Quinoa Salad and 1st Grade

Gina had her first day of First grade this past Tuesday. She got to ride the bus, for the 2nd time, as she kept telling me, because she took it to see a play in kindergarten. She also kept telling us “I didn’t think 1st grade would be so short”. I guess in a 6 year old’s world that is a good thing. I believe Gina will be like me, I always loved school and looked forward to going back at the end of the summer.

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Casey starts preschool this coming Tuesday so maybe end of next week I will post his picture. (I know you are holding your breath 🙂 ).

 

And for your eating pleasure I have whipped up a quinoa salad. I believe I will name this one Summer Quinoa salad. The hubbs and I have been trying to cut down/out sugar in our diets, increase good carbs and protein. Quinoa is the only grain I believe that is full of protein, a super food as it has been labeled. It is easy to make, just like rice, it has texture of pastina (little pasta balls) cooked very aldente, and can soak up any flavor.

I have also been trying to go through my recipes and give gluten free ones to one of my best friends mother, who has arthritis, and has cut all gluten from her diet. Which as I can testify to does lesson the pain from arthritis. So Cindy, this one is for you!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water/broth
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of veggies of choice (meaning each veg was 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • S&P to taste

First rinse your quinoa (mine was organic from a local & cheap whole food type store). I read on line this is to take a bitter flavor it may have away.

IMG_1298Put 2 cups of broth/water in pot and add in rinsed quinoa, cover, bring to boil, then lower temp to simmer for 15 minutes or till all fluid is soaked up. (I used beef broth and added enough water to make 2 cups).

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Once quinoa is cooked the rest is simple. Cut up whatever veggies you want. Today I used mini sweet peppers, cucumber, left over zucchini, and onion. I added in the left over basil/tomato salad from last night’s dinner (which had a balsamic vinaigrette on it). Then I added in a little more fresh tomato, basil, and parsley. A pinch of salt, few cracks of pepper, the olive oil, and finally the balsamic vinegar (Oh and some roasted garlic cloves I found in fridge too). Mixed it all together well.

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IMG_1315I also added some feta cheese and chopped olives to my plate, but not to the salad as  a whole seeing as I have a cheese and olive hating hubbs.

I am looking forward to see how much better it will be tomorrow. Tonight it was darn tasty!

Super easy to make. Enjoy!

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Lighter tomato pie

I have posted before I am not a huge fan of tomatoes, however I do like yellow tomatoes. Well tis the season round here and I have bought some fresh locally grown tomatoes. I decided to make a tomato pie. Now here in Eastern PA, Philadelphia area, tomato pie is actually a pizza with fresh (or sorta) crushed tomatoes, basil,  and garlic, with no cheese (sometimes places will put like grated Parm cheese on). But down south (like Paula Deen area)  it is an actual pie, with crust on bottom.

I had seen Paula Deen make her version, and Bobby Deen made a lighter version on her website. Well seeing as how I am constantly trying to lose weight, or at least not gain anymore…. I decided to go with Bobby Deen’s recipe.

As you all know who have read this blog before I don’t always go with exact recipes, unless it has to do with baking (even then I might stray). So this one I may not have done exact, but will put a link to the website with the exact recipe.

 

Ok so here is the actual recipe from Paula Deen’s site….

http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/bobbys_lighter_tomato_pie/

 

Here is what I did…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3/4 – 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 3 strips of left over bacon, crumbles
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 3 yellow tomatoes, sliced thick
  • one frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 3-4 dashes of hot sauce
  • S&P to taste

 

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Mix mayo, cheese, basil, bacon, onions, hot sauce together.

IMG_1286Put about half maybe little more of your sliced tomatoes into pie shell, sprinkle with S&P.

IMG_1288Sprinkle this layer of tomatoes with basil and about half of your cheese (this is why I use about a cup of cheese), top with remaining tomatoes, and little bit more S&P.

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Now gently spread mayo mixture on top of tomatoes, but do not take the mixture all way to edge, leave space it will melt to crust.

 

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Bake 400 degrees till cheese is bubbly golden and pie crust looks done. I of course didn’t get a final picture as per my usual. It was tasty!! And even better the next day.

Options: I would totally add in crumbled sausage, either breakfast or Italian and make it a whole complete meal package. Add in jalapeno peppers or green chili peppers to give it a kick would be good too.

Enjoy!

1 year ago on the 11th

Well it has come to my attention that a year a go on March 11th I started this thing called a blog. I know I haven’t been the best at it, or the most kept up with it (that can’t be proper grammar). I had every intention of blogging more recipe posts, really I did, and still do. However, life just gets in the way. I forget to capture whatever it is I made for dinner or lunch or breakfast on camera. And lately haven’t been in the mood. I am trying to start spring cleaning, and to get over these winter blues, called Cabin Fever.

I will be posting my quilt soon, as I am 99.5% done, and am quit proud of it. Of course there are the spring planting in milk jugs again, and we will be taking more outings as spring is in the air and outside is the where. Sorry been reading too many Dr. Seuss books to Casey.

So for all that have “followed” this blog, I can’t promise that there will be more blogs on recipes, but I will try. I can’t promise I will blog on all the spring activities, but I will try. I can promise that whatever I do share, it is with all my gratitude that you choose/chose to even look to see what ever it is I put out there.

Here are some pics from a year ago for ya…..

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Playing outside, soon we will be doing this again.P1020831

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Pictures of my old fashioned iris, my Easter flowers are coming up, so soon pictures of those. And finally the picture that started this all, or rather the recipe that started it all….Spaghetti (Pizza) Eggs, posted on March 11, 2012.

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Enjoy!

 

chicken strawberry poppy seed salad

I have all these folders on my computer of pictures of food that I have made. Now as you know I am an admitted horrible blogger, as I break just about every “bloggie” rule I have seen. My main thing is just sitting down and doing it. So thus today while Casey is napping and Gina is watching Brave for the millionth time I thought I would look to see what I have.

I believe I made this for lunch back in the beginning of January, when the strawberries were just starting to come from Florida. But then again I could be mistaken about that. Anyway, it’s simple and delicious.

Ingredients

  • left over chicken breast chopped
  • bag of salad mix
  • 16 oz or so of strawberries
  • poppy seed dressing and left over balsamic dressing
  • feta cheese

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Oh and Gina doesn’t have black and blue eyes, she was playing with some makeup eyeshadow she had received from Christmas.

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I only had a little bit of both so I used them.

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Here is gets really tricky, so watch carefully….

Put your greens in a bowl, top with chicken, strawberries (sliced if you like), feta cheese, dressing and mix well.

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P1040762Here are the kids tasting…

P1040761P1040760Yes my children adore salads, they are weird but hey I will take it.

P1040757Bubba just chilling, sitting on sit and spin the wrong way and getting yelled at!

Options: Add in bacon, raisins, almonds, croutons, other vegetables, actual poppy seeds. I personally like it the next day when things are kinda wilty, but that is cause I am weird too. Guess my kids get it honest (southern saying).

Enjoy!

Sausage and Scalloped Potato Hash

The other night I wanted to make something quick and that I thought my kids would eat. I had left over scalloped potatoes and some sausage and peppers, so I chopped it all up and threw it together. Now I thought it was awesome, the hubbs did as well, the kids, well I think they ended up eating cereal or oatmeal for dinner. Go figure!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of log of breakfast sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 2 cups of left over scalloped potatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 mini sweet peppers, chopped
  • S&P to taste

Now this gets really complicated so pay attention.

Heat your skillet, cook and crumble the sausage. While it is cooking chop potatoes and peppers (you could add whatever else veg you think would be good).

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Then add it all into skillet, and let cook5 minutes then in batches flip over and cook another 5 minutes. I thought it would get crunchy coating like in real hash, but because of the cheese in the scalloped potatoes it didn’t. You could try and cook longer maybe the cheese would burn a little, Mmmm that would be good.

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I added little hot sauce on top of my portion, adding in cayenne pepper would give it a kick if you like heat. You could also play around with other spices, cumin would be nice too I think. Add in some scrambled eggs and make it a full on meal! YUM!

Enjoy!

Metamorphisis of a Cauliflower

I had the left over roasted cauliflower (of which I was the only one who would eat it, seeing as it had Parm cheese on it and it was a cooked veg the hubbs nor the children would touch it, the weirdos!) But I got tired of it and wanted a pizza so I decided to make the Paula Deen wheat-less pizza crust that I have posted about before, look up I have a confession….posted on 10/21/12 for the whole recipe.

This time I decided to add a little more pesto, and turn it into a pesto pizza crust.

And here is how I did it in pictures, as you can go see the recipe on the post I have a confession….

P1040767P1040768P1040769P1040770This is part parm cheese and part mozzarella, I didn’t have quite enough of the mozzarella but it still worked.

P1040771P1040772Word to the wise, SPRAY your sheet or it will stick and you will curse yourself! Trust me!!!

P1040773P1040774 Now you can add any and all pizza like toppings and put this back into oven for another 5-8 minutes or till you cheese (if you used that and you should if it’s pizza) is melted, golden, burnt, however you like it!

I think I would add more pest next time, but seeing as I used all that I had, which was about 1/4 cup…I would probably add about 1/2 cup to really get the pesto flavor.

Enjoy!

 

P.S. Here is a picture I was able to capture of our big ice over that caused the 2 hour delay on Wednesday. Thanks to photo shop program I was able to make it look a bit nicer than the original captured picture.

Now don’t be scared it is a lot of ice, I don’t know how I handled driving in it…(can you hear the sarcasm?)

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Cauliflower

I bought a head of cauliflower and intended to cut it up for my kids to eat it, but waited a little too long. And well, if you know about fresh vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, they get sour if you wait too long to eat them raw. If that happens you have two options, throw it away or cook them. Seeing as how I am not the type of person to waste good money on food that is still good (unless it has mold on it or is rancid it is still good to me).

So I made roasted cauliflower, then it morphed into a pesto cauliflower and then it morphed again into pesto wheatless pizza crust. I started by looking at a recipe from none other than my girl The Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower but into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (I did not add this part)
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted (I did not add this part either)

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Place on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and S&P. Roast 15-20 minutes till golden brown, with some darker spots.

*The PW recipe calls for you to mix melted butter with panko, then put cauliflower in casserole dish top with panko, bake for 5 minutes.

What I did was put cauliflower in casserole dish, pour some pest on top, mix well, then top with Parmesan cheese, bake for 5 minutes.

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Enjoy! UP next how it morphed into  pesto cauliflower wheat-less pizza crust.

P.S.  The hubbs just showed me how to make my pictures brighter and more true color in Photoshop, which will help seeing as I take my pictures with my trusty Lumix point and shoot.

 

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