Homemade Nut Free Cranberry Quinoa Granola bars

So here it is guys! The recipe from my Facebook Live this morning. I love love granola bars, but it’s hard to find some without nuts, especially when nuts are not an options. I love to eat all kinds of nuts, but sometimes we don’t get along, but I will not bore you with that drama. LOL. 🙂

Today it’s all about this recipe. It’s easy and very delicious and you can add your own favorite seeds or dried fruit. Food is truly one of the best places to explore endless possibilities. What I love the most about this recipe is the quinoa element. The quinoa is toasted along with the seeds and gluten free oats. The toasted quinoa, lends a wonderful nutty taste to the granola, lots of crunch and not to mention, it’s a complete protein. So why not?

Oh yes, share with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (vegan)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon clove

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup cranberries

1 -2 tablespoon orange juice

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and spread around evenly. Once oven is preheated, toast the oats and quinoa for 8-10 minutes. Once done toasting, pour oats and quinoa into a medium bowl and set aside.
While quinoa and oats are toasting, add Earth Balance buttery spread, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and sea salt to medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the oats and quinoa. Stir well to incorporate. Fold in flaxseed meal and dried cranberries. Add half of the mixture into a food processor with a tablespoons of orange juice and blend until mixture incorporates together and looks like dough.
Line an 8×4 or 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; pour mixture in and spread out evenly, then press mixture down in the pan very firmly.
Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes or until mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into desired amount of bars. Store bars in the fridge.

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Nut Free Cranberry and Quinoa Granola

Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potatoes in red wine with toasted quinoa and almonds

Thanksgiving is next month and I am always thinking about what will I do differently this year. Then I remember that I go out of town each year and visit my family, so it’s more like what will I do differently for Christmas this year. Lately, for the past 3 years I have been doing a French country inspired Christmas dinner, but I want to switch it up a bit. I want to do more of a vegetarian theme dinner. I know my boys, they will not have that at all, but I will incorporate more plant-based recipes this year. I always add a new vegetarian plant based recipe each year and less meat, getting closer and closer to my vegetarian Christmas dinner, more and more. LOL.

This particular dish came about when I was thinking of my past made coursed for Christmas, usually I like to do a Beef Bourguignon, but if I could do a take on that recipe using vegetables.  Now this recipe is not like Beef Bourguignon, at all but the richness of it from the wine and the balsamic vinegar, reminded me so much of the dish. It could easily be a main course for vegan or vegetarian table.

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red wine 

I toasted quinoa and almonds to add some protein and texture, some cranberries and lemon zest and you have a deliciously decadent, rich, and refreshing dish for Thanksgiving or any time of the Fall and Winter season.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I did today. You can add walnuts, or any other nut your prefer, instead of almonds. I had almonds and hand and I believe in using what you have.

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red with toasted quinoa and almonds

Ingredients:

1 medium butter squash, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces

1 pound brussels sprouts, peeled and halved

3 medium purple sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1 tbsp sea salt, or taste

1  1/2 tbsp Harissa seasoning, adjust to your heat preference

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Garnish: Toasted Quinoa, Toasted Nuts, Cranberries and Lemon Zest

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red wine with toasted quinoa and almonds

Directions:

Preheat the oven 375.

In a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the oil and chopped veggies and sea salt. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Add the Harissa and brown sugar Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar.

Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables are brown and a fork can go through the vegetables easily.

Toasted Quinoa recipe: Quinoa two ways ~ Toasted and Roasted

For Toasted Nuts,  just add nuts in a non stick pan on medium heat and allow to toast until you can smell the nuts aroma, remove from heat, be careful not to burn them.

Once cooked add the vegetable in a beautiful bowl top with toasted quinoa, nuts, cranberries and lemon zest.

 

 

 

Quinoa two ways ~ Toasted and Roasted

Quinoa is one of the only complete protein grains in the vegan/vegetarian circle of life. Quinoa is considered a whole grain, but in actuality,  it is a seed, from a leafy plant that is related to the spinach family. I do enjoy a good bowl of sweet or savory quinoa, but I love to explore other ways I can use ingredients. So, this morning I kept going back and forth with the question, what should I eat, quinoa or oatmeal? I just wasn’t feeling the big bowl of either and wanted something different.

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Toasted Quinoa

 

Toasted Quinoa Recipe:

Preparation
Cook the quinoa in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until it is lightly dried out and toasted, about 15 minutes.

It will make slight popping sounds as it approaches being done. …
Remove the skillet from the heat.

 

How about granola? Well, I have made granola from scratch a million times, but not with quinoa. Yes! that’s the ticket. Roasted Quinoa granola. I can put this over fruit, yogurt, ice cream, whatever my heart desires. Well, if quinoa can be sweet, how about making it savory. Yes! again that’s the ticket, so I decided to roast the quinoa for my granola and to toast the quinoa for a savory corn salad, I am making for dinner tonight, boom!  Both of these recipes are easy and you could go wild with the possibilities.

I took my Roasted Quinoa and topped it over some sautéed peaches that I seasoned with cardamom, cinnamon and a little pink salt, delish and yum yum approved.

I hope you will enjoy this  complete protein healthy treat and remember to go wild with your imagination when making your granola. After it is cooked and cooled, add dark chocolate chips to it, or  us a different dried fruit, like apricots or a different nut, such as hazelnuts or pecans.  You decide, but whatever you come up with, Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Roasted Quinoa Granola

Ingredients:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill White Quinoa

1 cups raw almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup cranberries

1 1/2  tbsp  organic cane sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 vanilla extract

pink sea salt or reg sea salt , just pinch

2  tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Add oats, quinoa, almonds, raisins, cranberries,  sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl – stir to combine.
To a small saucepan, add coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. Warm over medium heat for 2 minutes, whisking frequently, until the two are totally incorporated.

Immediately pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine until, everything is covered with the syrup mixture.  Arrange on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spread into an even layer.
Bake for  35 – 40 minutes.  Then remove from oven and stir/toss the granola. Rotate the pan to the other side, so you can cook the other end of

the granola and bake 10 -15 minutes more, until it is golden brown. * KEEP WATCH OVER IT SO IT DOESN’T BURN.  Once done, remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes, before serving.

Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with a little Thai flavor

 

 

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Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

I love peanut butter. I can eat it by the spoonfuls, but the best part about eating peanut butter for me is, the high plant based protein and antioxidants it has in it. Yay me. Good for my body and my skin. I actually came across an amazing peanut butter a few weeks ago, when I was being interviewed by Mara Davis, television and radio personality, also GURU of all that is too know about food and where to get it.  She is the host of Atlanta Eats radio and television show. I absolutely love this woman, she knows food and she makes me laugh until my ribs crack.

Well as we were having our interview at Krog Street Market, here in Atlanta, she took me to Nature’s Garden Express and turned me on to this amazing peanut butter, Georgia Grinders. The owner Michael at Nature’s Garden Express was generous enough to give me a jar to take home and try. I  have been hooked ever since. This recipe came about when I was just craving a spoonful of their peanut butter.  A quick note here: if you are allergic to peanut butter you can substitute another nut butter of your liking.  This recipe is super simple, loaded with vitamins, vegan based protein and lots of flavor.  You get protein everywhere in this dish, the chick peas, the quinoa , the peanut and a little here in the brussels sprouts.

Thai Peanut Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 thumb piece of ginger, peeled

1 1/2 cup Georgia Grinders peanut butter

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons srirachi sauce

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

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Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat 400

Add ginger into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, srirachi sauce, coconut oil, and blend. ADD  A LITTLE WARM WATER IF IT IS TOO THICK, until smooth. DO AHEAD: Peanut sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Set a side some of the sauce for garnish. Add the remaining sauce over chick peas that have been drained and rinsed. Toss the chickpeas in the sauce until they are covered completely.  Place the chickpeas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread them out, so each one can roast properly. Roast for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once they are roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled use a fork to separate them from one another. Set a side.

Cook 1 cup of quinoa, brown rice or your favorite gluten free grain. Add the grain to the base of the bowl and top with your chickpeas and favorite vegetable toppings. Here I sautéed some brussels sprouts with garlic, lemon juice and a little sea salt in a non stick pan. I added tomatoes, carrots, red bell peppers and the sautéed brussels sprouts. I garnished with a little parsley, but cilantro would be the best option, but I am without a car since it is in the shop, so parsley made it on this dish today. Lol 😂.

The point here is being creative and eating as much as the rainbow as possible.

You can add other raw vegetables here for example, cauliflower, yellow squash, avocado would have been a good options as well. Eating healthy is about creativity and exploration.

So enjoy being a food artist in your kitchen.

Do not forget to Set the Table with Love!! 💕💕💕

How to Break “Fast” and Have more Energy

I love talking about food, nutrition, wellness and beauty. So, I thought that, I would share how my days usually go, that keeps me full of energy, balanced, looking and feeling my best. I learned a lot of this when I studied Holistic Nutrition and Medicine at Clayton College of Natural Health. How we break our fast, from the night before is very important . Eating a healthier, lighter diet and drinking plenty of fluids, helps cleanse and nourish the body gently, so you may have more energy and clarity throughout the day. What is happening, is we are flushing out built up mucous in the body, as we consume pure liquids, high fiber fruits and veggies, during the am.

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How to break a Fast

Here is my  sample of an Ideal Morning routine to cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, boost energy and jump start your day.

  • Wake up with the sun. Go to bed early enough to wake up without an alarm.
  • Sit quietly or lie up in bed, pray, meditate, deep breathing. Release any concerns or frustrations. Let things go. Visualize your day.
  • Pray, and I love reading  my bible and other spiritual books.
  • Drink 2 cups of purified water with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Yoga and deep breathing for 20-30 minutes.
  • Eat 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.
  • Go for a vigorous morning walk or weight training 30 minutes
  • Get ready for my day.
  • Eat a whole grain breakfast, I love cooked oats or quinoa.  Consume 30 – 60 minutes after the fruit.
  • Take my supplements.
  • In 1 or 2 hours, mid morning. a handful of nuts and/or seeds.

Now this depends upon any health issues you may have. So, ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW ROUTINE.

I am kidney transplant survivor and this works well for me, even when I have to p]0take medication.

I will share my Ideal Afternoon routine tomorrow, remember to always Set the Table with Love.

 

Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

I was shopping around in my favorite store, William Sonoma when I came across this large colorful pasta shells. They are called  Lumaconi pasta shells, shaped like the shell of a snail. They are hollow inside, and open at one end, closing in on itself at the other end. The colors intrigued me the most. I had to do something with them, but they could not be drowned in sauce. You must see the color. I decided to go with a vegan recipe, so this dish popped up in my head.  This dish is very beautiful and elegant. I served the pasta on top of a bed of the quinoa mixture. I drizzled olive oil all over it. Traditionally this type of pasta causes for sauce, but the olive oil and the lemon zest was just enough.

Enjoy! Remember to Always Set the Table with Love.

 

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Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

Ingredients:

4 lumaconi pasta shells, they are very large, prepare according to package directions.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cup water, for quinoa

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp dried fennel

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup frozen organic green peas

1/2 cup dried cranberries, good quality cranberries

lemon zest

Generous drizzle of the best extra virgin olive

Directions:

Cook your quinoa according to package instruction. Make sure to rinse it well. It will cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking. Add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan, on medium heat. Add your onions and cook until soften. Add and stir in the garlic and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Do not burn the garlic. Add the fennel seeds. Allow the fennel seeds to get warmed up in the pan, for about a minute. Add the green peas and cranberries. Stir. Add the cooked quinoa into the pan with the aromatics ( onions, fennel and garlic) and the lemon juice. Stir. Remove from heat.

Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas
Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas

Take one pasta shell at a time and gently stuff in some of the quinoa mixture. On a plate add some of the quinoa mixture on to a dish. Place the stuffed shell on top. Drizzle a nice amount of olive oil and lemon zest on top of the entire dish. If you need sauce, you can make a nice lemon vinaigrette to drizzle over this dish as well.

Grilled Peach Kale and Quinoa Salad with a Grilled Peach and Ginger dressing

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I am a Georgia peaches.  I love my peaches. When I was a child, my great great aunt had a peach tree in her backyard, amongst many other fruit trees. She also had an apple and cherry tree. She would make jams, preserves, cobblers and the best crusty peach pie ever, all from scratch.

Yesterday my husband and I was getting ready for my son’s birthday party. He turned 15.
Wow where did the time go. As we were driving along, I saw a local farmer, that I see regularly on the side of the road, selling all of nature goodness. I decided this time to stop by and I picked up the prettiest and most fragrant Georgia peaches. I had to use them up before we went on vacation, so I came up with this amazing smoky, sweet, tart and crunchy salad.

I used Go Raw Sprouted Simple Seeds to give it crunch, the dressing is sweet, tart and smoky. The grilling of the peaches also brings out their nature sweetness. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did today.

Remember to first, Set the Table with Love.

Dressing:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

3 large peaches ( pitted it and cut in half)  1 for the dressing and 2 more peaches for the salad

1/4 cup organic balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp organic honey ( or maple syrup)

1 tsp ginger powder

salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. On a George Forman grill, drizzle the 1 tbsp of olive oil on the top and the bottom. Add the peach halves. Pull the lid down and grill for about 2-3 minutes, until you get  nice grill marks on the peaches. Remove from the grill and add to a blender, Vitamix or Ninja. Add all the remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend and puree until smooth.  Set aside.

2. Cook 1 cup of  Quinoa according to directions. Drain. Add a pinch of ginger powder, salt and smoked paprika to the quinoa, stir and set aside.

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For the Salad

3 cups kale, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium peaches, pitted and halved

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Directions:

Cut the remaining peach halves in cubes. Add the chopped kale to a big salad bowl. Add the cubed peaches. Add the quinoa. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the peach and ginger dressing, Gently toss and add the Go Raw Sprouted Simple Seeds. I like to add a little more dressing, just because it is so delicious!  Enjoy!

Red Quinoa Olive Tapenade

I love olives and I especially love olive tapenade, but I thought today let’s give this appetizer a little vegan protein boost. I love the texture that the quinoa adds to this recipe.  You can add this on sandwiches as a spread. You can also use it in pasta as like a pesto or top on salads.

Enjoy. Please remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Red Quinoa Olive Tapenade

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked red quinoa, follow instructions on back of packaging, set cooked quinoa to the side to cool.

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon of organic honey

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor; pulse to mince.  Add the cooled quinoa to the food processor. Add the olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice, honey and olive oil Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I garnished with chopped tomatoes and fresh parsley from my granddaughter’s garden.  Enjoy!

Protein Packed ~ Vegan Red Quinoa Kale Carrot Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Last night I was on a conference call talking about how you can transition over to a more plant based vegan protein diet. I am a kidney transplant survivor . I was born with damaged kidneys and I know how animal protein can be very harsh on the kidneys, not to mention on our environment and our over all well being.  First, let me put it out there my eating habits is about nutrition and well being. I eat for my health and my survival as a kidney transplant recipient. I eat out of respect for my husband risking is life and donating his kidney to me. If you have ever donated your kidney to anyone you know this is a big risk of your own well being and life, so Thank you very much for your BIG HEARTS!

My journey is to continue to incorporate healthy choices into my diet and to inspire others to do the same. I am not a label. I am a woman eating as consciously as possible. Now, with that being said, here is some information that may encourage you to eat a more plant based diet.

~ Too much protein is linked to high cholesterol, fluid imbalances in the body, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers such as renal cancer. 

The truth is we eat too much protein. The average adult woman only needs about 46 grams of protein and the average adult man needs about 56 grams. But the great news is that you can get your intake of protein through a vegan or vegetarian diet, but just substituting your regular meals with more vegan based meals. Try it out one meal at at time. You will not regret it.

This salad I made today is loaded with vegan based protein and lots good stuff for your body. VEGAN BASED PROTEIN FOODS CAN BE DELICIOUS!

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

I going to break down the protein for you in this salad

Kale ~ 1 cup 2.9 g

Red Quinoa cooked ~ 8.1 g

Sprouted watermelon seeds by Go Raw Foods  1 oz, ~ 11 g

So a big bowl of this salad with 1 oz of Sprouted watermelon seeds = 22 g vegan protein

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE Ladies! 🙂

Well here is the recipe:

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients :

4 cups of Kale chopped

1 cup cranberries

1 cup of cooked red quinoa ( follow the directions on the box)

1/2 cup of grated carrots

1/2 cup of lime juice

2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1- 2 oz. sprouted watermelon seeds as a garnish

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add the grated carrots in at the end of the cooking process and set a side.

Add the kale and all the other remaining ingredients in a large bowl, EXCEPT THE WATERMELON SEEDS.  Massage the kale until it covered well with the olive oil. I like to massage mines until withers just a little. Add the quinoa, carrots and toss gently until everything is mixed together. Top the salad with 1- 2 oz of the watermelon seeds or as many as you like. Serve and Enjoy your VEGAN energy for the day.

Chai Red Quinoa Porridge

I love this recipe! Instead of regular oatmeal, I decided to make a red quinoa porridge.  It was very delicious, full of flavor and texture. The great thing about this for breakfast, is that you are eating a complete protein, so it is an excellent alternative to having meat or eggs for breakfast. I wonderful choice when you are making changes to eat clean. Also it’s gluten free.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did.

Chai Red Quinoa Porridge
Chai Red Quinoa Porridge

Chai Red Quinoa Porridge

Ingredients:
1 cup red quinoa

1 1/2 cups almond milk

2 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Grated ginger, walnuts, almond milk, maple syrup or honey ( Optional Toppings)

Directions:

Wash quinoa in several changes of water in a bowl, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large fine-mesh sieve after each rinse), until water is clear.

Drain washed quinoa well in a large fine-mesh sieve.

Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until milk is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and keep covered to keep warm.

Divide quinoa among bowls and add grated ginger.

Add walnuts, extra almond milk, maple syrup or honey. ( All optional) But yummy!

One more thing.  Set the Table with Love.

Quinoa Corn Cakes with a Carrot, Apple and Cranberry Slaw

This perhaps one of my favorite things to eat for lunch or breakfast, these amazing  Quinoa Corn Cakes. They are gluten free and high in protein. A great way to start the day, before a hard cardio workout for me. I just filmed a how to video about these yummies, but wanted to give you guys the recipe. The video is being edited at this time and why should you wait. LOL!  Enjoy!

Quinoa Corn Cakes with a Carrot, Apple and Cranberry Slaw
Quinoa Corn Cakes with a Carrot, Apple and Cranberry Slaw

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup water

1 lg egg, beaten

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/4 cup onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced

2 tbsp brown rice flour

1 tsp smoked chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp sea salt ( to taste)

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Directions for Cakes:

1.  Make the Quinoa according to your package instructions. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Fluff with fork, add to a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a sauce pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté all the veggies on a medium low heat for 1-2 minutes. You want the veggies to still have a crunch. Add a pinch of salt.

3. Combine quinoa and all the other ingredients, except the extra olive oil in a bowl. NOTE: Allow everything to cool before adding the egg, you will have quinoa with scrambled eggs. That’s good, but for another time. 🙂

4. Heat the remaining oil in a large, nonstick skillet (work in batches if necessary) over medium-high heat. Scoop a generous 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture at a time and drop onto griddle, flattening into pancake shape with back of a large spoon or spatula (makes 8 cakes). Cook until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip carefully and cook about 3 minutes longer.

Quinoa Corn Cakes with a Carrot Apple and Cranberry Slaw
Quinoa Corn Cakes with a Carrot Apple and Cranberry Slaw

Carrot, Apple and Cranberry Slaw

Ingredients:

1 peeled large carrot, grated

1 large organic apple, grated

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 tbsp  apple cider vinegar, or less to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
Few leaves of mint and cilantro for extra flavor ( optional)

Directions: 

Place apples in a large bowl and toss with apple cider vinegar. Add carrots, oil,  dried cranberries, honey, salt, pepper and fresh herbs; toss to mix thoroughly. I serve this in the middle of 4 Quinoa Corn Cakes.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie ( made from leftover quinoa chili)

I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie. It was not my favorite, to be honest I have never had a Shepherd’s pie I could say was my friend. LOL. But I had leftover Vegan Quinoa Chili and was trying to do something with it instead of eating leftover chili. Well honey, I think I put my foot in this, because this version of Shepherd’s pie I am totally feeling.  I took my leftover chili, put it in one of my little cask iron skillets and took some sautéed mushrooms, creamy polenta, added a little mozzarella, baked it on 450  until golden brown and BAM, you have Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie.  I am eating this skillet as I am typing, so bear with me. LOL.

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
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Yummy Mushrooms

First things First:

The Quinoa Chili

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2  cup water ( the 1/2 cup will be added at the need, based on your preference of thickness of the chili)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion,chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (15 ounce) can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce ) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water.Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender about 4-5 minutes. Stir  in garlic, poblano peppers and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables are tender.

3. Add  kidney beans, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water, a little at a time based on your preference of thickness.  Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder,  salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 20 -30 minutes. Serve warm.

For the Shepherd’s Pie, set aside enough chili to coat the bottom of a mini skillet. I used about 1 cup. If you are making more, set aside enough chili for each skillet.

Vegetarian Polenta

1 1/2 cups of polenta

4 cups of water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cup of mozzarella cheese, ( leave  1 cup of topping the pies, especially if you are making 2 or more Shepherd’s Pie skillets)*

Dash of black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Bring water to a boil. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. Add the cheese, black pepper and sea salt. Stir throughly. It should come away from sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Shepherd’s Pie Skillets

What you will need: Mini skillets or you can use a Medium size skillet if you are using more of the chili to make a family size portion.

1  – 1  1/2 cup  Quinoa Chili per skillet ( you can use more or less, if you desire. The idea is  to cover the bottom of the skillets.) 1/2 cup  Vegetarian Polenta

1cup of organic baby bella mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a sauté pan add the olive oil . Saute the diced baby bella mushrooms on medium heat until they are tender. In your desired skillet, first add the chili. Top the chili with your Vegetarian Polenta. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  I like to serve these in the mini skillets. They make a wonderful presentation.

* This can easily be a Vegan dish, just do not add the cheese, but still back the polenta in the oven until it is golden brown on top.

Cookbook Sneak Peek Recipe ~ Cinnamon Apple Quinoa with Honey Walnuts

I am so excited to share one of the recipes from my new cookbook SET the TABLE with LOVE!

The book is in the editing stages right now, but everything is going wonderfully. I will be sharing a few of my favorites from each section. This is  an actual picture from the cookbook, just click on the picture and the picture should be more visible. Enjoy! Oh yes! Remember to SET the TABLE with LOVE

Cinnamon

 

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“You are what you eat” First cooking class

I really enjoyed last night teaching my students how to eat healing foods that taste delicious and look amazing. It was a fun night with some amazing ladies. We learned so much about foods you can eat to prevent cancer and foods that help detox your liver. The menu for the evening:

Organic Goat cheese and Sage stuffed chicken, Stuffed Red Roasted Peppers with Moroccan Quinoa, RAW kale, apple and carrot salad, Goat cheese purses and for dessert Asian Ginger Spiced Poached Pears in butter phyllo dough cups drizzled with a balsamic caramel sauce. For our cocktail we had a RAWtini Lemonade Mango with cucumber and ginger shots. Yum O !

You are what you eat
You are what you eat cooking class

Hope you enjoy these recipes.

Poached Pears:

10 pears, peeled with
stems attached(Bosch Pears)

2 cups organic can sugar

1/2 cup of organic honey

3 cups red wine

3 cups water

1 thumb of ginger ( skin on)

2 star anise

2 tbsp of each spice powder ginger, powder cinnamon, powder cardmom, powder indian nutmeg

1 tsp of cumin

zest from 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon (optional)

2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan on medium heat, mix sugar, red wine,honey, water, spices, the ginger piece and zests of orange and lemon. Let come to a boil and add pears to saucepan and turn the heat down and simmer on a med/low heat for about 35 minutes or until pears are heated through but not mushy. They should have a little firmness but you should be able to easily stick a knife in them.

While the pears are cooking prepare

Phyllo dough cups.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup of melted butter

a pastry brush or newly bought paintbrush

12 sheets of phyllo dough each cup needs to be 4 sheets thick you should get about 4 medium circles out of each set of sheets. You need 10 circles.

Layer the phyllo sheets on top of each other brushing butter on the first phyllo dough and on the last sheet. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 10 med circles and press them into the large muffin tin, make sure to have the dough go up side the muffin tin. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 of Organic Cane Sugar

Add ingredients to a saucepan on med/hi heat and let cook for about 10 -15 minutes until you have less than half

of the liquid remaining and it has become thick. Cooking time may vary based on your stove.

Prepare the Garnish for the Pears

TIP: make your sauces for the pears about 20 – 25 minutes into cooking the pears so you do not have to rewarm your sauces.

Ginger and Cardmom Sugar ( sprinkle over the pears, optional)

2 tbsp of ginger

1 tbsp of cardmom

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper ( optional) but so worth trying it

3 tbsp of organic can sugar

Simply mix all the ingredients, makes a great little touch to the pears.

Caramel Sauce:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring
occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Make sure to keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly. When adding cream be careful to stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and vanilla extract. Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.

Here is the magic! The balsamic reduction should have cooled and looks nice and thick. This is the time to add the balsamic reduction and the caramel together. Add the sauce to the cups and once the pears are done add the pears to the sauced cups and drizzle sauce over the pears and sprinkle the ginger,cayenne and cardmom sugar over top the pears.

Delicious!!

Now to the really healthy stuff!!

RAW Kale Apple and Carrot Salad with citrus dressing

2 bundles of kale chopping finely

4 finely chopped med carrots (diced)

3 organic apples

3 organic med oranges

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of organic olive oil

2 tbsp of organic honey

1/2 tbsp of cumin

1/2 tsp cardmom

1/2 tbsp of smoked paprika

Mix the spices and liquid ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Add finely chopped kale, apples and carrots. Toss the salad and add sea salt and pepper to taste. I like to also at the end drizzle little more olive oil.

Remember to Set the table with love!