Category Archives: RECIPES

My Favorite Quinoa Recipe

October 31, 2012

Filed Under : EAT - RECIPES

I make a ridiculous amount of quinoa.  Poor Kyle, he doesn’t even like quinoa but I force him to eat it because I like it so much.  It’s delicious and you’re eating it, I say!!

This particular recipe is my favorite way to prepare quinoa.  Simple, easy, and full of flavorful ingredients.  I love it so much I even made it for the bridal shower I co-hosted.

For this recipe, keep in mind that I completely eyeball all ingredient measurements so the list is meant only as a guide.  You can use more or less of any ingredient – totally up to you.  Quinoa is so easy and accommodating.  You can pretty much mix anything with it and it will still taste good.  Thanks for being so great, quinoa.

Quinoa with Cranberries and Pinenuts:
Serves 4-5 

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water)
  • 1/2 medium-sized cucumber, chopped fine
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil (or lemon vinaigrette)

To make quinoa, combine 1 cup uncooked quinoa with 2 cups chicken stock (or water) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once boiled, turn the heat down and let it simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pinenuts in a pan until they are golden brown and smell nutty and delicious.  Chop the cucumber, parsley, and onion (I usually just toss them in a food processor and pulse it a few times – way easier!).  Combine the chopped veggies with the cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl.  Add the cranberries, toasted pinenuts, and salt & pepper.  Swirl in lemon-infused olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.  If you like it a little more dressed, add another tablespoon.

If you don’t have lemon-infused olive oil, don’t fret my pet!  A few squeezes of lemon juice and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil will yield the same results.  Also, if you don’t have pinenuts (because dang those things are expensive), any kind of toasted nut will do just fine.

The longer the quinoa sits in the dressing, the more flavorful it becomes.  Store it in the fridge and it will last a few days.  Or don’t store it and eat it all at once.  That’s what I usually do.

peach crumble pie

August 8, 2012

Filed Under : EAT - RECIPES

This weekend, I had a strong craving for a peach pie so I up and made myself one.  Best idea ever, no?  Plus, I wanted to use my new mini skillets that I’m so in love with.

I made this Martha Stewart peach crumble pie and it turned out delicious and buttery.  Gotta love that Martha!  Since I used two 6.5 inch skillets instead of a pie dish, I divided the crust in half for each skillet and reduced the cooking time to about 45 minutes (because the cast iron gets so hot).

My dude and I each had our own individual-sized pie and we devoured them down pretty easily.  Note: my version of an “individual-sized pie” is really just half a regular sized pie.  We don’t mess around in this household.

Watermelon & Tomato Salad

July 24, 2012

Filed Under : EAT - RECIPES

Picking out a good watermelon at the supermarket is like the Olympic games to me.  If I grab a perfectly ripe one, I expect to be given a gold medal and somebody better start singing the national anthem.  Plus, it’s not easy deciphering between a crap watermelon and a really amazing one.  So for this recipe, pick out a real nice one and win yourself a gold medal.  I’ll give you a champion’s secret: knock on it and see if it sounds hollow.  If it does, it’s likely a winner.

I love experimenting with watermelons because surprisingly, they pair well with lots of different flavors.  My favorite way to prepare it is blended with lime juice to make a agua fresca.  I also love making salads with it, like this lovely recipe for example.  It’s deliciously sweet with a perfect contrast from the tangy feta and balsamic vinaigrette.  I can literally eat it all day long (and I do!).

Watermelon & Tomato Salad
+ cubed watermelon (use half of a small watermelon for 4 people)
+  halved cherry tomatoes (i use yellow ones for contrast in color)
+ torn mint leaves
+ crumbled feta cheese
+ balsamic vinaigrette*

I didn’t use measurements because I think it’s 100% your preference.  If you like lots of mint, toss in a whole bunch.  If you’re really into feta cheese, throw the whole container in.  Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl.  Swirl in the balsamic vinaigrette.  For half of a small watermelon, I usually use about half of the vinaigrette recipe below.  But if you like it extra balsamic-y, add more.

*Balsamic Vinaigrette
+ 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
+ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
+ a squeeze of honey
+ salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients into a mason jar and shake, shake, shake.

Simple quinoa recipe

April 24, 2012

Filed Under : EAT - RECIPES

quinoa recipe

As I mentioned in this farro salad recipe, I love me some whole grains.  I especially love them after I’ve eaten a substantial amount of donuts.  Makes me feel better about myself if I balance out crap meals with healthy ones.

I usually cook a pot of whole grains (in this case, quinoa) on the weekends and use it throughout the week in different dishes.  To make quinoa, you combine 1 cup uncooked quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once boiled, turn the heat down and let it simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Once it’s ready, I rummage through the fridge and grab any and all veggies I have, make a simple lemon vinaigrette (same one in the farro salad), and mix it all together.  Of course, I always top it off with some feta cheese.

Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

And here are the veggies I used:
-2 carrots
-1/2 onion
-1 sweet potato
-handful of peas
-handful of grape tomatoes

I sauteed the carrot, onion, and sweet potato in a little olive oil and salt & pepper, just to soften them up a bit.  Then I added in frozen peas at the last minute to thaw.  I mixed these veggies with quinoa (you can use as much or as little as you’d like) and added halved grape tomatoes.  Then I added in my simple lemon vinaigrette with a handful of feta cheese and boom that was my dinner the other night.

Farro Salad w/ Radishes, Cucumbers, & Feta

April 4, 2012

Filed Under : EAT - RECIPES

farro salad

I have a major crush on farro right now, you guys.  It’s a healthy whole grain packed with fiber and protein.  I know this because I tweeted at Cooking Light magazine and they told me so.  They said to look for “whole” farro on the label.  Oh, technology!!

Anyway, I tend to make salads with a high ratio of whole grains in them because I’m not a big lettuce person.  I know, who isn’t a lettuce person?  Well, this lady isn’t.  I use anything from quinoa to bulgur to my current favorite, farro, and I use a whole lot of it.

I recently concocted this salad and love it so dang much that I plan on concocting it for the rest of my life.  It seems like a pretty straight forward salad but the flavors pack a punch, let me tell you.  The farro has a nutty, chewy taste and just absorbs the vinaigrette so perfectly.  The radishes add a juicy crunch and the arugula brings in a peppery undertone.  Don’t even get me started on the feta.  I was really tempted to pour the entire container of feta into the salad but I resisted.

Also, it holds up really well and just gets better the longer it marinates in the vinaigrette…aka a great make-ahead salad for parties and packed lunches.  Amen to this salad.  AMEN.

farro salad

Farro Salad with Radishes, Cucumber, & Feta
roughly 4-5 servings
1 cup uncooked farro
1 bunch radishes, quartered
1/2 cucumber, diced
handful of arugula
1/2 cup (or however much you want!) crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To cook the farro, combine 1 cup of uncooked farro with 2.5 cups water in a medium saucepan. Add salt to the water and bring it to a boil.  Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, covered.  Once cooked, it will have a slightly chewy texture.  Drain out the water and scoop it into a mixing bowl.

I usually pop the farro in the fridge while I’m chopping the veggies because I don’t like my salads to be too warm.  Once it reaches room temp, add the radishes, cucumbers, arugula and feta into the mixing bowl.  To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and S&P until it’s completely emulsified.  Pour over the farro salad and mix well.  At this point, you can eat the salad right then and there.  OR, you can put it in the fridge and allow it to marinate in all it’s goodness.  Either way, prepare to be become best friends with farro.