Monday, February 11, 2013
As much as I love to create and cook in the kitchen, occasionally I get in a funk. The past couple of weeks it has seemed much easier to go out to eat rather than stay home and cook. There are a couple of downsides to eating out. Besides being financially irresponsible, it is almost impossible for me to eat right in a restaurant. My discipline is not so great and the temptation wins out every single time. Of course, by later on that same night, I regret the food choices that I made.
Yesterday I went shopping and out to lunch with a friend. I am now totally inspired to cook and create once again. All she did was tell me how she made tacos with quinoa instead of meat and....bam....I was completely cured of my funk :) Thank you Rachel!
Tonight I went after it and really enjoyed the results. Here is how I made my quinoa tacos!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 can black beans
1/2 can fire roasted green chilies
1/4 cup organic salsa
Parmesan cheese or shredded cheese of choice
Rinse quinoa and pour into a pot with water and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off of the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then stir in the salsa, chilies and beans. Scoop the quinoa mixture onto a tortilla, with lettuce and shredded cheese of choice. Roll up like a soft taco and enjoy.
Monday, January 28, 2013
One of our favorite meals is Mariana Sauce over spaghetti squash. This past summer we grew spaghetti squash in our flowerbed. It was the hugest squash plant I have ever seen.
We had a fun squash harvest and ........
As you can see.....
My husband had the most fun of all!
The great thing about winter squash is, if kept in a cool place it will keep through the winter. So, tonight we are going to enjoy a yummy spaghetti squash from our garden.
Squash is packed with vitamins and a great alternative to spaghetti noodles. While I love traditional spaghetti, occasionally it is a good switch with lower carbs and calories to boot.
Preparation is very easy. First you cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place each piece right side up on a cookie sheet and cover with tin foil. Bake for about an hour. Check to see if the squash is done by piercing the inside with a fork. If it is tender then the squash is done.
When the squash is done, I take a fork and flake out the squash and it comes out resembling spaghetti noodles. Then I top it with my favorite Mediterranean Pasta Sauce and mmm mmm good. Enjoy :)
Mediterranean Pasta Sauce
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/8 cup red wine
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/8 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
- 1/8 cup capers
- 2 TB.sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp.pepper
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
This sauce is excellent served over spaghetti squash or whole grain angel hair pasta with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan over the top.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Pizza nights are a great American tradition. Our family has enjoyed quite a few over the years. Of course now, I must look at the facts concerning this delightful dish. Your standard take out pizza is loaded with saturated fat, white flour, and sugar. Since all three of those ingredients affect my body by causing too much inflammation, that means I will have to say no.
In an attempt to bring pizza night back to our home, I tried to make whole wheat pizza crust. Yes I said "tried" because it did not turn out so well. We seriously needed a hammer and chisel to cut it.
Recently, I received a box of Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads to try. Guess what??? I used the wholegrain flatbread to make pizza and it worked! Yippee! Many times whole grain choices are pretty disgusting, but, The Stonefire Wholegrain Naan is soft, fresh, and delicious. It was super easy too. All you need to do is spread pizza sauce over the bread, add your favorite toppings, and bake. I chose an organic pizza sauce and topped it with Kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, red onions and Parmesan cheese.
Monday, December 10, 2012
As usual, when November, December and all the holiday treats arrive, I have trouble resisting. Since I control my RA with nutrition, it makes for a painful season if I am not careful. I haven't done extremely bad, but have definitely indulged in enough sugary and fatty foods recently to have some stiff and swollen joints that called for drastic action with a Prednisone Taper. So that I stay pain free when the taper wears off, I am also attacking the pain and swelling in my body with the foods that I know calm inflammation.
A smoothie in the morning with berries, yogurt, and flax starts my day out right.
I am adding avocado as a side to one meal per day for the good calming effect.
When snack cravings come calling, I am eating almonds with dried cranberries.
All of these foods have inflammation fighting properties and help calm dangerous inflammation.
Tonight I wanted to cook with curry and turmeric as they are powerhouses when it comes to fighting inflammation, not to mention...... I love curry! I came up with this simple and wonderful curry rice dish that has a comfort food feeling perfect for a cold winter day.
2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup red onion
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup chicken broth
Saute the onion and carrots in olive oil until the onions begin to caramelize or brown just a bit. Stir in the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the curry, turmeric and salt. Stir. Add the chicken broth and let simmer until the mixture reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir together until mixed well and rice is hot. Serve.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Girls nights can be a fun time to relax and cut loose with friends and neighbors. Our neighborhood is one in which we enjoy each others company and have fun getting together. We talk, laugh, cry, eat, drink and laugh some more.
Several months ago we had one of those nights in our neighborhood. The theme was Coyote Ugly and the hostess is a very talented person when it come to creating decorations. She went all out on the decorations and we were transported into the old west. She made a jail and gave us three taboo words that we were not allowed to say. Drink, hat, and I can't remember the last one, which explains why I did some jail time that night. (Yes I took my glass of wine in with me so it wasn't that bad!)
As usual, the food was remarkable. The girls always bring plenty! There was vegetarian chili, taco salad, green salad with strawberries and glazed nuts, cornbread with honey butter, potato salad, and more!
Since chili was on the menu, I decided to make mini Whole Wheat Cornbread Muffins and honey butter. Now that fall is in the air, chili and cornbread are sounding pretty good so it is time to share this recipe with you. There is no saturated fat since I use canola oil. There is no white flour or sugar. Local honey is used as a sweetener. They are surprisingly light, fluffy and delicious! You can even get away with eating a little bit of the honey butter if you follow Mrs. Mac's Honey Butter recipe made with part olive oil.
Whole Wheat Cornbread Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the middle of the ingredients.
In a seperate bowl, beat the egg gently and then add the remaining wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients.
Stir until completely mixed together.
Pour into prepared muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.