Friday, January 12, 2018

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Stacks

Butternut Squash Qunioa Salad Stacks
Sometimes working with food can be great fun, almost play like. Playing, we’ll call it creating with different textures and flavors is what happened with this particular recipe. It all began with a trip to the farmers market. As I made my way among my favorite farmers and vendors I noticed a tub of very long necked butternut squash and thought, hmmm, I could stack that, and so began this idea. The quinoa is packed with spinach, dried cherries and walnuts, then everything is assembled and drizzled with a simple balsamic glaze. The sweetness of the cherries against the savory silky squash pops with flavor making this a delightful respite from the everyday typical salad. Even better is that these butternut squash quinoa salad stacks are nutritious, healthy and delicious.


*I roasted a whole butternut squash but only used the “neck” part for this recipe. We love roasted veggies so I will be incorporating the rest of the squash into another meal;)

Quinoa and Spinach


Butternut Squash Qunioa Salad Stacks

ingredients:


  • 1 medium butternut squash (longest neck you can find)
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa, rinse thoroughly
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/3 lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Balsamic glaze (you can make you own, I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)

instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, for easy clean-up.
  2. Peel, then slice butternut squash into ½ to ¾ inch thick slices. Place on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven set aside.
  3. In the meantime, prepare quinoa. Add quinoa to 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, let simmer approx. 12 minutes. Remove from heat, let steam for 10 minutes.
  4. In the same pan that you cooked the quinoa in add the spinach, stir and let wilt. Wait 10 more minutes then add in cherries and walnuts.
  5. To assemble, place a scoop of the quinoa mixture on a plate and then add a butternut round, top it with another scoop of quinoa, another round, (I made mine 3 rounds high). Drizzle lightly with balsamic glaze. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cauliflower and Quinoa Casserole

Cauliflower and Quinoa Casserole
Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to new beginnings and the promise of good things to come. For me a fresh start is rejuvenating, almost like a computer reboot. This year started off with a bout of pink eye and the flu bug, but I’m now upright and ready to go. A few years ago I stopped making resolutions and replaced them with a single word. Gratitude is the word of 2018. I know it’s vague but if I keep reminding myself, I feel my outlook and actions will stay on track.

Sunrise Trail
Christmas Eve, the day before I got sick we hiked the Sunrise Trail in Scottsdale. It was fun to see so many people out and about. The desert is very dry right now, rain is needed.

Cauliflower and Tri-Color Quinoa Casserole

What can I say about cauliflower, it’s delicious and unassuming. Love this tasty little orb. Today’s recipe is about roasting the cauliflower first and combining it with cooked quinoa, a little milk and cheese. It’s that easy! I used tri-color quinoa for the first time and absolutely love how it looks, can’t believe I’ve stuck to the same old brand all these years. This dish is comforting and delicious!

This recipe has been adapted from Cookie and Kate.com.

Yield: 6 to 8

Cauliflower and Quinoa Casserole

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa, rinsed
  • Small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup panko

instructions:

For Cauliflower
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place cauliflower in medium sized bowl, top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix until florets are lightly coated. Pour onto prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and lightly caramelized.
For Quinoa
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan, add quinoa. Reduce heat to low and let simmer about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit approx. 10 minutes.
To Complete Cauliflower Casserole
  1. Lightly grease 9" x 11" casserole dish
  2. Add cauliflower
  3. Add milk and one half of the cheese to the cooked quinoa, pour into casserole dish on top of cauliflower, mix evenly. Add remaining cheese, then top with panko.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. 
  5. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Roasted Cauliflower Creamy Mushroom Soup with Tarragon

Roasted Cauliflower Creamy Mushroom Soup with Tarragon
The weather has finally turned in the Southwest. And when I say turned I mean we no longer need to use our air conditioners. It happens like this every year, one day the air conditioner is running and the very next the heater. The reality for those of us living here is two freakishly long seasons, winter and summer.

Cheddar Cauliflower
The veggies from the farmers market are looking spectacular. I usually arrive early with the intention of picking up what fruits and veggies look good to me that day. Many times I end up with a hodgepodge of produce. Last week I picked up cheddar cauliflower, mushrooms, beets, turnips and a whole lot of greens.

Before blending
Back in the kitchen I decided upon a Roasted Cauliflower Cream of Mushroom soup. Once pureed the cauliflower is silky and acts like a thickening agent, so no milk or cream was needed. I used shiitake, portabella and cremini mushrooms, dry sherry and tarragon. The immersion blender is my tool of choice and with a soup like this you get those little chunky bits. If you prefer a completely smooth soup use a stand blender.

Healthy and delicious, just what I needed to combat this year’s holiday baking season!

Roasted Cauliflower Creamy Mushroom Soup with Tarragon


Yield: 5 to 6

Roasted Cauliflower Creamy Mushroom Soup with Tarragon

ingredients:


  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower (I used cheddar)
  • Olive or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces portabella mushrooms
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, minced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 5 to 6 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Roughly chop cauliflower into large florets. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside.
  3. In the meantime, clean and slice the mushrooms, discard woody stems.
  4. In a large soup pot on medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add onions. Sauté until tender about 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally. Cook until mushrooms have released their juices, reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate and the mushrooms are golden brown. 
  5. Now add garlic, stirring constantly for a minute or so. Add sherry, cook down until liquid has almost evaporated. Add vegetable stock and tarragon. Bring to a simmer and cook approx. 15 minutes letting all the flavors meld together.
  6. Use an hand held immersion blender to purée. If soup is too thick add more stock, taste, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish individual serving bowls with tarragon sprigs, enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How Ina's Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney Saved The Day

Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney
Entertaining during the holidays can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Especially when you are not well acquainted with your guests. This very scenario happened to me recently. After spending an abnormal amount of time trying to come up with a celebratory menu for a relative that I had not seen since we were kids; and after verifying there were no food intolerance or foods they simply did not like to eat I was stumped. I even started to dread the “mess” I got myself into. I was looking for something I could make ahead and something tried and true. Those words kept playing over and over in my head until I remembered an Ina Garten cookbook that I had received as a gift a few years back. It was then that this meal fell into place. “Make it Ahead”, a Barefoot Contessa cookbook with all of its tried and true recipes saved the day.


My husband prepared and cooked the pork and I made the apple chutney, which is fabulous by the way! The pork is seasoned with rosemary and thyme and then wrapped in prosciutto. We served crisp tender green beans and mash potatoes as sides. The pork was tender, moist and full of flavor and the chutney was the perfect accompaniment. Since we made Ina’s recipes exactly as they were written, I decided to link back to Ina Garten’s website instead. Click here.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars and Happy Holidays!

Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars
My phone buzzed me early this morning with news of yet another scandal. Oh I was shocked; not him too…… so hard to listen to day after day. But the beauty of having a news app is that I can also remove it. Now only good and hopeful thoughts for me till after the holidays. Not realistic you say, well my husband watches the news enough for the both of us and actually enjoys it, so why not.

It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays!
So it’s show time folks and time is flying by with lightning speed. There is still so much to do and plan, the holidays are here. I’ve decided to start the season off right with these Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars. And oh are these good! They are packed with dried crystallized ginger, cherries, oranges, golden raisins and walnuts. They are dense and chewy. The bourbon glaze is subtle but if you’re not a fan maple syrup would work beautifully. The trick to these bars as you know there’s always a trick; is to stir the dry ingredients until everything is moistened and then press the batter firmly into the pan.

Here’s to a wonderful and happy season, sending lots of positive hugs your way, from my kitchen to yours, xo, Cheri

Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars  and Happy Holidays!


Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars

Dense and chewy, these Bourbon Glazed Fruitcake Bars are a wonderful treat for the holidays!

ingredients:

For The Bars
  • Vegetable cooking spray or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup dried mandarin oranges (found these at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For The Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, (sift)

instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a  8 - inch square pan; butter or spray sides and bottom, line bottom and sides with parchment paper, lightly grease parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl add flour and next 4 ingredients, stir until combined, then add sugar and next 5 ingredients, (break up any clusters of dried fruit).
  3. Add egg, stirring until blended. (important step) Make sure all ingredients are moist.  Press batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
  5. Let cool approx. 20 minutes, then remove bars from pan and let set until completely cool. Ready to make glaze.
  6. Stir together butter and bourbon in a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar; drizzle glaze over cooled fruitbars. Enjoy!

notes

Important: stir the dry ingredients until everything is moistened and then press the batter firmly into the pan.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chicken with Gluten Free Pasta and Frisée

I was sent complimentary products from Tresomega Nutrition to use for their “Organics for Life” Blogger Recipe Challenge for the purpose of creating a recipe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


A few months ago I signed up for Tresomega’s very first annual blogger recipe challenge, you can read about the contest here. The contest was available to the first 50 bloggers that signed up. There are 3 parts to the contest; entrées , appetizers, and baking. You can chose to compete for all 3 categories or just one or two, your choice. For this recipe I used Tresomega’s Gluten Free Quinoa Fusilli Pasta which is wheat and corn free and the Tresomega Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I’m submitting this recipe for the entrée category of the contest.


Tresomega quinoa pasta is made with a unique blend of organic royal Bolivian quinoa – a nutrient packed superfood, organic amaranth, an ancient grain rich in vitamins and minerals, and organic white rice.


Shredded chicken, apples, celery and frisée lettuce make this a winning combo. For those of you that are not familiar with frisée, it is a variation of endive that has curly leaves and a slightly bitter taste. In this recipe the sweetness of the apple played wonderfully with the frisée and the apple and celery brought on the crunch. Versatile, quick and easy, perfect for those fast paced week nights. Thanksgiving turkey can be easily subbed for the chicken. Heats up beautifully the next day.

To find out more info and purchase Tresomega Nutrition products, visit their website or visit them on social media:

Pinterest

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

You can also purchase their products at: Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com”

#TookTheChallenge #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

#glutenfree #HealthyFood

Yield: 4 yo 6

Chicken with Gluten Free Pasta and Frisée

ingredients:


  • ½ pound fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons Tresomega Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 to 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast (I used a rotisserie)
  • 1 small crisp apple, (I used a Pink Lady)
  • 5 to 6 cups frisée, rough chopped
  • Handful parsley, rough chopped
  • Parmesan, grated for serving

instructions:


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta until tender but firm. Drain, toss in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, set aside.
  2. In a large skillet on medium heat add remaining tablespoon of coconut oil, garlic, celery and scallions, sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, one cup at a time, pasta, chicken and frisée, toss well until heated through. Add more chicken broth if needed. Top with apples and parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan on the side. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Maple Syrup

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Maple Syrup
This morning on our walk the sky was cloudy and it actually almost started to sprinkle, well maybe a total of 5 drops. We were trying to come up with a weather person like name for it and decided upon a trace. After consulting the dictionary I realized that trace has a few different meanings depending on how it’s worded in a sentence. And yes it does fit when talking about the weather, trace also fits when talking about food too and I can attest that there is no gluten in this banana cake, not even a trace, see…...

Now about this banana cake, it’s good, really good. If you need a gluten free dessert or hostess gift for this holiday season this would do the trick and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry anyway. The cooked quinoa melds right in and the texture is wonderful. The bananas and maple syrup add just the right amount of sweetness. All in all a delicious, nutritious snack.

This recipe has been slightly adapted from the “Cooking with Super Grains” cookbook by Joanna Farrow.

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Maple Syrup right out of the oven


Yield: 6 to 8

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Maple Syrup

This banana cake is incredibly moist and delicious. Also healthy enough for breakfast, and cake for breakfast is always good!

ingredients:


  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed (I used a tri-color quinoa)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3  large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup unsweetened flake coconut
  • 2 small bananas mashed
  • ½ cup raisins ( I used golden)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 7 inch round pan or a 8 x 4 loaf pan.
  2. In a small saucepan add quinoa and 2/3 cup water, bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for approx. 15 minutes, until soft. Drain and turn onto a plate, let cool, set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer add butter and syrup and beat until smooth and creamy. Add almond meal, apple pie spice, baking powder, eggs, coconut, bananas, raisins and then mix until combined.
  4. Stir in quinoa and then pour into baking pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until firm to touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator