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Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

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Tri color Quinoa by Bob’s Red Mill had this delightful salad recipe on the back of their package.  It sounded interesting enough to try.  I am finding quinoa to be something that I need to acquire a taste for.  I am not there yet, but this did have some good flavors that made it interesting.  The dressing has an Asian taste to it.  I substituted honey for sugar and increased the honey a little to give the  dressing more sweetness.  Here is my adaptation:

Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa Package

Serves 6

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper

Salad:

  • 2 – 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 (14 oz) can white beans (or kidney beans etc)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool.

Prepare the dressing, coming the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Adjust the honey to your personal preference.

Combine the salad ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Kale Chips

IMG_7009I am sorry, it is a green leafy vegetable and I want nothing of it… right? That is what you are thinking!  That is what I thought, but I had so many of my foodie friends making them and raving about them so I had to see what it was all about!  Guess what?  They are good! No, I should say addictive!  I have to play keep-away from my 10 year old son!  He may love them even more than I do!  I baked them in batches, and before the next batch was done, the previous ones were gone!  I may need a 12 step program for these.  I over salted the very first batch, but they were still good, less salt on  the second batch I made and they were better.  The third and fourth batches I added a quality balsamic vinegar before baking them.  They were not bad, but I think the pure salt method is the way to go.  The ingredient list is overwhelming – oh wait 3 ingredients.  I think even my husband can handle that!

I did find this recipe from Pinterest which led me to a site that had a wonderful step by step description (link).

Kale Chips

Adapted from http://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-make-kale-chips/

They are all the rage!

Serves 1 if you are home alone.. otherwise share with up to 3 other people.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ground sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Wash the bunch of kale and then take scissors or a knife and cut the stem going up into the leaf out (almost the full length of the leaf).  Tear the kale leaves into 2 inch pieces.  Dry completely between paper towels, toss and dry again.. you want them as dry as possible.

Place the kale leaf pieces in a large salad bowl and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and toss them with your hands to get as many of the leaves as possible coated with some of the olive oil.  Place about 1/4 of the leaves (as many as will fit comfortably on  a silicone lined cookie sheet as possible, without overcrowding them)  Grind sea salt over the leaves.

Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes.  Depending on the type of kale you used it may take more or less time.  Mine was the curly kale and took a little over 12 minutes to crisp up and wilt some. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a pretty plate.. they will look pretty there for about 30 seconds before the vultures descend upon  the kale chips and make them vanish.

Notes: Kale will end up on my grocery list a lot more in the future because of this preparation.  What a great alternative to eating salty potato chips.  It satisfies the salty craving and is better for you too!  Will I be making these treasures again? Yes I think so, but now I am going to floss and brush my teeth because I have an appliance repair guy coming to fix my dryer!

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Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai – http://www.goodcookbecky.com

One of my best friends lives in Thailand.  Her daughter now goes to school in England and they both were here over the summer.  I took them to eat at a Thai restaurant near me.  Her daughter had not had Thai food in some time and enjoyed it.  I also found out, though the decor was a mix of Thai and Chinese, their food was pretty authentic, and that is what matters. I learned from my friend, that when eating Pad Thai, it tastes better when you squeeze lime juice over the dish just before eating and sprinkling with just a little sugar (1/4 tsp does the job) — I was skeptical, but it really did bring out the flavors.  I discovered I really like Pad Thai.  So I bought the ingredients recently to try to make it myself.  Actually, I made the dish twice!  Once to make all the mistakes, and the second time to make it right!  Yum!

I used the recipe on the Roland brand Pad Thai Noodle package and adapted it to my own taste.  I don’t like tofu- so I increased the amount of shrimp.  You could also use chicken or pork.  Tamarind paste was the hardest ingredient to locate, but you will find it in an Asian market, or order it online.

Shrimp Pad Thai

adapted from Roland

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package Roland Pad Thai Noodles
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 oz. medium size shrimp, cleaned and peeled
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime sliced in wedges, for serving
  • sugar, for serving

Instructions:

Prepare the Pad Thai Noodles according to package directions.  Mine, I soaked in room temperature water for 30 minutes, drained the noodles and then put them back in the bowl and poured boiling water over them and let them sit another 5 minutes to soften them.  Drained them again and then added a little oil and tossed to keep the pasta from sticking.

In the meantime prepare the sauce:  Combine the tamarind paste with the 1/2 cup hot water and stir.  Strain the tamarind paste in a sieve, saving the liquid in a small bowl.  Discard any solids (I had very little).  Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and red chili flakes to the tamarind sauce and stir to combine.

Cook your scrambled eggs in a non stick skillet, breaking the egg up into smaller pieces as it cooks and set aside.

Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add 2 Tbsp of canola oil to it.  Add the minced garlic.  Add the clean shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes until they are pink and fully cooked.  Remove the shrimp to the skillet with the eggs, so they do not overcook – you will add these back into the wok toward the end of cooking.

Add the drained noodles, and tamarind mixture to the wok. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add bean sprouts and green onions and cook for one minute longer.  Add the scrambled eggs, shrimp, and peanuts to the wok.  Add the juice of one lime and toss lightly.

Place the Pad Thai on a large serving dish and sprinkle with a few more peanuts and fresh cilantro.  Serve hot and garnish with lime wedges.

It really tastes best when you squeeze a little lime on the Pad Thai and sprinkle the single serving with about 1/4 tsp of sugar.  If you are skeptical as I was, try it without first and then add… I think you will agree that it does taste better.

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Muffins with Chocolate Chips

I adapted my Peanut Butter Bread with Chocolate Chips recipe to be Gluten Free.  It was easy to do, I also reduced the sugar used to make them a little lower in calories.  I try not to use artificial sugars as there is some controversy how good it is for you.  Basically I substituted Brown Rice Flour for the Flour and added Xanthan Gum (Hodgson Mill has them it available in small packets so you can use as much as needed without opening a whole package)  I used chunky peanut butter and I think it did help feel less “grainy”.  I will make them again.  They were okay for Gluten Free.

GF Peanut Butter Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

by goodcookbecky

Serves 15

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour
  • 4 Tbsp white sugar
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Place muffin tin papers in your muffin tins.

Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl: brown rice flour, xanthan gum, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of your mixer place the bananas, peanut butter, egg, vanilla and oil.  Mix to combine.  Add about half of the flour mixture and mix slowly to incorporate.  Add the remaining flour and mix until you no longer see dry flour.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips and use a ice cream scoop to drop the dough into the prepared muffin papers. Bake about 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool a few minutes before removing them from the muffin tins.

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Nutrition Notes: calculated via my fitness pal

260 cal per muffin

12.2 g fat

Saturated 3.5 g