Posts Tagged ‘quinoa’

Greetings All.  I hope that you’re enjoying a fruitful fast.  This fast marks my first strict fast since Nativity 08.  I’m done “eating for two”, for now.  This fasting stuff is really hard.  Hang in there!

Today’s recipe comes from Martha Stewart.  A couple of quick changes to the recipe make it fast friendly and (forgive me, Martha) better.  Below is my version, but you will find a link to Ms. Stewart’s at the end of this post.

In the beginning I promised to provide recipes with ingredients that are easy to find.  It seems like quinoa is gaining popularity and I hope that it is at your local mega-mart or health food store.  (UPDATE: In 2018, six years later, quinoa is ubiquitous and even comic in it’s commonality.  Weird)

Remember to rinse quinoa several times BEFORE COOKING, otherwise it is bitter.  You can make quinoa in a rice cooker, if that suits you.

Quinoa is considered a “complete protein” so eat it up.

This might seem like a really light recipe, but I found it very rich.  I think it stands on its own.  Let me know in the comments if you agree.  If you disagree let me know by comment and recommend a side dish, please.

Don’t skimp on mushrooms, and they need to be fresh.  Be sure to use red wine vinegar.

***WARNING***  This recipe calls for broiling oily mushrooms.  Watch them carefully and DO NOT walk away.  THEY WILL CATCH ON FIRE! 

(If you’d rather just roast them that might work.  Let me know)

Warm Quinoa shiitake Spinach Salad (Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)


  • 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved, wiped clean
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 10 ounces baby spinach


1.  Lord, bless my work.

2.  Heat broiler; set rack 4 inches from heat.  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/4tsp black pepper.

3.  On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with half the dressing (reserve the rest); broil, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  TIME VARIES WIDELY AND WILDLY Don’t walk away, keep an eye on the mushrooms.  You want them cooked, but not dry.  You may need to test a few.  You’re trying to get them chewy, not crunchy.

4.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan (or rice cooker), combine quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

5.  Place spinach in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (spinach will wilt slightly). Serve immediately.

Or, if you’d rather try Martha’s



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The beautiful gold color comes from turmeric.

The fast is underway.  How are you feeling?  The Peter and Paul fast is tough because it starts with no buildup.  Hang in there.  You can do it!

Today’s recipe is all about new flavors.  Admittedly, I prefer onion, garlic, and tomato flavors and many recipes are in the same flavor palette (or palate :-).  I hope you enjoy something different.

Garbanzos with Couscous takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and just two pans.  As we are not using our air conditioner I don’t want to heat up the kitchen- this recipe didn’t.

I am experimenting with a gluten free diet so if you want to try this recipe gluten free, use brown rice, or quinoa instead of couscous.  Quinoa is closer to couscous texture wise and cooks quickly, but, brown rice on the dry side of done wouldn’t be too bad.

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa has 7 grams of protein

1 cup of cooked brown rice has 5 grams of protein

1/3 cup dry whole wheat couscous (about 2/3 cooked) has 8 grams of protein

Rice and couscous are incomplete proteins, paired with the chickpeas in this recipe, they are complete.

2 cups of cooked chick peas has about 24 grams plus plenty of soluble fiber for your blood sugar to help you feel full


Garbanzos and Couscous or Quinoa

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

3 carrots, chopped

1 14 ounce can of diced tomatos

1 15 ounce can of garbanzos, or two cups precooked beans (if they’re frozen, no need to thaw)

1 cup broth

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups cooked grain

Lettuce salad (just lettuce or add vegetables to suit your taste)

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Gently saute onion and garlic in a bit of oil, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Step 3. Add all other ingredients except grain, bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are juuuuust tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 4. Stir in grain and serve over cool, crip lettuce.  I prefer to leave the carrots raw and serve with the lettuce because they add a nice crunch.  I love crunchy stuff, that’s why I love my Mom in Law so much.  However, carrots are best used by the body cooked.

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Too much sunshine for a good picture.

My junior year of college I went on a Habitat for Humanity trip to South Carolina.  It was an incredible trip.  Beside the chance to serve others we had a lot of fun.  With good friends I built a shed, badly.  How bad?  Bad enough to get a facepalm from the volunteer leader.

Also, had my first experience with  “no see ums” .  Wow, talk about itchy.  The highlight might have been the fish fry and religious revival.  The revival was just okay- but the cornbread at that revival changed my life.  The bread was perfect.  It was sweet, salty, rich, not too crumbly, and moist.

This recipe is about as close to that memorable cornbread as we’ll get in Lent.

A cup of soy milk is called for but you can substitute water.  On the recommendation of my friend E. F. , whom I consider an expert, I substituted water and 1 tablespoon oil for the milk.

Quinoa (keen-wa) is optional in this recipe.  Adding the quinoa makes the cornbread protein and iron rich.

I don’t recommend these for muffins.  Without eggs and milk the batter sticks to the paper.  Also, because I used home milled cornmeal from white popcorn mine isn’t beautiful.  Your bread will be a gorgeous yellow.  Try this bread with Black Bean Chili, South American Red Bean Soup, and Bean Enchiladas with “Cheese Sauce”.

Quinoa Corn Bread 6 generous servings

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup flour

2 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup corn kernels (creamed corn is a good option for moisture and sweetness)

1 cup soy milk, other non dairy milk, or water +1 tbsp oil

3-4 Tbsps maple syrup

1 cup cooked  quinoa

1/4 cup vegetable oil
Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Generously oil a 6×10 inch baking dish, medium iron skillet, or pie plate.  If using a skillet or metal pan you can preheat them to make a good crisp crust on the bottom of the bread.

Step 3. To a large bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine.

Step 4. To a medium bowl, add the soy milk, maple syrup, corn kernels, quinoa, and canola oil.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture, and stir with a few quick strokes just until batter forms.  This is a very wet batter and not thick.

Step 5. Transfer the batter to the hot baking pan or hot skillet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Delicious, nutritious black bean salad

Quinoa is a great food for fasting.  It contains all of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein.  It also contains iron and calcium.  Quinoa is a grain indigenous to Peru and long used by Native South Americans.   This salad also has black beans and corn which are complementary proteins.  A bowl of this salad is very filling and nutritious.  Thanks to my friend Bethany S. for introducing me to quinoa.  I consider it further proof of her “good things” finding capabilities.

You can find quinoa at a health food store or with the Bob’s Red Mill items at your local store.  If your store has Bob’s Red Mill but doesn’t carry quinoa, just ask the store manager to add it to the next order.  It is definitely worth the trouble to find it- quinoa tastes great and has a neat crunchiness.

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (small disk-shaped seeds)*
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears or frozen)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

For dressing

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

Step 3. In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 20 minutes or according to package directions.

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander and toss well.

Step 5.  Make dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.

Step 6. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

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