Friday, August 27, 2010


Since I started my new job, I have had to come up with quick meals to have for dinner. So I came up with these two types of vegetable quinoa recipes mainly because quinoa is a quick cooking grain and it's also very delicious. I highly recommend you try it if you haven't already. When it is cooked, it takes on any flavor that you add to it. It also has this yummy texture when you eat it, it kind of pops in your mouth. Sort of reminding me of tobiko or fish eggs used in sushi.

What I did was add my favorite roasted veggies to the quinoa. You don't have to use the veggies I used, feel free to use any veggies you really like. Play with the recipe. That is what I do whenever I find a new recipe and see things that I don't like in it.

So I'm going to give you a basic way to cook the quinoa and then some of the variations I have done with it.  Like rice the water or liquid to quinoa ratio is 2 to 1, 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

for the quinoa base:
1 clove chopped garlic, or 2 inches chopped garlic scape
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup vegetable stock/broth

Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil and let it heat up. Saute the garlic, browning slightly.

 Add the rosemary, salt and pepper. 
Then add the quinoa and let it brown for 1 minute. 

Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

For the Roasted Vegetable:
3 small beets, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste so about 1/4 teaspoon of each

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the beets with the oil, alt, and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. ( I like to let them roast longer because the sugars in the beets caramelize and add a great amount of flavor.)

1 small butternut squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and roast for 1 hour. 

Chopped thai basil
Roasted pecans or walnuts
Chopped parsley
Roasted hazelnuts

To finish the Roasted Beet Quinoa: add the roasted beets to the quinoa. Then add the thai basil and the nut of choice and enjoy!

To finish the Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa: add the roasted squash to the quinoa. Then add the parsley and hazelnuts and enjoy!

I had made Roasted Butternut Squash Wild Rice one time and it came out really good. I love toasted hazelnuts, it really brings out the flavor- toasting any nut really makes it pop. 

This one here I call Red Quinoa:
It has roasted beets, purple peppers and purple tomatoes. What I did was add the peppers to the garlic and then followed the recipes above. This doesn't have nuts, so when I added the herbs (I used parsley and thai basil) I also added the tomatoes. The tomatoes are from my garden, which also does have purple peppers but the evil squirrels keep eating them so these peppers are from a farmers market. You can also find all different types of tomatoes at all of the farmers markets. I go crazy at them buying way too much and not being able to eat all of the veggies I buy.

Let's touch on the garlic scape. If you have never seen one, which I hadn't either until one day I'm shopping at a farmer's market and there it was all intriguing and screaming at me to buy it and use it. And let me tell you, it was yummy. It doesn't have a harsh garlic taste but rather a mild hint of garlic. I am definitely going to be buying it again and using it more. Here is what it looks like: ( I cut of the bulb and the tip and used all of the green scape)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Hello all!! See I told you to stay tuned...

So I made a Mushroom and Corn Chowder on Sunday because it was a nasty day. I came up with the idea for this recipe because I use to love chicken mushroom chowder when my family would have soup nights for dinner. And I always wanted to try a corn chowder, so I put the two together! I was nervous at first because I was not sure how the taste was going to be, but my momma was like, "You will never know if you don't try it." So I listened and it turned out to be really yummy. The earthiness of the mushrooms with the sweet corn was a strange yet satisfying combination. You know how most cream based soups leave you feeling all heavy and weighed down, well I combat that feeling by using only a little "cream," I used soy milk, and made a bechamel to thicken the soup.

So I hope you enjoy it as much as my momma and I did!

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

1 pt baby bella mushrooms, sliced (first in half, then thinly slice each half)
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1 large Idaho potato, cut in 1/4 inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1/2 onion, fine dice
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper (i used 1/4 teaspoon salt and like 12 grinds of my pepper grinder so about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, light
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup water
1 cup soy milk, unsweetened plain
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (i used freshly grated)

1. Heat a dutch oven or your favorite soup pot. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot add the onion and let it cook until it becomes translucent about 3-5 minutes. 

2. Add in the mushrooms and saute until they start to give off their liquid, about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the bay leaves, potatoes, and corn, cook for 5 minutes or so. Then add in the broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium high. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.

4. In a small sauce pot heat the 1 teaspoon of oil. Add in the flour and whisk so all of the flour is absorbed by the oil. Cook for 3 minutes or until it smells a little nutty. Add in the water and whisk so a thick paste forms. Slowly add in the soy milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate the milk. Stir in the nutmeg and let the sauce come to a simmer to thicken. 

5. Once the sauce is thick, add it into the soup and let it cook for another 10 minutes to thicken and to let all of the flavors come together.

6. Serve it up! Make sure you remove the bay leaves before eating. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley. Feel free to add in other herbs you like. Chives would be good, I just like parsley on anything. Enjoy! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First time Welcome!

Hello all those who happen to come across my blog. I just wanted to begin with a Thanks! and Welcome!

So I will soon be sharing my recipes with all of you, once I really learn how this blog stuff works and all.

I hope you stayed tuned because I do have some rather interesting recipes brewing inside my head that I am dying to get out. They will be posted very shortly. (I'm hoping the first to be tomorrow).

I will try to make most of my recipes vegetarian, with vegan tendencies, but I do like cow's milk (I am sorry me and soy milk just do not get along, maybe I have to give it another try, and I have been recommended to try almond milk by several people so that could be a possibility in the future.) And now that I ranted there for a second, sorry, my recipes will either be completely created by me in my little head or some variation of one that I found.

So, please enjoy!