Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortilla with Coconut Oil!!

I love the idea of having everything in our life homemade. I also love the idea of having homemade items not full of shortening or butter or lard. So it took some looking and thinking and some trial and error but I found this recipe and it is amazing.

My reasoning behind this one is this: tortillas need lard, so any recipe with an oil is going to have a different texture than one with a solid fat source. So I had to do a lot of searching but I found one where you don't melt the coconut oil. It keeps the texture I would expect from a tortilla much better than the olive oil or canola oil recipes I have tried.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad

Yesterday while making my menu I had an insane craving for an old family favorite Italian marinated pasta. If you have ever been to a wedding or baby shower for anyone in my family you have probably had it. I pulled out the old ward cookbook and started writing ingredients I needed at the store. They I realized how awful the ingredients are in this salad. The dressing calls for 3/4 c. sugar-more sugar than oil or vinegar plus 2 T of salt. The other thing I didn't like was you added water to the dressing, I'm sorry but that is an insult to my fine olive oil to combine it with water.  So I changed it up a little, made it healthy, but still yummy and sweet.


7 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
1 cucumber diced
1 tomato diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 c. sweet red onion (this might be a Texas thing, I have never seen sweet red onions expect at our farmers market-just the more reason to come and visit :)
1/2 jar artichoke hearts, diced
1/4 c. kalamata olives, diced
feta cheese

1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar 
1 T. sugar (I had to keep a little of the sweet)
1 t. salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t thyme
1/2 t basil

Cook pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking combine all dressing ingredients into a screw top jar-shake it. Combine pasta with veggies. Sprinkle with cheese. Slowly add and stir dressing. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight. 

No bake quinoa and grains granola bars

I LOVE KIND Granola. It makes for the perfect on-the-go healthy snack (which has been me for the last little while). It has lots of different grains and no icky additives. The problem is it is expensive, and still processed to some extent. So I set out to make my own granola. I couldn't find a recipe that I just loved, plus almost everything requires baking or toasting. I am trying to only turn on my oven twice a week so baking is out of the question for me during this hot Texas summer. So I created this recipe. They are amazing. Extremely picky Caleb even eats them (really devours somedays he will eat five or six). They are also very easy. They only take about ten minutes to throw together, so I make them every couple of days and we have a great snack to turn to.

I would like to add that I really would like to add buckwheat and millet to this recipe, two things not found in the middle of no where Texas. If you are not in the middle of nowhere and have access to a health food store, pick some up and throw some in!

Granola bars

2 c oats
1/2 c craisins (I use all natural no sugar-they are amazing!) and dark chocolate chips
1/4 chai and flaxseed
1/3 c. pumpkin seed and sunflower seed.
1 c. quinoa (cook and cooled) and cereal (I use Kashi 7 grains)

1 t cinnamon
1/2 c coconut

4 T honey
2 T agave nectar
1 T maple syrup
1/2-3/4 c peanut butter
1/2 t vanilla

Stir together all dry ingredients. In a saucepan over low heat combine wet ingredients. Stir until combined, just melted and smooth. Pour over grains and mix (hands work best, wooden spoon is ok). Press into a 9X13 pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours until hard. Cut and enjoy.

All mix in are totally optional. Try different dried fruits, or nuts. You can get rid of the chocolate chips or add more. Every time I make them I do something different.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Put an egg on it:

Some weeks the meals just click. I plan around veggies and all veggies are used by the end of the week. I love that! This week is one I wouldn't mind repeating, and I hope that it is one you will try!

Sunday-Asain stir-fry quinoa salad (my creation)

Monday-Amazing BBQ (one day I will get around to posting my amazing potato salad recipe, and my broccoli salad recipe-today just isn't the day)

Tuesday-quinoa and beans burgers

Wednesday-mediterran sandwiches (my creation)

Thursday-stuffed peppers.

Friday- pasta with pesto. For the last little while I have been seeing recipes with a poached egg on top. I always thought that was really weird. Then I read an article by Fred Armisen about Portland that talked about how everywhere in Portland puts an egg on top. So I knew I had to try it. It is incredibly good! Instead of Swiss chard I used kale because I had that leftover from the peppers.

Saturday- DATE NIGHT!!! (seriously it has been over a month, and a very stressful month with the move. We all needed a break from each other!)

Sunday-Greek shrimp

quick and easy Mediterranean sandwiches with roasted red pepper and spinach hummus

With our little guy in afternoon swim this week we needed really easy dinners. This is so simple I can't even justify writing it out. I am always looking for a good sandwich combo and this hit the spot. Super simple-tomotos, spinach, cucumber, feta cheese. Throw it in a pita and top with homemade hummus. I used a can of chickpeas, a handful or two of spinach, half a jar of red peppers, lots of garlic, some salt and some cumin. I would just stop the blender, test it out and keep trying. We had this with organic sweet potato chips and it made for a great meal!

Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with sweet peanut sauce

Confession. I love eating dinner in front of the t.v. Always have and always will. Every week or so I ask John if we can eat once Caleb's down. It is my guilty pleasure and my favorite way to veg. I do try to at least make a good meal for these occasions so it isn't too white trash.

I was really excited to try this dinner. The recipe evolved because instead of sweet chili sauce I used hot chili sauce. In an effort to save my mouth I changed the recipe slightly. I also wanted to swap out of the chicken for something else. The other thing is I hate hate hate raw carrots. I am all around not a huge carrot person but I can only eat them cooked or in a smoothie. So that is how this came to be. Still very yummy, very healthy and in our case very very spicy.

1 c uncooked quinoa
3 chopped carrots
1 chopped red pepper
1/3 c. shelled edamame
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/3 c. chopped peanuts
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

2 T hot chili sauce
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
2 T canned coconut milk (I used light)
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. natural peanut butter (I used homemade and as always it was amazing!)
2 T soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lime, juice
1/8 t ground ginger

Cook quinoa according to directions.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

Heat 1 T. grape seed oil in skillet or wok (olive oil isn't great for stir fry because it can't take the heat canola is the best alternative if you don't have grape seed). Stir fry onions and carrots about three minutes (again I hate crispy carrots-if you like them then go for less time). Add pepper, edamame and peanuts. Stir fry for another 3-5 minutes until desired crispiness (or not crispiness :) Add sauce for last minute of cooking. Coat vegetables with sauce as it thickens. Serve veggies on top of quinoa, top with cilantro.

Easy peasy, but seriously so yummy! This was pretty hot, so if you don't like hot cut back on the chili sauce. Remember you can always add more, but you can't take away.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Asian stir-fry quinoa salad

This dressing is one of my favorite dressings in the world. The salad it goes with is a delicious wonton chicken salad. The big problem is that my weakness is fried wontons wrappers. I was in the mood to be healthier than that. So I came up with this salad and it was wonderful!

Asian stir-fry quinoa salad

1 c quinoa
1 head broccoli
1 red pepper
2 carrots
Green onions
1/3 c. dry roasted cashews
1/2 c Mandarin oranges

1/3 c oil
3 T sugar
3 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Dice veggies. Stir fry veggies in grapeseed oil. Add cashews for last minute or two. Remove from heat and mix with cooked quinoa. Allow to cool then add Mandarin oranges. While cooling whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (we had leftovers the next day and it was still amazing so I think this could easily be made in the morning or even the day before).

Like any good stir fry the veggies could be mixed up according to what your tastes are, or what you have in your fridge :)