Posts Tagged ‘Quinoa’

Big Brother Would Be Proud

It’s snowing outside!  Yes, I’m still in NC!!  I didn’t magically travel to Colorado or anything overnight.  It is SO pretty.  Brings me right back to my childhood days in Minnesota.  We didn’t know the difference at all … heck, if it was 20 degrees (or even 10 degrees, whatever) and snowing, that just meant a better snowman.  You couldn’t tempt us with anything to keep up indoors.  We wanted to go sledding and make snow angels.  We wanted to go ice skating and make snow forts.  Ahh … the good times.  I wouldn’t trade my childhood in Minnesota for anything.  It was a fabulous place to grow up.



Can you spy the cardinal in the picture??


So, last night I tried to re-create the slop the housemates are often forced to eat on Big Brother.  It actually started out as a re-creation of a recipe I found  on Tri to Cook’s site last week, which in turn she got from Megan.  The original recipe was Black Beans and Rice with Pumpkin Vinaigrette




As you can see, it didn’t really end up that way.  I actually warned Devin to brace for the worse since I had no idea what in the world I was creating.  I just kept throwing ingredients in the pan and would have continued to do so if Devin hadn’t collapsed on the floor in starvation.  Ok, fine, I’ll stop and we can eat now.  You don’t have to be so dramatic about it, dear.

I honestly can’t give you a recipe on this one, but I will gladly offer up everything that went into the pan …

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked in low-sodium chicken broth with onions, celery and cilantro
  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend
  • Black Beans
  • 2 Boca Meatless Italian Sausages, sliced
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Chopped spinach
  • Dried cranberries
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Pumpkin vinaigrette – pumpkin puree, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil

Towards the end, I did add a big heaping spoon of additional pumpkin since the mix seemed a little dry.  Problem solved. 

Believe it or not, this combination actually turned out quite good, even if it wasn’t extremely pleasing to the eye.  The pumpkin flavor was just enough to make my mouth happy and the vinegar gave it a nice little zip.


It’s a perfect day for a “snow day” with all the activity on the TV today.  It’s a funny thing when it snows here … the entire city shuts down.  No school.  No work.  People just don’t leave their houses.  With the warning of snow, the grocery stores are bombarded with people stocking up on bread, water and batteries.  Come on, people, this isn’t the end here.  Just a little snowfall.  Oh, well, doesn’t bother me any … the perfect way to catch up on things that need to be done around the house.

Have a good day!  XOXO


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Keen On Quinoa

Last night’s dinner was a combination of goodies I already had around the house.  It seems like I am forever on a quest to clean out my fridge and pantry.  I just keep on buying new goodies for us to eat … stuffing them in and then forgetting about them.  Anyone with me?

Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes, “Sausage” and Mushrooms





  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced + diced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, sliced (separate white and green parts)
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 2 Boca Meatless Italian “Sausage” Links, heated and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. chopped toasted walnuts


Prepare quinoa (using chicken broth, instead of water) according to package directions, set aside and keep warm.  While the quinoa is cooking, place a small amount of oil in a large skillet.  Add white part of scallion and diced onion to skillet; cook for 5 minutes, until slightly tender.  Add sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cayenne, S+P and a small amount of water to skillet.  Reduce heat slightly, cover and allow to simmer until potatoes are tender.  Add sliced “sausage”, quinoa and chopped walnuts to skillet and allow to heat throughout.  Garnish with sliced green scallion.  Enjoy!


I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  My next post will be tomorrow since we will be at a friend’s house tonight and won’t be home until the wee hours of the morning.  Argh.  Grandma (meaning “me”) is in for a long night.  I better take it easy today to conserve my energy.  Ha!

Enjoy your day!

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Boy, have I got one for you this evening.  There are very few times when I actually don’t enjoy being in the kitchen, and tonight was one of those times.  Allow me to start from the beginning …

The day started off great.  I was singing Christmas carols as loud as I could to get a little laugh from the I’m-too-serious-because-the-game’s-on husband, I made a fresh batch of homemade cranberry-orange sauce, straightened up the house, went for a gorgeous 4 1/2 mile run outside and then it came time to plan out the menu for the week.


Vanilla Chob with sliced banana, Kashi Go Lean, wheat berries, flax and pumpkin butter

B: Vanilla Chob with sliced banana, Kashi Go Lean, wheat berries, flax and pumpkin butter


This is normally one of my favorite things to do on Sunday.  Today it was a different story … I racked my brain all week to come up with a fascinating recipe for this week’s BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient), which was ginger, chosen by the fabulous Andrea at Bella Eats

Should I make something sweet … a gingerbread cake or gingerbread cookies?  Should I include ginger somehow with our dinner??  I was at a loss. 


Romaine salad with TJ's breaded chicken tender, assorted veg, chickpeas and wheat berries

L: Romaine salad with a TJ's breaded chicken tender, assorted veg, chickpeas and wheat berries


I think the reason for this is, while I really enjoy the taste of ginger when it’s paired with something sweet – cake, cookies, bread, etc., I’m not a fan of the flavor of ginger with meat or vegetables.  I can take a little smidgen of ginger here and there, but I can get pretty picky.

When I opened up Ellie’s cookbook this afternoon to her recipe for Salmon Cakes with Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce, I completely lost all notion that I probably wouldn’t like it and decided it was the one.  The perfect BSI entry.

Boy, was I in la la land.  I printed off my perfectly planned menu and headed out to the grocery.  Once home, I had to hustle to get everything together so I would be able to prepare it, eat it, blog it and get it submitted by the deadline time.  I was cutting it close.

To my horror, after I drained the canned salmon and dumped it in the mixing bowl, I noticed it wasn’t like any Starkist brand salmon I ever had.  This wasn’t Starkist tonight.  Oh no.  It was either buy three packages of Starkist or one large can of “fancy” salmon to meet the recipe requirements.  Now, if by “fancy” they meant “all parts intact”, then they hit the nail on the head.  Ewww.  I threw up in my mouth a little bit … and then I threw the salmon down the disposal.

In panic mode, I rushed to the panty to see if we had any tuna to use as a substitute.  We did.  Thank the lucky leprechans.  Whew.  Dinner saved.

I present to you …

Tuna Cakes with Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce

Quinoa with edamame, carrots and scallions

On the side: Quinoa with edamame, carrots and scallions


I still didn’t like it and it wasn’t because of the tuna.  It was the ginger sauce.  It was horrible.  I scraped as much as I could off my cake and then doused that baby with hot sauce.  Now I sit here with indigestion and a crappy attitude.

Needless to say, I didn’t think this was an award-winning ensemble and it was not submitted as my BSI entry.  Oh well.  There will be another ingredient, another week.

I’ve learned my lesson … go with what you know AND like.  You can’t go wrong there.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your weekend!  Nighty night.

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Leftover And Lovin’ It

I can’t believe it’s Thursday already!  This week has gone so super fast.  Well, at least for me it has … traveling Monday felt like a Sunday and then Tuesday I had a travel hangover, walking around the house in a stupor before I was finally able to accomplish anything.  So glad that tomorrow is Friday!

Anyways, I wanted to jump right in to my to-do list for the day, so I skipped my AM post.  Sorry!  Please don’t hate! 😉

Here is the bowl that I devoured for breakfast –


I still can’t taste the pumpkin that I added to my regular granola mix.  That’s a bummer. 😦   If I give it a shot again, I will need to increase the amount of pumpkin to see if the flavor comes out. 

I finally cooked up a new batch of wheat berries this morning, so a few were sprinkled in my bowl.  Yum – love the chew!  (I think I say that each and every time I eat these babies!  Ha!)

I worked with weights shortly after breakfast, showered up and headed out the door.  I knew lunch would be late, so I grabbed one of these guys to munch on when the hunger pains struck –


These remind me so much of a soft chocolate chip cookie.  My stash of them is gone (Devin discovered them) so I will have to restock soon.  It’s amazing that TJ’s sells them for 69 cents each!  What a BARGAIN!

When I finally made it back to the house, I was famished and so ready to dig into the hotdish leftovers from last night.  Hotdish is ALWAYS better the next day!  Who’s with me?!


Along with the reheated hotdish, I had a romaine salad with broc slaw, carrots, celery and avocado. 

For my fruit fix, I opted for a perfect pear (saved 1/2 for later) with cottage cheese and cinnamon –


I can remember hating the cottage cheese/fruit combo as a kid.  My grandma would eat it this way often and I was always grossed out.  Not any more!  That’s some good eatin’ there!

I’m off to get myself ready for GOTR – I’m solo again today!  Hopefully those crazy girls will behave themselves!!

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Comfort Me

I ended my afternoon with an awful headache … I get these nasty, almost migraine, headaches quite often.  They leave me with a terrible sick feeling and always end up ruining my day.  Poo.

Fortunately, I have prescription medication that I can take for them that works like a charm.  I try not to take it with every headache since it’s quite expensive, even with insurance.  With a nap and about an hour’s time, it knocks it right out. 

Feeling better, I decided I needed a comforting meal for dinner, so turkey burgers turned into a fabulous hotdish.  Now I don’t know about the rest of the country, but where I hail from, hotdish is a staple to the family dinner table. 

Here is the ACTUAL description of a hotdish from Wikipedia:

Hotdish is any of a variety of baked, casserole dishes popular in the Midwestern United States, and especially in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin. It consists of a starch, a meat, and a canned vegetable, mixed together with canned soup, which serves as a binding ingredient.”

Isn’t that hysterical?!

My mom always made the best hamburger hotdish.  She could turn ground beef and white rice into a beautiful masterpiece. 

Well, needless to say, beef and white rice are no longer in my vocabulary, but I can think of several things that are that would make any hotdish a healthy one.  Don’t get me wrong, mom always made sure we had a healthy meal – back in the day, food like quinoa and ground turkey weren’t all too popular or readily available! 😉


Healthy Quinoa Hotdish

Freshly steamed green beans on the side

With freshly steamed green beans on the side


  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 turnip, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 can Cream of Mushroom soup (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
  • Generous shakes of Worcestershire and tamari


In large pot, add water, turnips, celery, carrots and quinoa.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for up to 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Meanwhile, brown ground turkey with onion in a skillet.  Combine quinoa mixture, cooked turkey and onion in a large bowl.  Stir in soup, Worcestershire and tamari.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.



Ahhh … so good that I went back for small seconds and slightly smaller thirds! 

We have several TV shows from last week that we need to catch up on so we are spending the evening together on the couch! ❤

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!  See you in the AM!

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