Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa, a grain or seed? You decide. I won’t get into that. Should you eat it? YES!!!
It’s so versatile and easy to cook. From sweet to savoury, on its own or added to vegetables, a little goes a long way. So here is one of my fav’s.
My family loves these Quinoa cakes and I’m sure you will as well😉. These remind me of summer 2014☺️so bear with me, not bare with me😇these little cakes make me happy😄

Preparation/Cook time about a hour Makes 15 1/4cup size cakes

INGREDIENTS
5 +1/2 cups (cooked )quinoa as per package instructions ~2 cups dry
3/4 cups finely chopped shallots(or onions)
1/4 cup more or less😐Olive oil-(or try Coconut oil)
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes( I like mine pulverized😊
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup homemade fresh breadcrumbs*
4 eggs beaten
1/4 c finely chopped parsley(in summer I prefer fresh chives which are so easy to grow😎

*to make fresh breadcrumbs cut a fresh loaf of italian bread into pieces small enough to fit into a VITAMIX or other blender. Process until they are crumbs. Voila😊

TOOLS

large non-stick skillet
Spatula
Ice cream scoop 1/4 liquid measure

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PREPARATION

Sauté shallots in 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil with a pinch of salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat until tender and set aside to cool.
Measure out the cooked and cooled quinoa, place in a large bowl. Add cooled shallots or onions.
Beat 4 eggs with 1/2 cup water, add Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley.
Add the latter to the quinoa. Combine until blended. Let stand about 10 minutes.
On medium high heat add 1 tbsp oil in skillet. Measure out a level scoop full of quinoa into skillet. I cook about 5 per turn in my skillet. Make certain to leave some space between the cakes.

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Now this is where things get pernickety 😁so hang in there with me.
After a few minutes of cooking, use the back of your spatula to ever to slightly press the cakes down to form patties. Continue searing for another 3 minutes.
5-6 minutes total per side. Patience😯 now gently turn each one over and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until they are nicely golden. You may need to coax the runaway quinoa back to their pod😅I mean patty.

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They will be crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Eat them cooled or warm. We like a little spicy aioli with ours😍Place them on a platter for summer bbq’s, or store them in an airtight container once cooled and take a few for lunch.
This is a basic recipe. Add in whatever you wish. I prefer mine simple.
Try them out. Let me know how it went.
Love to hear from you. Be kind😘

Nonnas pickled beets

Looking for a quick side tonight?

This strata of pickled beets takes about 10 minutes if you purchase pre- cooked whole beets or canned will work too.

INGREDIENTS:

2 bunches of beets or 3 cans of cooked beets
2-3 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
4-5 mint leaves
Red wine vinegar
A few drops of olive oil
A few tbsp bread crumbs

PREP:

Once boiled, if you choose fresh beets let them cool. Peel them and slice into 1/4 inch disks.
Chiffonade your mint leaves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJEQFgfv7iw

In a serving dish (2-3 inches deep) lay down the first layer of beets. Drizzle generously with red wine vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. Add sliced garlic, mint and some bread crumbs to coat. Repeat until all beets are done.
Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Pickled beets

Beet roots

Thanksgiving is just days away and I like to get a few things done ahead of time to make my day more enjoyable. This one isn’t a typical side dish but its easy and can be made a few days ahead and reheated, or served at room temperature.
All the root vegetables are here so take advantage. Some can be eaten raw, like beets, however, roasting brings out all their natural sugars.
I like to roast both yellow or orange and red beets.
Here’s what you’ll need.

ROASTED BEETS

INGREDIENTS:

4 large red beets
4 orange beets
2 tbsp++ good quality extra virgin olive oil (organic if you may)
sea salt
a few sprigs of thyme (optional but nice)
goat cheese (also optional but Amazing!)
A SHEET OF PARCHMENT PAPER (optional)

PREP:

Pre heat your oven to 400′. Scrub the beets and cut bottom and top ends. Cut the beets a little more than 1/4″ thick. Try to cut them all as evenly as possible. If using parchment lay it down over your baking tray. Place beets in a large bowl. Toss with oil, a bit of salt and some thyme (optional). Arrange the beet rounds on the tray closely but not touching.
Then bake for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake another 10 minutes or so until they are fork tender. Remove from oven,let cool slightly, crumble a bit of goat cheese over each round and serve warm. Or, toss them in a bit of balsamic vinegar and serve them as a side at room temperature.

roasted beets

“Change your opinions,keep to your principles;change your leaves, keep intact your roots.”
Victor Hugo

Cauliflower stands up

Cauliflower, part of the cabbage family is coming into season.
So, what do you do with this head of cauliflower?
It’s a blank slate and is screaming for help, so here’s one way you can help it along.

Curry sesame cauliflower rice

INGREDIENTS:

1 small to medium head cauliflower
3-4 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil, ghee or organic butter
2-3 tbsp organic sesame seeds
1 tsp crushed(powdered) hot pepper (or cayenne)
2 tsp curry powder
Sea salt to taste
Gluten-free curry powder
PREPARATION:

Remove any brown spots from the cauliflower. Grate the entire cauliflower using the largest holes in your grater.
In a large non-stick skillet, at medium high heat, melt your virgin organic coconut oil, ghee or organic butter, add sesame seeds, and spices and cook 20 seconds. Add grated cauliflower and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes. Careful not to overcook the cauliflower. Sprinkle with desired salt and serve hot.

Curried sesame cauliflower rice

Asian inspired slaw

Featured

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Cool down with this Asian slaw. No cooking required, make this ahead, keep refrigerated for a few days. Add some protein, keep it simple and quick. When I’m rushed for time I add leftover shredded chicken or store-bought shredded roasted chicken right to this slaw. It pairs well with shrimp and lobster too.
To save time purchase pre-shredded mixed cabbage or slaw and just add the dressing.
Use 4 cups of slaw.
If you have a food processor follow the instructions below.

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 head each of red and green cabbage, finely shredded in food processor~ 3 cups total
1/2 cup store-bought broccoli slaw
1/4 cup store-bought match stick carrots
2 green onions chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger(optional)*
1 1/2 -2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
Sesame seeds for garnish

PREPARATION:
Microwave honey for 10 seconds, then add vinegar,lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
In a large bowl add the cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots and green onions. Pour in the dressing and mix. Refrigerate at least an hour.
Garnish with sesame seeds.

Grilled radicchio

Radicchio a member of the chicory family is widely used in Italian cooking.
A perfect side to grilled meat, try grilling radicchio as it transforms its slightly bitter taste to a much milder and sweeter flavour. It’s super easy. Just cut the radicchio in half through the root end, then cut even pieces keeping that root end in tact. One head of radicchio will give you six pieces.

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Then simply spray your radicchio pieces with a gmo free cooking spray or olive oil and on medium heat grill each side until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes per side or less. Plate and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for sweetness, salt and pepper. Here I’ve added some goat cheese. Alternately,you can also try sprinkling with hemp hearts for added crunch, protein and omega-3’s, or bits of bacon.

Grill and Chill

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Whether you’re looking for week night dinner ideas or you’re feeding a crowd these two recipes are keepers. The mango avocado salsa is the simplest of all the recipes I’ve tried. And who doesn’t like to KISS.
Mango Avocado Salsa ( can be made 2 hours ahead)

INGREDIENTS:

1 mango peeled and diced
1 avocado diced
1 large shallot chopped
1 jalapeño chili seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp mint, parsley or cilantro( your preference)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl add a pinch of salt, cover and chill

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Tequila marinated shrimp

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lb. bag of shrimp 21-25’s ( go bigger if you like)(purchase shelled and deveined tail on)
2 shallots chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
2 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2- 3/4 tsp ground chillies or cayenne( measure depends on how hot you like it)
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine everything but the shrimp, pour this marinade into a large ziplock bag then add the shrimp, seal and chill for 30 minutes and up to an hour. Using metal skewers start at the tail end of the shrimp then skewer through the head. 5 shrimp per skewer.

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Set the shrimp marinating liquid in a small saucepan bringing it to a boil then simmer uncovered about 5 minutes. Strain the solids out and set aside.

Grill the shrimp about 2 minutes per side on medium high heat until they turn pink.
Remove the shrimp from the skewers and drizzle with the reserved sauce.
Serve with mango avocado salsa and some fine tequila. Tequila’s Paleo isn’t it!?

Inspired by Fine Cooking

Cauliflower waldorf salad

This raw salad is the perfect side when you’re craving crunch. Try it on the side or even add some chopped chicken breast for added protein.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups chopped cauliflower florets (about 1/2 head)
1 1/2 cup chopped celery (or romaine hearts)
1 tart-sweet apple, cored and chopped (like Honeycrisp)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
5 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
1 very small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 small red chilli pepper seeded and chopped
pea sprouts ( or any sprouts) (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

PREPARATION:

Whisk, walnut oil, vinegar, honey and shallot together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl add the first three ingredients. Toss with the prepared dressing then add the chilli,sprouts and walnuts.

17 Minutes of my yesterday

Yesterday marked the first day of the Reebok Crossfit Open competiton. The competition is open to anyone and everyone in the world. Over 110,000 people have signed up to compete this year. If you are part of a Crossfit affiliate then you know exactly what I’m speaking of. If not, you can check out this link http://games.crossfit.com for a full description.
With every day leading up to this competition many athletes speculated on what Crossfit HQ would throw at us for a first workout or WOD13.1. Here it is:
Workout 13.1
17 minute AMRAP( as many reps as possible) of:
40 Burpees
30 Snatch, 75 / 45 lbs
30 Burpees
30 Snatch, 135 / 75 lbs
20 Burpees
30 Snatch, 165 / 100 lbs
10 burpees
Max rep Snatch, 210 / 120 lbs

Yay burpees!! Not so much. I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy burpees, or snatch. For a description of what a power snatch is you can check this out. (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/PowerSnatch.html)

I had decided to complete this workout yesterday. Was I nervous? Duh?, yes I was! Broken and taped together,( a fact, not a plea for sympathy) I gave it my best shot. It’s done. Sigh!! Could I have gone faster, could I have completed a few more reps? What could I have done differently? Oh, so many questions. In the end I’ve ascertained that I did do my best on the day. Would the competitive me have wanted to squeeze out a few more reps out. Hells ya!
Upon reflection, I know that I’ve done what I could do to prepare for this. This past year, my body has been breaking down from time to time. I know I’m not the only one facing the challenges of being an older, well, I prefer ‘seasoned’ athlete. I have to trust that my training has prepared me for anything or any workout this competition throws at me. If I haven’t prepared properly, it’s too damn late now to worry about it.
I’d rather celebrate it. 🙂 Now, it’s time for me thank my body with a good long therapeutic massage. And a good glass of wine. Cheers