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Monday Meals: Lime & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Summer hasn’t really started here in Portland but that hasn’t stopped me from preparing summery dishes (even if it is a little cold for them – I can’t believe how long the cold has hung on here this year!).  This is one of my favorite recipes every summer because the flavors meld so well and it’s perfect served cold.  Quinoa is a superfood, full of 8 amino acids, gluten free and full of protein so it’s also perfect for the littles!

Lime, Cilantro & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Yields 8 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (chicken works great as well)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2T freshly squeezed lime juice (I often do more because I like the zestyness but you can always add at the end to your own personal taste)
  • 1tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup of black beans(can is okay just rinse them)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced or halved
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, stevia and salt & pepper. Put aside. In a large pot, add quinoa to boiling vegetable broth, stir, turn heat down to low, cover and let quinoa cook for about 20min. Once cooked, fluff quino with a fork and place in a medium size bowl.

Add lime dressing, black beans, cilantro and tomatoes. Mix. I like this cold, but you can also serve warm.

Also, pair it with plain yogurt – so yummy and the flavors really compliment each other!  I hope this recipe helps contribute to some fabulous summer Bar-b-ques!

meg

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Monday Meals: Low-fat Cranberry Almond Scones

Perfectly golden brown Cranberry Almond Scones

We thought we’d post something for a Mother’s Day breakfast for Monday Meals since Mother’s Day is this Sunday.  Plus, this hidden nutrition – baking edition will spoil mom but also make her feel nice and healthy!

This recipe is adapted from the blog Farmgirl Fare with some tricks from some of her other scone recipes. Farmgirl Fare is a treasure trove of delicious home-made recipes. If you’re going to try baking your own bread, her farmhouse white is the place to start!

I like to use whole-wheat flour and sneak flaxseed meal into pretty much everything I bake for added nutrition. Flaxseed meal is so good for you I love using it, but I try not to add more than 1/2-1/3 of a cup so I don’t mess with the texture of the final product. But in my opinion, every little bit helps!

Also, the best-kept secret to low-fat baking? You can use cream cheese in place of butter and yogurt+milk in place of buttermilk for some recipes like these!  Talk about cutting down on calories!

Low-fat Cranberry Almond Scones
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup almond meal (you could sub another healthy grain here, I just used it to add nutrients and boost the almond flavor)

Hidden nutrition!

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried nutmeg
1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 egg
2 Tablespoons yogurt
3/4 cup low-fat milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cream cheese to the dry ingredients and mix with a pastry blender or with your fingers to make fine crumbs.
  4. Toss in the dried fruit and nuts you want to use and mix well.

    Add your favorite nuts and dried fruit

  5. Whisk together in a small bowl the egg, 2 tablespoons yogurt, and 3/4 cup low-fat milk. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing well but not overworking the dough (it doesn’t seem like the wet ingredients will be enough, but I promise the dough will come together!).
  6. Turn out the mixed dough onto a floured surface and use your fingers to push the ball down into a circle about an inch thick and 6-8 inches in diameter.
  7. If you want little scones make two circles to cut into slices, for larger scones make a single circle.

    Make 1 large circle if you want big scones, 2 circles for small

  8. Use a serrated knife dipped in flour to slice the circles into triangles and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Then enjoy the crumbly goodness!

And okay, we all know eating a diet of just scones isn’t healthy, but at least now when you have a craving for some baked goodies you can feel better about indulging on these!

Enjoy!
D”

Monday Meals: Harvest Veggie & Quinoa Patty Salad

I don’t know if I could ever top Diana’s Lifesave Smoothies Meg posted last week!  Soooo good, but here’s a little something, something I’ve been into lately . . .

Serves 4-6 people:

Quinoa Patty & Roasted Harvest Veggie Salads

I like making the patties this way cause you incorporate a little egg and some cheese for a pretty wholesome, full of protein main course.  I use herbs to give them extra flavor because I typically go completely without extra salt and pepper.  I’ve found that Jax loves the Quinoa this way.  I do the three parts: prepping the salad, the veggies, and the Quinoa all in tandem.    I typically buy most of my stuff at Trader Joe’s.  They have really good prices for organic produce, especially the sweet potatoes and baby tomatoes.

Start by prepping the veggies:

Preheat oven to 350.

Dice 2-3 sweet potatoes, toss them in a little olive oil, and add about 1/2 a tsp of cinamon.  Then toss them on a pan and roast them in the oven for about 15-30 mins till tender.

Dice zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots and toss them with olive oil.  Then toss on a pan and roast for about 15 mins till tender.

Once those are cooked and tender, pull out and set aside.

To make the Quinoa (yields about 10 medium sized patties):

Follow the directions on your bag of quinoa.  Typically it’s a ration of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water, simmered for 12-20 minutes.  However, I add about 1/2 a cup extra of water, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool then place it in a bowl (or if it’s cooled completely and the pan is not hot use that), and add the following:

  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I usually use the Mexican style shredded cheese that comes in the bag already shredded)
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley
  • dash of salt, dash of pepper (I go really light on these cause of Jax and I’m definitely the healthier – especially with the salt)
  • 1tsp of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder

Mix it all together.  Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of butter to hot skillet.  Grab a handful of the Quinoa mix and make a patty (this is kind of awkward.  I try to mold it in my hand a little, but then shape it in the pan immediately after I drop it in).  Cook each side ’til golden brown on medium-low heat.

Dice when slightly cooled.

Rinse and lightly chop some spinach – about 4-6 cups.

To Plate:

Put the spinach in a bowl, throw some of the Quinoa and roasted veggies on top, and serve with balsamic vinegar (I also like using Apple Cider vinegar) and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste if you’d like, since it’s very lightly seasoned for Jax!

FOR YOUR WEE ONE: dice the Quinoa, and plate some of the sweet potato and veggies (such as the zucchini).  Good for 9 months and up (from my experience).

Hope you like it!  Feel free to make substitutions as needed.  These were just my solutions.  If you have any feedback or good suggestions feel free to leave us a comment!

ENJOY! ash

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