’ve never actually cooked any myself.  I made three cups per the instructions on the package, added water, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for an hour.  Then I put it in a tupperware container and put it in the fridge, while I waited for inspiration.

First up were Wild Rice Pancakes on Mothers Day.  This was a simple, straightforward, from Ree Drummond, the “Pioneer Woman” of food network fame:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/wild-rice-pancakes/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Wild Rice
  • 3 cups All-purpose OR (if You Have It) Cake Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • Butter, For Serving
  • Maple Or Pancake Syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook wild rice according to package instructions (do not add salt or cook in broth. Just cook in plain water.) Set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined. Add more milk if batter seems too thick. It should definitely be thick but easily pourable.

Add melted butter to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Gently stir in cooked wild rice. (Add half at first and see how you like the looks of the batter. Then slowly add in as much as you want.)

Cook on a buttered skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.

These were such a hit that I did not get any pictures of the finished product.

Next up was a Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad from the NY Times Cooking page.  I also had a left over bell pepper stuffed with brown rice, extra lean turkey breast, Parmesan cheese, and some dried spices that are my wife’s favorites (and I’m not sure exactly what they are).  I chopped this up and added half of it to this dish and half to the third dish I made for this assignment, Wild Rice with Mushrooms, also from the NY Times.

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE GRAINS AND VEGETABLES

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup edamame
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped or thinly sliced spring onions or scallions

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • cup canola oil
  • Leaf lettuce or radicchio for serving optional
  • Toss together all of the salad ingredients.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss with the salad ingredients, and serve — if desired, over a bed of lettuce or radicchio leaves.
Tip
  • Advance preparation: You can make this dish a few hours ahead and refrigerate. Cooked grains will keep for several months in the freezer and for three or four days in the refrigerator.

There wasn’t much to this one, just add all of the ingredients to make the dressing and whisk together, then toss all of the salad ingredients and combine.  I had all of the ingredients except edamame (substituted peas), cilantro (omitted), cucumber (omitted) and scallions (omitted).  Even without those, this turned out really well, due in large part to the very flavorful dressing.  I also added chopped matchstick carrots and some sliced avocado on top. I will experiment with this one and put it in the rotation, as it will lead to very tasty leftovers for an easy bring to work lunch, since it can be eaten cold.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014277-quinoa-and-wild-rice-salad-with-ginger-sesame-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=all&rank=2

 

Finally, I saved the easiest recipe for last, the Wild Rice and Mushroom recipe I mentioned earlier.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016894-wild-rice-with-mushrooms?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=all&rank=3

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces long-grain Wisconsin wild rice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • cup dry sherry, such as Dry Sack (do not use cream sherry)
    PREPARATION
  1. Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice, then reduce heat so liquid is just simmering. Cover and cook until grains just begin to pop, about 40 minutes. Drain excess liquid from rice and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their liquid and are golden brown, about 8 minutes; remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms.
  3. Return all the mushrooms to the skillet and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Very carefully add sherry to deglaze the pan, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated but mushrooms are still moist.
  4. Mix mushrooms into prepared rice and season again with salt and pepper.

I didn’t have any sherry, cooking or otherwise, so I substituted red wine.  Looking back I should have used a dry white wine, but I didn’t have any open.  The red wine still added good flavor, but it turned the mushrooms purple, which wasn’t all that appealing.  Again, I added half of the stuffed pepper to this one, which wasn’t necessary but gave it some additional flavors and textures.  I think without it I would use this dish as a side, rather than a main dish.

 


I plan to repeat this experiment using other whole grains from the list that I haven’t cooked with before.  My go-to side dishes are usually potatoes and a green vegetable, so this has been very helpful to have additional (and healthier) options.

 

Home Assignment #3

I’ve heard that quinoa is higher in protein than oats, rice, or millet so I decided to try unnamed (1)some recipes with quinoa for this week’s assignment.  As I was looking for recipes I started reading about quinoa and discovered that it is coated with a substance called saponin. Saponin is a bitter chemical that is a little bit toxic so it is important to rinse quinoa thoroughly before using it. Quinoa contains oxalates which puts it on the caution list for persons who are prone to kidney stones.

The first recipe that I tried was blueberry lemon breakfast quinoa.  After I rinsed the quinoa with cold water in a fine strainer I heated 2 cup of milk in a saucepan and stirred in 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and a pinch of salt. I heated this mixture over medium low heat until most of the liquid was absorbed. Then I put some of the cooked quinoa in a bowl and added 1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of blueberries, a little lemon zest and 1 tsp of flax seed.  I was surprised how easy this recipe was to make.  While the word “quinoa” sounds exotic and a bit intimidating this recipe was no more difficult than steel cut oatmeal to make and it tasted great and it kept me full until lunch.  I will definitely make this again!IMG_1405

Next, I used a cup of the cooked quinoa left over from breakfast to make a honey lime quinoa fruit salad.  I’ve made honey lime fruit salad before by cutting up strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries and drizzling honey and the juice of ½ a lime over the fruit. This recipe however said to add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to the fruit.  I was a bit skeptical about this but the quinoa added an interesting chewy texture to the salad and it made the dish feel more like a meal than a dessert.   This seems like a nice salad for a hot summer day when you want something cool yet substantial to eat.IMG_1408

The last item that I made with the quinoa was a quinoa and black bean salad. This was another really easy dish to make.  I started by browning 1 chopped onion and 3 chopped cloves of garlic in a teaspoon of vegetable oil.  Then I took 3/4th cup of uncooked quinoa and mixed it into the vegetable mixture with 1 ½ cup vegetable broth.  I seasoned this mixture with cumin, a little bit of cayenne pepper and salt and I turned up the heat until it came to a boil. Once it started to boil I covered it and turned the heat down and let it cook for 20 minutes.  Then I added 1 cup of frozen corn kernels, 2 cans of black beans and ½ cup chopped cilantro and cooked it again for about 10 minutes.  One thing that I learned by taking this class is that cooking is not that difficult. You can make some really good, fresh food pretty quickly if you plan a little and have the ingredients on hand.unnamed

Groats!

I bought some oat groats because they looked really interesting.  Oat groats are hulled oat kernels that look like streamlined wheat berries, which apparently could also be called “wheat groats.”  Oats have a huge amount of fiber, which is a really good thing, but I’ve always found oatmeal in any form to be boring unless a lot of extra stuff goes in.

Various online recipes recommend cooking I cooked 1 cup of dry oat groats with 3 cups of water for 50-60 minutes.  I used a rice cooker on the “brown rice” setting  because I know it goes 50-something minutes.  This rice cooker is one of the most useful things I’ve ever bought.   The cooked groats retained far less water than rice would and I’d say that no more than 1.5 cups resulted.  [The photo is not meant to show relative amounts of what went in and came out.]

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Breakfast

If oatmeal tastes good with butter and brown sugar, what about groats?

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The answer:  the groats themselves taste like oatmeal — meaning like not much.  They’re a vehicle for the butter and brown sugar.  Nothing wrong with that.  The advantage of the groats is that they’re definitely chewy and I like that.  Oatmeal just lies there, while the groats fight back.  In this respect I prefer the groats to oatmeal.

I’ve tried wheat berries before and they’re very chewy to the point of being too much work; oat groats are a bit more tender.

 

A Groaty Stir Fry

I had some Trader Joe’s Super Firm Tofu on hand, along with mini sweet peppers, and decided to stir-fry them in sesame oil with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.   I considered tossing in leftover chayote squash from last week’s assignment, but found I hadn’t yet recovered from the trauma.  I often stir-fry super-firm tofu with various accompaniments and toss brown rice into the pan toward the end of the process.  I’m a fan of brown rice and can definitely taste it in a stir-fry like this.

IMG_20170515_184959 IMG_20170515_185748

I liked the result.  The oat groats, as with breakfast, don’t impart any noticeable flavor, but their chewiness makes the meal interesting.   This is not gourmet fare, but it doesn’t take long and it’s pretty healthy.

 

Pinto Beans & Onions on Groats

Being low on time I once again used what I had on-hand.  This time I sauteed some chopped vidalia onions in olive oil in a 2-quart pot and added some of the sweet red and orange sweet peppers until they looked soft.  Then about 1.5 cups of cooked pinto beans, about 1/2 cup of water, and a half package of Mrs. Dash Salt-free Taco Seasoning.  I let these all simmer for about 20 minutes until I liked the consistency, and called it “chili.”

This time I left the oat groats on their own — about a cup — and treated them like brown rice, adding the chili on top.

IMG_20170515_193303

Possibly a little more oat ‘flavor’ came through with the groats not actually mixed in and, once again, I liked the chewiness.

So in the end I didn’t get fancy, using the groats in place of brown rice in things I often eat and in place of oatmeal at breakfast.

The drawback of flavor blandness is easily compensated by adding additional flavors from The Triangle, and I definitely like the texture.  Chewy, but not too chewy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking with Grains Week!

The first recipe we prepared was Umami Broth with Buckwheat (we replaced with Bobs Farm Mill Quinoa) and vegetables.

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Here is the recipe:

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The ingredients:

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The preparation:
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The final product:

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The second recipe we prepared was Cajun Red Beans and Brown Rice with Andouille.

The recipe:

IMG_0017

The preparation:

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The Final Product:

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The third recipe was Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad with Grain Mustard.

The recipe:

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The ingredients:

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The preparation:

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The final product:

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Using more grains in the weekly menu was helpful. It changed how we prepare food a little.

Week Three: A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night.   In the city that never sleeps, a lone detective slowly climbed  the stairs to the fourth floor and nudged open the office door.   After quickly scanning the room, he took off his fedora and knelt beside the lifeless man.    Everything in the room was in order and there was no sign of a struggle.   Just like the others.   The only clue was a tiny slip of paper, clutched in the dead man’s hand.   The detective slowly pulled out the slip of paper and read the lone word . . . BUCKWHEAT.

What could this mean?   A grain?  A breakfast cereal? That little boy with the big hair from The Little Rascals?

Lest you wonder whether I’m writing for the wrong blog, rest assured.   My point is that buckwheat is a mysterious food and there are lots of questions about it.   Is it a grain or is it a seed?    Is it an ingredient or a dish?   Is it kasha or not?  And what is that kasha doing on the ceiling?  Those are a few of the questions.

While buckwheat looks like a grain and is often used like a grain, it is technically classified as a seed.   If you want to know the difference, see the following website:

http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-seeds-and-grains

So technically buckwheat is a seed that is used for food.   It comes from a plant that is similar to rhubarb.   In the United States, buckwheat is often grown as a cover crop.   According to Cornell University, “it is a scavenger of phosphorus and calcium and mineralizes rock phosphate, making these nutrients available for later crops. Residue from the succulent buckwheat plants decomposes quickly.    Buckwheat uses the shortest window of opportunity of any cover crop”.

The seeds of the buckwheat can be soaked or cooked in liquids (such as water or milk) to form a soft food that is somewhat like cooked oatmeal in consistency (sometimes called “groats”).   It can also be ground into a flour which is the basis for buckwheat pancakes and Japanese soba noodles.   More typically, however, the seeds are roasted with dry heat and perhaps butter or another oil to form a firm, nutty ingredient.

To make things even more confusing, the roasted version of buckwheat is sometimes called kasha.   However, the term “kasha” is sometimes used generically for other dishes made with dry roasted seeds and grains.    So when you find a recipe for “kasha” it might be an ingredient or a dish.

Kasha is quite popular in Russia and eastern European countries.  The plant grows in regions that are too cold for true wheat and other grains.    A Russian saying is “you’ll never spoil kasha with a lot of butter”.    In Ashkenazi-Jewish culture, kasha is often served with onions and brown gravy on top of bow tie pasta, known as kasha varnishkes.   Kasha is also a popular filling for knishes and is sometimes included in matzah-ball soup.

Now, about that kasha on the ceiling, there is a tradition in some eastern European countries in which a porridge is made with Kasha.   On Christmas Eve a family member, usually the oldest male, takes a spoonful and flicks it on the ceiling.   If it sticks, it mean everyone is going to have a good year ahead.

Recipe One

Vegetarian Buckwheat Salad with Pesto

     This was the first dish I tried.   The buckwheat I had was already roasted.   (As a caution, one cup of buckwheat groats really does make at least four cups of cooked groats).   I only used one of the four cups for this dish and decreased the other ingredients proportionately.

  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt  ( I used regular salt)
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts   (I used unsalted cashews) (Pine nuts would be an alternative too)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley   (I used cilantro)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ½ cup soy bacon bits, optional   (I left this out)
  1. In a large saucepan, bring water to boil and add salt. Add buckwheat and cover pot.   Let simmer for 20 minutes.   Remove pot from heat and leave pan covered for 5 minutes.   Fluff with a fork.   Add butter if desired.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chopped nuts, garlic and olive oil.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine parsley, Parmesan, black olives and basil.
  4. Add the nut mixture to the cooked buckwheat and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the cheese and herb mixture and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with soy bacon, if desired.

I tasted this immediately and found it to be disappointing.    Buckwheat has a taste that is often described as “earthy”.    When you first put it in your mouth the predominant sensation is “tasteless and mushy” but when you open your mouth there is a very distinct and unique “after taste”.

It also looked very unappealing.    Time to get creative here!   I added one-fourth cup each of finely diced red pepper and orange pepper.   That helped with the appearance but didn’t do much for the taste.   So I looked at some other recipes and added two teaspoons of rice wine vinegar.   That was better!   Then I went to bed.

The next morning I tasted it and it was a bit better.   It definitely needed a “rest” too.

IMAG0007

Recipe Two

Stir-Fried Buckwheat

     The second recipe was for stir-fried buckwheat.     Since I already had cooked buckwheat (lots and lots of buckwheat!), I skipped the first step.

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (regular or reduced-sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chile paste or sambal (I did not have this)(maybe some red pepper flakes?)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ pound green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces   (I didn’t have these, but might have substituted Pea pods if I had them)

 

Step one:   Cooking the groats.

Pour the groats into a large bowl and mix in the egg until well-coated, all the grains separated from one another.   Heat a large, dry saucepan over medium heat.   Pour in the coated groats and stir over the heat for two minutes to set the egg.   The groats should still be separate from each other.   Pour in the broth and increase the heat to high.   Bring to a boil.   Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the groats are tender, about 15 minutes.  Spread the buckwheat on a large rimmed baking sheet and cool for 10 minutes to make sure the grains stay separate rather than clumping together.

Step two:   Finishing the dish

Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste and sugar in a small bowl.   Heat a large wok over medium-high heat.   Swirl in the oil, then add the scallions, garlic and ginger.   Stir fry for 30 seconds.   Add the carrots, bell pepper and green beans.   Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about two minutes.   Add the buckwheat.    Continue stir-frying for one minute.   Pour in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a simmer, tossing and stirring for one more minute.

This tasted fine but was better in the morning.   I think I am detecting a pattern here.

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Recipe Three

Spring Soba Noodle Salad with Fava Beans

     This recipe was originally for buckwheat Soba noodles, but I had been unable to find the noodles at my grocery store and I still had lots and lots of cooked buckwheat.   Time to get creative again!  I didn’t have any fava beans or asparagus so I substituted frozen pea and frozen corn for a bit more color.

  • 1 cup fresh fava beans, shelled, blanched in boiling water, and waxy coating removed
  • 11/2 cups asparagus, chopped into 11/2 inch pieces
  • 11/2 cups chopped broccoli florets.
  • 10 ounces buckwheat soba noodles (or one cup cooked buckwheat groats)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (I julienned them instead)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar (left out)  (I used a pinch of sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or walnut oil or olive oil
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/1/2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • Juice of one small lime.

[Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.   Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.   When the noodles are ready, drain them and transfer them to a large bowl.]

Fit a pot of boiling water with a vegetable steamer.   Steam vegetable until slightly tender and bright green (about two minutes).   Quickly rinse under cool water to preserve color and crunch, and set aside.

Whisk the vinegar, sweetener, oil, garlic, ginger, tamari or soy sauce, and lime juice together to make the dressing.   Set aside.

Mix the steamed vegetable and raw carrots and scallion into the buckwheat.   Add the dressing.   Combine all ingredients and allow them to sit for an hours or two before serving.

I’m all about the color, so garnished with some fresh corn kernels, diced orange peppers and a little bit of fresh dill from my daughter’s garden.

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Observations

I choose to work with buckwheat because I didn’t know anything about it.   I can’t say that this was a decision I would make again.   When I first tasted the cooked buckwheat I thought, “If this were a house, its address would be on the corner of “Blah” and “Yuck”.      Later I discovered that the secret for working with buckwheat is twofold.

  • First, combine it with lots and lots of other ingredients that you really like and then add a strongly flavored sauce or dressing.
  • Secondly, let the dish sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before eating to allow the flavors to blend.   These are definitely “make ahead” dishes.

Let’s just say that buckwheat is an “acquired” taste.   Oh, and by the way, as Garrison Keillor would say about powder milk biscuits,   “Heavens, they’re expeditious.”

 

Quinoa Week

IMG_6952I had not cooked with quinoa before this week, though I had heard of it’s great nutritional values from my daughter.  A quick online search assured me there would be plenty of interesting recipes.  Since I already have oatmeal several times a week,  I was particularly interested in the breakfast possibilities.

I found 3 recipes that appeared to require about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.  So, to prepare a bulk quantity of quinoa:

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well with water to remove the saponins, and drained

3 cups of water

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

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This preparation in bulk is not something I normally do…to cook ahead and plan for several meals at once.  I feel I ended up with quite a bit more than 4 1/2 cups…maybe I boiled it too long?  The quinoa seemed rather sticky when I was “fluffing it with a fork”.  I moved most of the prepared quinoa to the refrigerator, but kept a small amount out to prepare my breakfast of

 

Cherry Almond Coconut Quinoa Porridge

http://www.savorysimple.net/cherry-almond-coconut-quinoa-porridge/

Author: Jennifer Farley      Serves: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup almond milk  (I used Silk ® Original Almond Milk)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  • 1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
  • ½ tablespoon hemp hearts or roasted flax seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Heat on medium low, stirring, until the porridge is warm.

This recipe gave me an excuse to purchase coconut oil (unrefined), which I had been reading about as a “healthy fat”.  The smell and smooth texture were great!   I used ground flax seed that I had in the refrigerator, and reduced the amount of ground cinnamon for my personal preference.   The almond milk included cane sugar, and the dried cherries were also sweetened, so the recipe was sweet enough for me.

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The verdict:  Delicious!  Both my husband and I loved it!  We will prepare this again later this week.

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For a main dish using quinoa, I tried this meatless recipe:

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220661/quinoa-black-bean-burgers/

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com Printed From Allrecipes.com 5/12/2017

Prep Cook Ready In 15m 20m 35m          Recipe By: DownHomeCitySisters.com

Ingredients 

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot(R))
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil

 

IMG_6955Directions 

  •   Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  •   Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
  •   Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the
    black beans using your hands.
  •   Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.
  •   Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  •   Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

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I used 3/4 cup of the prepared quinoa from the refrigerator.  Rather than using a fork, I used a pastry blender to more quickly  mash the black beans.  The mixture was rather sloppy; I probably should have drained the beans more thoroughly.  I made 4 patties and fried them, finding them very fragile and quick to crumble.  With the remaining mixture I added some brown rice flour to help hold it together.  Though the last patty was easier to fry and turn over, it was was dryer and not as good.

Another success!  The flavor was very good.  We had these patties on sandwich thins with a bit of mayo, lemon, spinach and tomato.   The crumbly partial patties also worked well on sliced baguette with a dab of siracha sauce!

 

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The third recipe using quinoa was a side dish:

Quinoa Fried Rice

http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/2013/03/27/quinoa-fried-rice/

Author: Nicole-Cooking for Keeps

Serves: 4 or 6-8 side portions

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa (or 2½ to 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa)
  • 1 ½ cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped and divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled (still raw)
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Sauce:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse quinoa a few times in cold water.
  2. Bring quinoa and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt.
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and let set for five minutes or so. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Cool and store in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  5. Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes. Add 2 scallions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the quinoa. Stir-fry about two minutes. Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the quinoa pour eggs in, scramble. Throw in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through, add remaining scallion and serve.

(No chicken stock, since the quinoa had already been prepared with water.)  I used hoisin sauce (rather than teriyaki) since I already had that open in the refrigerator.

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Paired with Mandarin Orange Chicken (Trader Ming’s)…another winner recipe!

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Theoretically I should have used up all my prepared quinoa by now (4 1/2 cups), but I still have some left.

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That’s OK, I’ve got another breakfast recipe I still want to try!               –Janet Anderson

May 16 breakfast:

http://ahouseinthehills.com/2013/10/18/superfood-quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

I made 1/2 the recipe, used almond milk instead of coconut milk, less cinnamon, and no cardamon or raisins.  Pretty good, but I liked the cherry almond better.

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Homework #3 – Whole Grains

For my whole grain I chose Wheat Berries.  In the class cooking assignment, Bill mentioned that he many times boils water and then pours over the grain and lets soak for an hour or so; that way it doesn’t heat up the house.  Well I found a “recipe” to actually make your grains in a crock pot.  This was much better than having the house all steamed up which was very nice with as warm as this last weekend was.

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My first two recipes were breakfast items.  I made parfaits and a spinach soufflé/quiche.  Here are the ingredients for the souffle.

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I first started with buttering and then adding bread crumbs to a 9″ spring form pan.

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I sautéed the onions and garlic in some olive oil.

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You mixed all ingredients together and poured into the prepared pan and topped off with the shredded cheese.

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In the last few minutes of baking, I turned the oven to broil to get the top nice and brown.

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While the souffle was in the over baking, I made the parfaits.

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Mix wheat berries with greek yogurt, a small amount of honey and vanilla.  Put into a serving dish and top with graham cracker crumbs and fruit.

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This was a great meal with my family on Mothers Day morning!

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My final recipe was a veggie stew.  Ingredient list:

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Sauté the carrots and onion in the olive oil until softened.  Combine all ingredients into a large pot and simmer.

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This is a very easy thing to make ahead and pull out for a quick meal after work.

What a fun assignment!  Happy cooking!

Leslie