Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Sauce

There are two items in this recipe, the quinoa & squash…I didn’t like them the prior times I tried them.  However, I’m not one to give up with just trying once, so I kept on & created this recipe.

One tip that my cousin gave me is to soak the quinoa prior to cooking – this eliminates the bitterness that it can have – worked perfectly & now I am looking forward to creating more recipes with this nutritious seed.

This is a combination one recipe and one spaghetti squash.  I made the quinoa sauce as a side dish at a dinner with my parents; the leftovers came home & I froze them.  For a couple of months, I had this spaghetti squash setting on my counter; I didn’t know what to do with it.  Once day it hit me – adding the quinoa sauce with it & this recipe was created.

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1 cup quinoa, rinsed [8 hours or overnight] & well-drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can diced tomatoes, NOT drained

Chicken soup base or bouillon, to taste (use more for more flavor, just know the more you use, the less salt you’ll need to add) — for a vegetarian/vegan option, use vegetable base/bouillon.

blended chipotle in ancho, approximately 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (the more you use the spicier it will be)

smokey spice mix (a couple of teaspoonfuls), to taste

Water

one medium spaghetti squash

 

To a cup to 1 1/2 cups of water add the soup base/bouillon and chipotle; mix well & let it come to a boil.  Strain the chipotle out (will help temper the spice heat level).  Add the quinoa, kidney beans, tomatoes and liquid and spice mix; stir to combine.  Allow to cook until the quinoa is done.  While it is cooking, cook the spaghetti squash.  Pierce the skin of the squash & place on paper towel & microwave 1 minute.  Remove and allow to cool a moment; cut in half & remove seeds.  Place, cut side down, in a microwave safe dish; pour in about 1/4 cup of water & microwave 6 minutes.  Check there is still water in the pan; if not add 1/4 cup more & continue to cook another 6 minutes or until squash flesh is tender.  Remove from microwave and allow to cook until you can handle (I used a pot holder to hold the outside – worked well).  With a fork, shred the flesh into strings & set aside.  Once quinoa is tender, remove from heat & mix with squash.  Serve hot.

 

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  If not, do you think you would try it with this recipe?  If so, what is your favorite s.s. topping?  Comment & let me know.

 

This and That…

This week I’ve been contemplating my goals for this blog beyond just “sharing information”; I’ve thought about & set more specific goals…in addition to recipes and tips/information, I realized that I also need to address basic nutrition too.  I’m not a professional nutritionist, and what I share is what I’ve researched and have learned for myself.  If you would like a professional opinion, please contact a registered dietitian in your area.

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I had a realization this week that with not having the dairy, more specifically the milk and cheese that calcium needs to be sourced from other food items.  Just a little calcium research so far (and I will be doing more); I learned that some great sources of calcium are dark leafy greens (think spinach, kale, bok choy, arugula, etc).  To make sure I was addressing this need for myself I’ve been eating more greens.  The first was a “Bowl on the Go” from Cooking for Balance (her webinar is great and FREE; if you are a woman I suggest taking the informative session).  I incorporated greens along with quinoa, chicken, spaghetti squash, lemon juice, olive oil (all items I had on hand) from her list and for personal taste I also added a few grinds of Himalayan Pink Sea salt, some black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder – picture above.

Another way I am incorporating my greens this week is white bean and smoked turkey soup.  I don’t really have a recipe (I just dump and season to taste), but I’ll share the ingredients below…

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White Bean and Smoked Turkey

 

White beans, soaked over night & rinsed

Smoked Turkey leg

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (grinder) & Kosher salt (@ 1 tsp)

Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Hot and Smoky seasoning (or a pinch of cayenne)

cumin

liquid smoke

mixed greens

 

I boiled the beans & turkey leg (slowly, overnight on med-low – about 8 hours).  Then I removed the turkey leg & separated the meat from the bones.  Put the meat back in the pot & toss out the bones; season with the seasonings, to taste (start with small amounts – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to start; keep adding small amounts until you like the flavor.

To serve; put greens in bottom of bowl & top with hot turkey and bean mixture; stir a bit to wilt greens & enjoy.

You could also add in fresh onion & fresh garlic as well.

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Other goals I have determined: to share product information (more and more delicious items are being created for the dairy free life) and giveaways (who doesn’t like free things?)  I hope to have a giveaway soon.

Is there anything you’d like to see on the blog, something that you feel is missing?

Did you watch the Cooling for Balance webinar?  What did you think about it?

 

Comment & let me know.

Aunt Christie’s Tamale Pie

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This recipe today is courtesy of my Aunt Christie; she graciously agreed to let me share it.  Thank you, Aunt Christie!!

When I went dairy free one of the changes I noticed is that instead of craving junk food (chocolate, candy, potato chips, etc) I started craving “real” food….for about 2 months all I wanted to eat was french fries (okay, those are still kind of junk…especially from JIB – side note:  NO McD’s for anyone dairy free – they use a milk derivative in their fries…); then I started craving black olives – it is all I wanted to eat – that and A&W Root Beer.  I just couldn’t get enough of either.  When the olive craving hit, this was the first recipe I thought of.  Since the first part of 2015, I’ve made this 3 or 4 times now.  It’s not just about the olive craving but about how delicious this recipe is.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

1 ½ lbs ground beef or turkey (I use one pound ground beef & 1 chub [1 lb] Jennie-O Turkey Breakfast Sausage – if I just choose one I always choose the sausage)

2 chopped onions

2 c chopped celery (I eliminate this due to being allergic to it as well; I have substituted water chestnuts successfully; usually I just eliminate)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large can tomatoes (I use two – I like tomatoes; you can also use fresh, chopped up)

1 can corn, drained (can use hominy also)

1 can tomato sauce (I use 6oz)

¼ c oil (I forgot this step, oops…guess this could be optional)

1 ½ c cornmeal

2 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp chili powder (I use my hot & smokey)

1 can pitted olives, drained (I use two)

Grated cheese (I blend Dayia shreds into fine)

 

Fry first three ingredients; when almost done, add garlic.

Meat sauted with onions and garlic

When cooked, drain and set aside.

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Put tomatoes in a kettle and mash.

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Add corn and 1 can of tomato sauce; add ¼ c oil.  Bring to a boil.

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To 1 ½ c cornmeal, add enough cold water to just moisten [the consistency will be a paste, not liquidy].

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Add gradually to hot tomato pot, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick.

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Add next 3 ingredients.

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Add olives; mix

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Add meat.  Mix well.

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Put in 15x10x2” pan.  Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Top with grated cheese and return to oven for about 10 minutes more.

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Enjoy!

 

Fish Fry

This week I am sharing a quick and easy recipe – fish fry.  I’ve tried several varieties with this recipe; all have been successful.  My favorite two are cashews & cornmeal – just change this one ingredient, leaving all the rest the same for a delicious change.  I’ve also used both tilapia & salmon with this as well – both work well with this recipe.  It would also work well with most any other fish.

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3/4 cup flour (I prefer unbleached, all-purpose)

1 cup cornmeal OR ground up cashews

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Salt (I use the pink Himalayan salt in a grinder – 3-4 grinds or so, to taste

1-2 teaspoons hot and smoky seasoning (use your favorite & use more if you want a deep smoky flavor)

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1 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

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Whisk all ingredients together.

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To cook fish (2 servings)

2 tilapia filets, thawed; rinsed & patted dry

3/4 cup cashew milk (or your choice of milk)

3/4 – 1 cup of fish fry mixture

Put the fish fry mixture in a long bowl and pour the milk in a separate long bowl.

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Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

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Dip the fish filet in milk & dip in fish fry mixture.

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Carefully lower coated fish in hot oil and cook 3 minutes or so, until golden; carefully flip to the other side & cook another 3 minutes or so until golden.

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Drain well on paper towels a minute or two & serve hot.

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What fish would you try this on?

 

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