Category Archives: Recipes

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms ~ Rachel

Have you all discovered the blog Skinnytaste yet? Gina hasn’t let me down yet with her recipes. The latest recipe that I tried is a definite keeper. Dave loved it so much that he was enthusiastic about eating leftovers. We had this for dinner one night…and he made tacos out of it the next day for lunch…and we finished it up at dinner that next day. I would say that’s a pretty good endorsement!

Rather than retype the entire recipe, I’ll just repost Gina’s picture with this link to her recipe. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

Homemade Applesauce ~ Rachel

Apples are in season right now in NC…not for much longer, but they are in season for several months in the late fall/early winter. I wanted to try my hand at making applesauce in the crock pot. I asked Lindsay at Savory Spice Shop how to do it. It’s a lot simpler than you could imagine. The pictures below are just grabbed from random places on the interwebs…every time I make applesauce, I forget to take pictures while I’m doing it.

Step 1: Buy some apples. I usually buy a 1/2 peck in order to fill my crock pot!

Step 2: Peel your apples. I use a paring knife to do this but I suppose you could use a potato peeler.

Step 3: Cut your apple into big chunks and throw them in the crock pot, dumping a bunch of cinnamon on top. You'll want to fill your crock pot to the top!

Step 4: Pour a little water over top of the apples...enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot (maybe about 1/2 cup). Cover crock pot and cook on low for 2.5-3 hours.

Step 5. Mash cooked apples in the crock pot after cooking...I like to use a potato masher.

Step 6. Enjoy your homemade applesauce.

Notice that your applesauce contains only apples, cinnamon and teeny tiny bit of water. No added sugar. You won’t need it, I promise.

So far I’ve made applesauce out of old timey wine sap apples, rustic red apples, and pink ladies. There are probably other varieties that I am forgetting. Try whatever you want!

You will never buy applesauce at the store again.

Now I have to figure out what to do when apples are no longer in season in NC. It’s going to be a lot more expensive to buy organic apples at the store. After all, a 1/2 peck of in-season apples in NC is only about $5!

If you come up with anything special to do to your applesauce, let me know!

Cupcakes for Dinner ~Rachel

I don’t know who started the trend of cooking everything in muffin tins but I want to thank them profusely.  I’ve made Weight Watcher’s Mini Meatloaf Muffins before…lots of times…and have enjoyed both the food and the built-in portion control. Let’s face it: I didn’t get fat by eating reasonably-sized portions.

I love to cook but I’m not really creative in the kitchen. I can follow a recipe but I haven’t branched out much further than that. There is, however, someone who took the muffin tin idea and ran with it.  For those of you who don’t like to cook…or who don’t have much time to cook…or who have picky eaters at home who would rather eat wings and burgers than salad and veggies…I bring you Emily Bites.

Just like Tuesdays have become Taco Tuesday, I think Thursdays are becoming “Cupcake” Thursdays.

Last Thursday I made her Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. They. Were. Awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes @ Emily Bites Original

Last night I made her Cheeseburger Cupcakes. They were pretty awesome as well but I think I’ll make some modifications next week when I make them again. Oddly enough, Dave and I thought the mushrooms were too much. I say this is odd because we’ve never met a recipe that had too many mushrooms in it. If I had a cooking motto it would be “You can never have too much garlic or too many mushrooms.” Anyways, when I make these again next week (yes, on Thursday), I’m going to cut the mushrooms in half, replace the ketchup and mustard with BBQ sauce and add a little bit of bacon (to replace some of those mushrooms). I might also use Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese wedges instead of the Queso wedges. The possibilities are endless!

Emily also does breakfast cupcakes…I can vouch for the Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Singles!

Now, to make all these muffins you need a good muffin tin! I don’t normally do this but I’d like to recommend a particular muffin tin. Would you believe Rachael Ray’s Oven Lovin’ Muffin Pan has served me better than any other muffin tin I’ve owned (especially the Calphalon one)? I’m not very good about not using metal utensils on non-stick surfaces and this muffin pan has been quite forgiving. It really does not scratch easily. The Calphalon? I looked at it the wrong way and it scratched (I think this is odd because I love my Calphalon pots and pans).  Ok, PSA on muffin pans over and out.

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Marsial over at Eyes of the Sun: Musing and Losing was tagged by someone, had to answer a bunch of questions and tag some of her fellow bloggers to do the same thing. Well, Marsial tagged me. The questions are not easy to answer without a lot of time and effort (and I am a bit short on time due to a meeting with my dissertation chair on Monday) so I will leave you with answers to a couple of the questions:

Q: Which author do you admire so much that you have read more than one of his/her books

A: John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favorite book of all time and I actually keep an eye out in the news for when a new Irving book will be published (next new one is due out in May)! I don’t think there is any other author I “track.” I don’t know if I so much admire John Irving or just admire his talent.  His stories are pretty epic!

Q: Describe how you met your spouse/significant other/love of your life (even if you are no longer with that person). 

A: I don’t think I’ve ever told the story of how Dave and I met. We met on Myspace of all places. Yes, MYSPACE. After we met, we both posted a note on Myspace about how we met (from our own perspective), kind of a he said/she said thing. Here’s what I wrote (Sorry it’s long, but I promise it’s a good story):

A lot of you know that I’ve tried the online dating thing off and on for the past 3 years or so. You name it, I tried it…eHarmony (twice), Match, and Yahoo. This past spring break, I even tried my luck with Craigslist. Yep, you too can find a date and a used couch by barely lifting your clicker finger. For the most part, I met nice enough guys, and even dated one for a little while. I also met my fair share of total lunatics (Craigslist is their home apparently), but that’s a whole other post that’s not even worthy of my time.

Anyways…

I still had a profile on Yahoo, but it was inactive and invisible to anyone on Yahoo who was searching for women in my age group. But Yahoo would still send me weekly-ish “These are your latest matches” emails and every now and then I would get curious and just browse. On April 16th, a Monday, I happened to browse my latest matches and stumbled upon one that actually sparked my interest. He had this huge smile that drew me in to the rest of the profile where I learned that despite a certain level of corniness (he did, after all, quote a Rupert Holmes song…groan), he was pretty funny. And for those who know me, I really like funny. He also seemed like he had a big heart, was open-minded and easy-going, and was kind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the position to subscribe to Yahoo (these things get expensive). I wasn’t going to get to break the ice with this cute guy who had grabbed my attention.

Except…

The very next morning, I had a message in my MySpace inbox from HIM! It was about 8 something in the morning, I wasn’t fully awake yet, and I about fell right out of my chair. I swear the Twilight Zone theme song was playing softly in the background. I think I did my best to resist thinking about “fate” and “destiny” but those words were creeping into the forefront of my mind. I mean, what were the odds of this happening? They were totally independent events…which is always fun to explain to people b/c they somehow think Dave could see that I checked out his profile on Yahoo (he couldn’t). When people realize that we just happened upon one another at the same time in unrelated cyber territory, their eyes get real wide and then they smile.

Anyways…

Not only had he sent me a message, the subject line was “Not the same without Cowher.” He was a Steelers fan! I didn’t want to reply immediately and had to get to school, so I think I replied sometime in the early afternoon. We spent a couple of emails back and forth that day and then began talking on AIM that evening. I had mentioned in one of my emails that I wanted to see Grindhouse…he echoed that sentiment. When we were IM’ing, I decided to just ask him if he wanted to meet up that weekend to see it together. I usually do not suggest meeting up so quickly, or even at all…I usually let the guy make that move. But I didn’t really know where it would all lead and knew I was sick of the whole back-and-forth emailing that came with meeting guys online. We exchanged numbers and ended up talking for 3 hours that night. Our little meeting up for a movie quickly turned into a real date when we realized that there was a lot of chemistry between us. He was all shy about asking me to dinner beforehand…it was really adorable. We ended up talking every night that week for about 3 hours a night. We never wanted to get off the phone, we never ran out of things to talk about, and we talked about the heavy stuff and felt totally comfortable doing so. There was no way that the first date was going to end poorly.

And of course, it didn’t…

***********

We met on our first date on April 21, 2007. We went to see Grindhouse (a B-movie double feature full of zombies and blood and machine guns for legs) at North Hills cinema and then out to dinner at 518 West (contemporary Italian food) in downtown Raleigh. After dinner we went to the Raleigh’s Little Theatre Rose Garden and had a wonderful time. That was just the beginning of a new life together…

***********

Interesting fact: We lived closer to each other in Pittsburgh growing up (Mt. Oliver and Penn Hills) than we did here in Raleigh/Chapel Hill when we met!

And if you’ve lasted this long, here’s a picture of us very early on in our relationship. I think it might have been taken at his mother’s on the day I met her for the first time!

Clementine & Five-Spice Chicken ~ Rachel

Eating Well is one of my favorite magazines, mostly because the recipes are tasty, healthy and quite simple. In the latest issue, there was a recipe for Clementine & Five Spice Chicken. Since I had just bought a giant box of clementines, I was all set to make this recipe. And it was fantastic. So flavorful!

Clementine & Five-Spice Chicken

from Eating Well magazine, Feb 2012

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8-10 clementines (mandarins, honey tangerines or oranges work well too)
  • Generous 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (All blends contain cinnamon, fennel seed, cloves & star anise…some versions are made with white pepper, some with Szechuan pepper)
  • 2 tsp Canola oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 large, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2lbs), skin removed and fat trimmed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup small fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions

  • Finely grate 1 tsp zest and squeeze 1 cup juice from 6-8 clementines (make sure to reserve 2 clementines for slicing). Combine the zest, juice, and five-spice powder in a small bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt. Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Pour in the juice mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook the chicken is just cooked through, 16-18 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel 2 clementines and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
  • When the chicken is done, transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring often, until thickened and reduced to 1/2 to 2/3 cup, 2-4 minutes. Stir in the clementine slices, cilantro, scallion greens and sesame oil. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Nutrition Facts per serving (7pts+ each)

  • 270 calories
  • 13g fat
  • 92mg cholesterol
  • 11g carbohydrate
  • 26g protein
  • 1g fiber
  • 359g sodium
  • 84$ daily value of Vitamin C!

I served this with some fresh spinach, sauteed with garlic and olive oil until wilted, and a serving of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain blends. I was a bit apprehensive about this grain mix because Dave can be picky. After dinner…because he didn’t say anything during…I asked if he liked dinner. He loved everything except the seasoning I put on the spinach. He really liked the grains! I then told him it was a mix of Israeli couscous (which we knew he liked), orzo, red quinoa and the kicker: baby garbanzo beans. I was sure he was going to ban them from the house. Dave doesn’t do beans. Ever. But all he said was ok. Anyways, the grain mix was quite tasty, had a nice mix of textures to it and was very creamy (I made it using chicken broth). I highly recommend this blend if you’re looking for something a little bit different! I bet it would be good in a soup of some kind. Like a modified wedding soup. Biz, you up for that challenge? If you don’t have TJ’s by you, I’ll ship you a bag of this stuff to try!

Overall, a tasty and healthy dinner that took very little effort!

Today has been another story. We went out for lunch and I got a burger. I have the points for it but it does take away some of my points cushion for the rest of the week! Oh well. The burger was fantastic. We’re going to ration out the goodies we got at the German bakery and the Chocolate Boutique (which just opened up by Savory Spice Shop).

I’m still tracking it all. If I bite it, I write it!

Caramelized Coffee Spiced Chicken & Giveaway ~ Rachel

Greetings everyone!

I’m still alive, I promise. I can’t seem to get a leg up on much of anything these days so until I do, my postings might be a little sparse. To hold you over to the next post, I’m posting a couple of our wedding photos, an awesome recipe, and a giveaway! Can you beat that???

First, a few wedding pictures (click on them to get the bigger version):

Photo by Stephanie Spencer Photography

Photo by Stephanie Spencer Photography

Photo by Stephanie Spencer Photography

Photo by Stephanie Spencer Photography

Second, an awesome recipe:

You’ve probably heard me mention my most favorite store, Savory Spice Shop? Well, a couple of weeks ago we stopped in to see if they had espresso powder. I was making fancy brownies in our new “all edges” brownie pan and the recipe called for espresso powder, which I couldn’t find in any grocery store. Apparently, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor and does not mess up the recipe if you don’t have it. ANYWAYS…Savory Spice didn’t have espresso powder but they had a couple of new spice blends with coffee in them. One of them was the Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice and it was suggested that we use that in place of the espresso powder. Well…we did and the brownies were awesome…and we also picked up the recipe for Caramelized Coffee Spiced Chicken.

I made that the other night, substituting boneless skinless chicken breasts for thighs, and served it over some jasmine rice. In the words of Dave, dinner was <expletive> awesome….he wants to put the glaze on everything. Which brings me to…

Third, a giveaway:

I’m going to hold a giveaway to try and bring back my readers from the post-less abyss I banned them to (at least in terms of our blog here). The winner will receive a 4oz. bottle of the Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice and a 4oz. bottle of a spice or spice blend of their choice! All from Savory Spice Shop! All you have to do is go to the Savory Spice Shop website, drool over all the awesome spices and recipes, pick one or two of your favorites, and leave a comment here telling me what you picked and why! Leave your comment by Thursday, December 22nd at 5pm and I’ll pick a winner on Friday the 23rd! I can’t promise you’ll get the spices before 2012 but I won’t make you wait too long.

Now…back to reality….I’m hitting up my first Weight Watchers meeting in months tomorrow morning….weigh-in ain’t gonna be pretty!

16 Days ~ Rachel

There are 16 days to go before I get to marry Dave. 

8 days before I try my wedding gown on again. The dress fitting wasn’t a disaster and there were no tears thankfully. The dress is tight and doesn’t fit in 2 spots but between me losing some pounds and the tailor letting it out (thank God there was room to let it out), she said it will be just fine. I tried that dress on October 3rd. I go back on the 21st. She will then do the alterations over the weekend and I will pick it up early in the week for our wedding on the 29th. How crazy is that? The tailor wanted to give me as much time as possible to lose a few pounds.

I had just started my period so I was quite bloated at that dress fitting. I’ve kept an eye on my scale at home and tracked everything going into my mouth…I’ve seen the numbers come down. I’m gonna knock this week out of the park and hopefully lose 5lbs by really sticking to the plan. The numbers haven’t come down as much as I would have thought so I am going to limit my fruit snacks to one per day. I’ve been doing 2-3 per day….usually a banana and an apple and sometimes a second apple. I really think too much “free” fruit might be a problem for me so I’m going to aim for more veggies instead.

And since my little check-ins on the blog are going to get even more sparse, let me leave you with a recipe. I found a new blog called emily bites. She posts easy recipes that are WW friendly (with points plus calculated)…lots of them are portion controlled (mini muffin/muffin tin servings) which is nice. The first recipe I tried was the Pumpkin, Cranberry and Apple Baked Oatmeal.

In the words of Biz, HOLY SHIZ! This was FANTASTIC. I’ve been eating it all week. I simply measure out my serving (I do 6 servings for 8pts+ per serving instead of 8 servings), splash some half & half over it, nuke it for 2 minutes and then enjoy. I will be making this, probably every week, through the fall and winter months. I think next time, though, I might play around with the spices. This recipe is screaming for pumpkin pie spice instead of just cinnamon. And I might throw in a bit more apple.

Oh…and for those of you who don’t have wheat germ in your pantry (I didn’t), you can replace it with an equal amount of ground flax seed or just more oats (which is what I did). I might get some ground flax seed for the next batch.

 

So click on over to the recipe and enjoy 🙂

I’ll be back next weekend to tell you about my final dress fitting.

And if you’re lucky you might get to hear about my bachelorette party!

 

 

Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes ~ Rachel

I’ve made this Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes dish a few times now and love it. It’s tasty, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s relatively low in points (9 points plus per serving). I will say this though…it usually needs salt at the end. Dave thought it was a little bland this time around so I am going to do a few things different next time I make it:

  • Substitute ground lamb for the ground turkey
  • Substitute another curry powder for the garam masala just to experiment
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for the Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Add chopped apple (probably Granny Smith)
The points will likely increase but not by much and since we eat this alone, rather than over pita or rice, a couple extra points won’t hurt.

Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes Recipe (Adapted from Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (the kind with 7% fat)
  • 1 chopped onion (I used onion powder instead since Dave can’t eat raw onion)
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 chopped fresh red chiles
  • A 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, grated fine (I used a spoonful of jarred pureed ginger)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala (you can really use any kind of curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 24 oz Yukon Gold potatoes cut into small chunks
  • 2-4 Roma or other plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro or parsley

METHOD

1 Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large pot with a lid. When the oil is hot, add the ground meat, spreading it out over the pan. Cook the meat without stirring, until it begins to brown.

2 Add the chopped onion and chiles. Stir and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion begins to color a bit. Sprinkle salt over everything.

3 Add the grated ginger and garlic, mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

4 Mix in the spices, water, and the potatoes. Stir to combine and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

5 When the potatoes are tender, add the diced tomatoes and peas. Mix well and cover the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt, if needed, to taste.

Right before you serve, mix in the chopped cilantro. Serve alone or with flatbread or white rice.

Yield: Serves 4.

BonAppetit

Spicy Cinnamon Pork ~ Rachel

Since moving down South from Pittsburgh, I’ve discovered pulled pork. In NC, that usually means vinegar-based BBQ sauce (which I love). In SC, the BBQ sauce is usually mustard-based (which I also love). In other places, they do a BBQ sauce which is more akin to what people generally think BBQ sauce is..tomato/ketchup based (which I will eat but no longer prefer if I have a choice).

This pulled pork, which you make in the crock pot, is none of those. I got this recipe from the blog Fresh Slowcooking which is a great place for crock pot recipes that use fresh ingredients! Anyways, this pulled pork is fabulous over jasmine rice but you could also just serve it with some veggies.  I also like it on a bun topped with some cole slaw.

Spicy Cinnamon Pork (Crockpot)

Taken from Fresh Slowcooking website

Ingredients
  • 4lb pork butt or shoulder…I buy boneless “Boston Butt” (strange name for a cut of meat but whatever)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves unless you are me and double or triple that)
  • 2 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger (I buy the stuff in a jar now)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (I may have used a little more)
  • 1 6cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Instructions
  • Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.
  • Trim excess fat from the pork and pat it dry (this is important for the browning).
  • Combine garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the pork and reserve any remaining rub.
  • Brown all sides of the pork in the hot skillet…about 4 minutes per side. This step is optional so if you don’t have time for it, just throw everything into the crock pot and run. However, the browning adds a nice flavor so only skip if necessary.
  • Place inside the crock pot and pour rice wine vinegar over it.
  • Sprinkle the remaining spices on top.
  • Wedge the cinnamon stick where it will get moistened by the juices as the pork cooks.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).
  • Remove the cinnamon stick.
  • Using two forks, pull the pork.
This is one of my favorite recipes and is great if you are having friends over. It also contains ample amounts of cinnamon, my Healing Spice of the week (more on cinnamon in another post later this week). There is also coriander and mustard seeds and ginger and cardamom and cloves and cayenne pepper. Those could probably be their own Healing Spice blog entry (maybe one day).
For now, enjoy this pork recipe and come back later this week for the skinny on cinnamon.

Walnut Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken w/ Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I got this recipe for Walnut Rosemary Oven-Friend Chicken from an issue of Cooking Light magazine and it. was. awesome. The serving size is a generous 6 ounces and it’s only 7 points plus. I used a bit more rosemary than the recipe called for, just because I had minced more than I really needed. Also, I used the really grainy dijon mustard…the kind where you can see the seeds…rather than a creamy one like Grey Poupon. I served this chicken with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe below) and asparagus. It was VERY filling and extremely tasty. And of course, both the chicken and the sweet potatoes feature rosemary!

Walnut Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

  • YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet), 7 points plus per serving
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6-ounce) chicken cutlets
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary leaves (optional)
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
  • Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
  • Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Source: Laraine Perri, Cooking Light

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • YIELD: 10 servings, 3 points plus per serving
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (~3.5 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (I used the Splenda brown sugar blend)
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable seasoning (I have no idea what this is so I just threw in a bunch of rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp light butter
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon (I used Jack Daniels b/c we didn’t have any bourbon)
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend until creamy (I used an immersion blender)
  • Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated
Source: Foodista

The Best Salad Without Lettuce You’ll Ever Eat ~ Rachel

Have you ever tried quinoa? If not…well, you should.  Here are some health facts about quinoa which I’ve decided is a super food…they actually call it the mother grain:

  • Complete protein because it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids…it’s high in lysine, methionine and cystine…this is rare among plant foods
  • Contains an average of 16.2% protein compared to 7.5% in rice, 9.9% in millet and 14% for some wheat…some varieties of quinoa are more than 20% protein
  • Gluten-free
  • Good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
  • High in manganese, magnesium and iron

A friend of mine (thanks, Kristen!) told me about a quinoa salad that she makes and I knew I had to try it out. The original recipe can be found here but I think my directions (and small adjustments) make it easier to follow and even better to eat. This is the best non-lettuce salad I’ve ever had!

Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa

I got a new camera & am still trying to figure it out...this is not my best work!

  1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the instructions. Once it’s cooked, rinse it under cold water using a tiny-holed colander or a sieve of some sort. Dump into a big bowl. The first time I made this, I used regular quinoa. The second time I made this, I used red quinoa. Try experimenting with different types. I haven’t noticed huge differences between the types but I think I might like the red more than the regular.
  2. Drain and rinse a can of black beans and add to the big bowl of quinoa.
  3. Chop up a bunch of cilantro (about 1/4 cup), 2 medium tomatoes and slice a bunch of green onions and add to the big bowl of quinoa and black beans. Mix everything together.
  4. In a separate small bowl, melt 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter and let cool.
  5. To the butter, add 2 tsp lime zest, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix well.
  6. Pour the dressing over the big bowl of quinoa salad and mix well.
  7. You may want to add salt and pepper to taste when you go to eat it.

This makes a TON of salad….if you break it into 3 servings, it’s 12 points plus per serving. If you break i into 4 servings, it’s  9 points plus per serving. Supplement your salad with a lean protein ( I bet this is awesome with salmon) for a great dinner or just have some fruit with it for lunch.

Though I do love the salad as is, I think I might try and kick it up a notch next time. Instead of green onion, I think red onion might be good. I just have to figure out what kind of spices to add. Maybe a hint of cayenne?

4 generous servings @ 9 points+ each