Coconut Quinoa Chia Pudding

29 06 2015

quinoa chia pudding

Do you remember when people first started talking about Quinoa? No one could pronounce it. KWEE-NOA? CHI-NO? KEEN-WAH? There in it’s protein-packed glory this seed (yes, it’s actually a seed, not a grain) sat on the shelf and I looked at it, wondering what the heck I’d make with it. Since then, I’ve realized its versatility: pancakes, casseroles, salads, and the ever so simple side.

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Then the chia seed trend came along and everyone went gaga over the health benefits of a little seed was formerly only known for making your clay pot grow “hair”. Food bloggers started putting them in smoothies and then making “pudding.” The current trend now seems to be jelly.

I still haven’t mastered the art of the chia seed pudding. Mine is always too runny; not the beautiful fluffy, creamy pudding that I see posted everywhere. I think it’s because I’m too stingy with those darn seeds. They’re expensive! Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and buy all the Chia heads and hoard the seeds. I wonder if that would be cheaper…

chia head

Anyhow, the other day I made some quinoa for a salad and of course I made too much- which isn’t a bad thing- it’s actually something I always intentionally do when making quinoa. I would advise you to do the same! Once the quinoa is cooked, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and use it for other deliciousness. And obviously, it saves you the time to cook (which is only 15 minutes) and the cooling, if you aren’t planning to serve it hot.

So I opened my fridge to make myself an evening snack and saw this prepared quinoa and an opened can of light coconut milk. (The coconut milk had been an attempt at making coconut whipped cream but duh, you can’t use the light kind, you need the full fat. #Fail) Immediately my brain went to tomorrow’s breakfast. Let’s do a take on overnight oats/chia pudding using quinoa and coconut milk!

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I could hardly wait for breakfast the next morning; and man, I was not disappointed! And bonus- this breakfast kept me full for hours. No mid-morning snack was necessary!

So, next time you make some quinoa, save some for this yummy breakfast treat!

Coconut Quinoa Chia Pudding

coconut quinoa chia pudding

Ingredients:

1.5 cups prepared quinoa, cooled
~1/2 can of light coconut milk (from a can)
2 TBS chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup blueberries (more if you like)
Optional toppings:

honey
shredded coconut
crushed almonds

How to:

Put the quinoa in a bowl, jar, or other container with a lid (I used a small pyrex bowl)- the container should not be “just” big enough. You need some space!

Add the coconut milk to the quinoa to just cover it completely. Then add just a tiny bit more.

Add the vanilla, chia seeds, and blueberries and stir it all together.

Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with shredded coconut, almonds, and honey. (Of the three, you’ll likely want the honey for some sweetness!)

coconut chia pudding





My Attempt at a Veggie Burger Without Following a Recipe

21 01 2015

Many of you may know that I am a recipe kind of girl. I really like trying new recipes, and generally speaking, I follow them pretty closely. However, I decided to get out of my box, and try to concoct a veggie burger on my own. Now, I haven’t made many veggie burgers in the past- recipe or not. I do enjoy them, and I’ve got a bunch of canned beans in my pantry just screaming to be used, so I figured I’d give it a go.

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I glanced at a few recipes and then decided to wing it.

What I came up with was a really fantastic tasting veggie burger. Unfortunately, it was a little crumbly, was a pain to flip, and didn’t quite have the firm texture I was looking for in a veggie burger. But, when I came back to them after they had cooled some, they had firmed up a bit. So, I’m thinking that perhaps I need to chill the mixture before rolling into patties, or they may need a bit more of a binder, like breadcrumbs. Regardless, I figured I’d at least pass along the recipe in case you wanted to try- because I thought the flavors of the patties was SPOT ON.

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I served mine on a bed of greens with a side of rutabaga fries, and then some chipotle mayo and ketchup. Try it out with your variations and let me know in the comments what you did and if you were successful!

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Ingredients:

1 can cannelini beans
1/2 onion, roughly chopped and sautéed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup broccoli, grated (I used mostly stalk and a little bit of the florets)
3/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup grated cheese- I used Publix’s Morel Mushroom and Leek Monterrey Jack
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbs whole wheat flour
1 egg
How to:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together  3/4 the beans and everything but the flour and egg. Then, transfer to a food processor or blender, and blend, until you have a well-blended mixture (almost like a thick bean dip). (You could probably eliminate the bowl part if your processor is good enough!) Fold in the last of the beans, the flour and the egg.

Form patties (perhaps refrigerate them, I did not), and then in a well greased fry pan, brown both sides. Then, transfer to a well-greased cookie sheet and finish in the oven (about 15 minutes).

Enjoy!

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-Lime Tofu

8 08 2014

Do you guys follow theKitchn.com? If not, then you should. Lately, I feel like they’ve been churning out some awesome content, and I find myself bookmarking or sharing a lot of their recent posts.

Like this post with 17 recipes using a can of chick peas. Or this recipe for a Green Goddess Quinoa Salad bowl (which was on my menu for this week and it was oh-so-good!) Or this post about the best ways to organize your freezer <– so smart! And finally, this recipe, which served as the inspiration for the meal I’m about to share with you!

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The original recipe called for some more “traditional” taco/fajita fillings- red pepper, onion, beans, brown rice.  I could have gone that route, but opted to use up the remainders of the different veggies I had in the fridge (mushrooms, broccoli, and some homemade pico de gallo from Steph) and use the can of corn I had in the pantry. I also had some tofu that needed to be eaten and some feta cheese.

By the way, I must give my friend Steph a shout out. She gave me a bunch of yummy treats from her trip to Key West- limes, a fresh mango, a coconut (!), Florida avocado, and some of her homemade mango pico de gallo. I immediatley used some of the pico in a salad and it was amazing. Oh, and the mango? Probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I was a little skeptical about the Florida avocado because I’ve never had much success with them and always find myself wishing it was a Hass, but this one was perfect!

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I followed the general idea of the original recipe- sauté the veggies/protein, wrap in chard leaves, and top with the dressing, but the biggest divergence from the recipe was my choice of protein: tofu. It just so happened that on the same day I saw the wrap recipe, I had earlier seen a picture of chipotle-lime marinated chicken. I knew immediately that I was going to use those flavors on the tofu in my fridge, so when I stumbled upon the wrap recipe with its similar flavor profile, I knew I had a great recipe mash-up.

When I threw everything together, I was super impressed with this dish. It was so fresh, and so healthy! I think I may be using chard leaves as wraps more often now! Oh, and the Cumin-Lime dressing was the perfect sauce to bring it all together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-lime Baked Tofu, Fresh Veggies, and Cumin-Lime dressing

Ingredients:

For the Baked Tofu:

1 tsp Chipotle powder (more or less to your taste. This was spicy for me!)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS honey
1 TBS olive oil
salt

For the Wraps:

Swiss Chard Leaves (as many as you need)
1/2 can corn kernels, drained
1 head broccoli
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
EVOO
garlic powder

Toppers:
Pico de gallo
feta cheese
avocado

For the Cumin Lime Sauce:

Juice from 2 limes
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 scallions, minced-white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

 

How to:

First, make the baked tofu (this can be done in advance, you’ll just want to heat it up before adding to your wraps). Dry the tofu and cut into cubes.  Marinade the tofu for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes

Second, fry up the veggies.In a fry pan over high heat, add a few TBS of EVOO, add the veggies and a dash of garlic powder. Add the veggies from the slowest cooking to the fastest cooking: broccoli first, cook for a few minutes, then the mushrooms, cook for a few, and then the canned corn.

Third, make the Cumin-lime dressing. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a jar or container with a lid. Shake vigorously!

Fourth, assemble your wraps. Use a chard leaf and add the tofu, veggies, and other toppers you have (I used pico de gallo, avocado, and feta cheese). Top with the cumin lime dressing.

Enjoy!

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