quinoa

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Cajun Quinoa Burgers

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Call them burgers, call them patties, call them cakes – call them whatever you want. So long as you make them. Because they’re gooooood.

I call them burgers because burgers are my thing. And because it’s summer (finally!) and that just makes me want to eat more burgers. Meat burgers are great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you just want something light for lunch. Or dinner. Or hey, even breakfast (OMG can you imagine a fried egg dripping down this thing?!).

So back to my burger obsession, lets talk about it. I won a recipe contest for this vegetarian cheeseburger, I’m also in love with this Paleo burger, and don’t even get me started on this spinach falafel burger. These chickpea burgers are awesome on the grill, and these sweet pepper ones are not too bad either. Told you I had a burger obsession.

I quite like quinoa too. And I just about put cajun seasoning on everything – like roasted chickpeas, and broccoli, blackened fish and chicken. Yummo.

And of course I like things spicy too, so my easy jalapeno crema packs a great punch and an added brightness that goes great with these patties.

One of the things I love about these is how great they are for packed lunches. Picnic at the beach? check. Quick lunch on the go, check. Easy bites for vacation, yup.

And speaking of vacation, I’m working hard on keeping things as healthy as possible as we slowly shed our sweaters and jackets, inching our way towards summer. With the holidays behind us, there are no more excuses, who’s with me?!

How are YOU planning to eat light and healthy this summer? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!


Related Recipes:

quinoa pad thai
roasted veggie quinoa salad
spinach falafel burger
portobello cheeseburger

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Quinoa Pad Thai

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The first time I ever tasted Pad Thai was when I attended the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, last year. It was pasta day, I think, and we were experimenting with different types – including rice noodles. We made our own chili paste from scratch and it was so hot, I cried just from blending it. I took one bite of the Pad Thai and my mouth was on fire! Even though my tongue could barely take it, there was just something about the stuff and I kept going back for more (and refilling my glass of water!). Even with cilantro (one of my least favorite ingredients) the stuff was just. that. good. It wasn’t long before I was making pad Thai at home for my whole family to enjoy.

Now when I started to ease up on my carb-load, I knew I had to come up with a lower carb pad Thai recipe to enjoy. Enter quoina – the super grain. Or super seed, I should say! Quinoa, after all, is not a grain or legume – it’s called a Pseudo-cereal and is botanically related to spinach and beets. So although some refer to it as an ancient grain, you can rest assured that this protein-rich superfood is a great low-carb alternative to pasta and rice.

They may teach you to make pad Thai in culinary school. But they don’t tell you the obvious things, like not to write your recipes on scrap pieces of paper. When I was developing this quinoa pad Thai dish, I hit the nail right on the head – it was perfect! I wrote the recipe out on the edge of my calendar, and what do you think happened? I promptly forgot about that golden combination of ingredients, and weeks later, when I went to look up something in the calendar, I decided to rip out all the old months that had already passed. And there my recipe went – crumpled up amid egg shells and dirty plates – right in the garbage.

I realized the error of my ways the next day and I ran outside to see if the garbage truck had taken out the garbage yet. Oh yes, I was right about ready to put on some gloves and sort through the trash! No such luck, my garbage had already been picked up and my prized recipe was doomed for the garbage dump. So, I did what any pad-Thai-obsessed-girl-on-a-diet would do…I made it again. That’ll teach me never to write my recipes on the edge of my calendar! (Did I mention this is not the first time this has happened?)

Related Recipes:

summer rolls with spicy dipping sauce
spicy roasted edamame

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Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The best salads happen at the salad bar. It was Chanukah, and my sister in law and I made a run for Bagels & Greens to sample some of their amazing donuts. They had incredible flavors like Rosemary crunch, sweet basil, Oreo crunch, strawberry cheese cake, dulce de leche and even passion fruit. They were selling out fast so we made our way, babies in tow, and sat down for brunch.

To deguiltify our donut binge, we decided to start with a salad. We packed in some roasted veggies, beets, and quinoa with a drizzle of honey mustard dressing. I was used to eating quinoa salads where the quinoa was the main attraction, but I loved how the healthy grains coated my greens and stuck to the veggies. I decided to bring the idea home and roast up some veggies for a healthy lunch that’s packed with color and flavor.

I start by roasting up some veggies – there are so many to choose from! Keep it simple with zucchini and onions or add in some eggplant, peppers or mushrooms. A hint of oregano and balsamic add amazing flavor – and your house will smell incredible too.

I love topping my greens off with a poached or soft boiled egg. The creamy yolk coats the greens in a rich sauce that’s better than any salad dressing. Although, if you do want dressing (what’s a salad without a good dressing, right?), I’ve got plenty of options for you too!

1 year ago: nut omelette
2 years ago: Bubby’s challah kugel
3 years ago: perfect pareve french toast

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Breakfast Quinoa with Silan Roasted Figs

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Unlike other fruits and veggies, figs have a relatively short season. They are usually available in late summer and early fall, but can also occasionally be found in short supply in early summer. They also have a short shelf life, which is probably why you won’t find them imported throughout the year. Since fresh figs are so hard to come by, I am sure to pick up a carton whenever I see them.

Figs and honey are a natural pairing, but figs and silan are like a match made in heaven. Silan is a thick syrup made from dates that’s like a cross between honey and molasses, with a taste similar to roasted sweet potato syrup (the sticky stuff that oozes out of the sweet potatoes when you roast them for a long time). Roasting the figs with silan just takes the whole fig experience to new heights, you’ll never want to eat them any other way!

What’s even better than silan roasted figs? Silan roasted figs over milky quinoa porridge! If you’ve never prepared quinoa as a breakfast cereal, you must give it a try. It’s just like oatmeal or porridge, except it’s got a bite to it. If you’re a fan of quinoa, try preparing it with milk instead of water, and adding sweet additions like apple-cinnamon, maple-brown-sugar, or this fabulous topping of fresh figs & silan. You’ll be making quinoa for breakfast a lot more often!


1 year ago: carrot muffins
2 years ago: berry sorbet with fresh pomegranates and blueberries

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Mushroom Quinoa

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Quinoa is my new favorite superfood. It is a protein-rich seed with a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and somewhat of a nutty flavor. Although some consider it to be a grain, it is actually a relative to spinach and swiss chard, which is why some people eat it on Pesach. It is similar to couscous, with a chewier texture and more health benefits.

I first tasted mushroom quinoa at the newly opened Fresh Cafe in North Miami Beach back in March. The cafe was opened by the owners of The Fresh Diet with an emphasis on healthy, wholesome foods. They offer a classic breakfast menu, whole wheat pizza with various toppings, paninis, wraps, salads (with blue cheese crumbles and goat cheese) and smoothies. Although their menu includes some less-than-healthy options such as a buttered NY bagel, they encourage healthy eating (their menu notes: “heavy white pizza available upon request”). The winning items on the menu include a list of gourmet sandwiches including a Balsamic Glazed Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Fresh Basil and Feta, Tarragon-Infused Salmon with Cheddar on a Spinach Tortilla, Balsamic-Reduction-Glazed Mushrooms, Shallots and Swiss Cheese on Seven Grain Bread, among others. I ordered a nicoise salad, which they served with sweet potatoes as a healthy alternative to the classic red potatoes. My husband had grilled salmon with a side of quinoa and roasted vegetables. Both were healthy-sized portions, flavorful and filling.

After tasting the quinoa there, I started making it more often at home. It has become a staple around here, served hot alongside a chicken dinner, or cold, as a salad at Shabbos lunch. My husband, and kids absolutely love it (as long as I call it “couscous” my kids are good!). This is, by far, our favorite recipe.

NOTE: I use Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth in this recipe. It is fat free, low calorie, gluten free and organic. The stock is made using a variety of organic vegetables as well as carrot and onion juice concentrate and tomato paste which gives it a reddish tinge. The broth adds a delicious tomato-y flavor to the quinoa. If you cannot get Trader Joe’s broth, you can use Imagine, and add a tsp of tomato paste to the vegetables while they are sauteeing.

The Fresh Cafe
2214 NE 123rd Street
North Miami, FL 33181
Phone: 305-591-8848
Kosher Miami, cholov and pas Yisrael

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