Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cook: Quinoa Fried Rice

It has been too long! But today was the second time I whipped up one of my new favorite dishes, or side dishes, Quinoa Fried Rice and I am sharing my version of the recipe.  It is pretty quick and easy to make too, which is always a bonus, especially if you live a crazy busy and active lifestyle like I do.

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup peas
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • salt & pepper - to taste 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Prep Time: 5 minutes                              Cook Time: 25 - 30 minutes 

Directions
  1. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of chicken broth to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce to a low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has fully soaked up the liquid, once cooked, remove from heat.
  2. If you are using frozen corn and peas, bring veggies to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes and drain. 
  3. On medium-high heat, sautĂ© onions, peas and corn for about 2 minutes, then add quinoa, increase the heat to high and stir for about 2 minutes, add salt, pepper and sesame oil to the quinoa for about 1 more minute.
Enjoy! - with Sriracha if you'd like ;) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cook: Savory Oatmeal


It has been way too long readers and fellow food enthusiasts! Grad school, internships and working a full-time job is kind of kicking my butt! Instead of giving you a list of excuses I'm just going to start posting shorter quicker recipes whenever I can and I will start with this quick recipe for Savory Oatmeal. It was my first time making oatmeal into a non-breakfast meal, but now that I've tried it I am definitely a fan. Hope you enjoy it too! 

Cook Time: 8 - 10 minutes 

Ingredients:


1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 egg
1/2 avocado
salt & pepper to taste
Directions
:

  1. Add oil to a non-stick pan and saute onions for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in oatmeal and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Top with a pan fried egg and the avocado.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cook: Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad

Here's a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while from The Diva Dish. It's been sitting in my notebook, so when my roommate mentioned that she was in the mood for quinoa - voilĂ ! Well it probably wasn't that dramatic, but I did coincidentally have my notebook that a few recipes tucked in the pocket. So we gathered up the ingredients, pulled out our cutting board and utensils, and combined forces to make this Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad. We left out the avocado because my roommate is allergic and changed a couple measurements to our liking and the end result was delicious! We will definitely be making this one again. Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do! 

Ingredients

Salad:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa 
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed 
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 avocados [omitted due to food allergies]
  • 2 cups spinach 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
Dressing:
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp agave nectar 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt and pepper 

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring the vegetable or chicken broth to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce to a low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has fully soaked up the liquid. Once cooked, remove from heat and cover the pot with a lid.
  2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients: lemon juice, zest, mustard, oil, agave, cumin and salt and pepper, and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the qunioa, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, garlic cloves. Add the spinach and dressing last and toss until completely incorporated. 
  4. Plate, serve and enjoy! 
*Picture: Served with Salmon seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bake & Play: Holiday Special - Sugar Cookie Recipe & a Quick Workout


The Holidays are here and while it may seem like we do not have any time to get any exercise in between baking, cooking and trying to find the perfect gift for the people we love, getting your heart pumping is actually pretty easy. It just takes an open mind, a little creativity and a few back to the basic moves.

And although this may sound cheesy, the greatest gift you can give to your family and friends is you! That is why it is very important to stay healthy this season and all year around. While some may lack the motivation to get moving, or just want to resolve to get healthy in the new year, I say, Why not start now? Who says that you can't multi-task and incorporate a quick workout routine in between your holiday treat making?
You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym to exercise. If you have one, let's put the treadmill or elliptical that sits in the living room or garage into good use. If not, just throw on a pair of running shoes and head outside. You can also use your own body weight as resistance to do a little strength training. Follow the sample workout I put together with a few basic movements: squats, lunges, crunches and push ups, which I called "The 3x15", or switch out a few exercises with your favorites.

Here are a few tips from a multi-tasking veteran coupled with a sugar cookie recipe adapted from Sweetsugarbelle.com and help from my sister.  
Have fun and Have a Happy & Healthy Holiday from my kitchen to yours!
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (two sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ½ + ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
 
Makes: 2 - 2 ½ dozen cookies
Prep Time: About 30 mins                    Bake Time: 7-8 mins each batch
Directions
  1. Let the butter sit out at room temperature to soften.
  2. [While you’re waiting, get 20-30 mins of cardio in, before you gather the rest of your ingredients and materials for baking.]
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use a metal whisk or an electric mixer with a whisk  attachment to cream together softened butter, confectioner’s sugar and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the egg and both extracts. Add the egg mixture to the butter sugar mixture and mix until egg is thoroughly incorporated.
  5. In a separate large bowl, sift together 2 ½ cup flour and the baking powder. If using an electric mixture, switch to a dough paddle attachment and at a low speed, add the flour to the mixture, a small amount at a time. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. The dough should not stick to your fingers, if it does add up to ¼ cup of additional flour.
  6. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling it out.
  7. [Start on The 3x15 while you're waiting.]
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  9. Roll the dough out on parchment or wax paper to about ¼ inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then cut with your favorite cookie cutter shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  
  10. Bake for 7-8 minutes, or before the edges start to brown.  
  11. [In between batches, finish up the rest of your 3x15.] 
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack and get ready to ice and decorate! With this recipe you can bake them one day and ice and decorate the next. Enjoy!
Exercise Tips (while baking):
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Always wash your hands and make sure to keep your baking space sanitary.
  • Don't forget to time the cookies while they are baking, so you do not burn them while you’re exercising.
  • Have fun and Have a Happy Health Holiday!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cook: Fall Favorite - Spaghetti Squash

Like I promised, here is my recipe for Spaghetti Squash! It is relatively easy to make and can be cooked many different ways. I have tried both the oven baking and microwave cooking methods and have included directions for both for you to try!

Fun Fact: Spaghetti Squash is a fruit, like all other squash that we sometimes like to categorize as a vegetable, because it contains seeds. The benefit of replacing your traditional spaghetti dish with spaghetti squash is spaghetti squash is a whole food that contains fewer calories, fat and carbohydrates.

1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash without salt:
Calories: 41.9
Total Fat: 0.4 grams  
Carbohydrates: 10 grams

1 cup of cooked spaghetti, enriched without salt:
Calories: 221
Total Fat: 1.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 43.2 grams

*Spaghetti noodles contain higher amounts of minerals such as iron and manganese, than the squash, so don't forget to incorporate whole grains as part of a well-balanced daily diet. 
Spaghetti Squash in the Produce section
 Ingredients
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • salt
  • dried basil
  • olive oil
  • granulated garlic (garlic powder)
  • parmesan cheese
  • pepper
Makes: About 3-6 servings                              Prep Time: 15 minutes                             
Cook Time: 35 minutes (if baking); 15 minutes (if microwaving)

Directions

Oven:
  1. Rinse the spaghetti squash under cool running water for a few seconds.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Then use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center.
  4. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and basil and place in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and using a fork - scrape the strands of spaghetti squash into a large bowl.
  6. Season the large bowl of spaghetti with more salt, basil, and the olive oil, granulated garlic, parmesan and pepper to taste.
  7. Optional:Top with your favorite pasta sauce!
  8. Plate, serve, and enjoy! 
Microwave:
  1. Rinse the spaghetti squash under cool running water.
  2. Use a large sturdy knife to stab holes throughout the squash. (This helps with the cooking process and will ensure that the squash does not explode while cooking.)
  3. Run the squash under cool running water one more time, this time you want the squash to soak up the water so that the inside will cook without drying out.
  4. Place in the microwave and set on High to cook for 15 minutes, rotate the squash halfway through to cook evenly.
  5. Using oven mitts or a clean washcloth, remove from the microwave and let cool for about 15-20 minutes. The squash gets really hot!
  6. Cut in half, remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon, and fork out the strings of squash into a large bowl.
  7. Season the large bowl of spaghetti with more salt, basil, and the olive oil, granulated garlic, parmesan and pepper to taste.
  8. Optional:Top with your favorite pasta sauce!
  9. Plate, serve, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bake: Fall Favorite - Persimmon Pillow Puffs

If your mom is like my mom and A) you have a persimmon tree in your yard, or B) you have a relative or a neighbor that has a persimmon tree in their yard, then C) you most likely ended up with at least one overflowing bag of them! I love my mom <3, but I ended up with half a bag of ripe persimmons and I was kind of getting tired of eating them. Luckily, persimmons can be made into dessert that can be shared :) 

And I had the chance to play with this recipe and will now share it with you!

Ingredients
  • Pastry dough (frozen food section of the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 persimmons, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
Makes: 9 pillow puffs                              Prep Time: About 15 minutes
Directions
  1. Let pastry dough sit out at room temperature so it is easier to work with later.
  2. Preheat oven to 385°F.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add persimmons and lemon juice; toss to coat. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes if the persimmons are ripe and up to 10 minutes if the persimmons are firm. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the egg and water.
  5. Unfold, or separate the pastry dough and cut into squares, I divide each sheet into 9 squares. Lightly brush the squares with part of the egg mixture; these will be the bottom halves of the puffs. Spoon about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of the persimmon filling into the bottom halves. Cover the filled halves with the remaining pastry dough squares and press edges to seal and use a fork to press for an added design.
  6. If the dough has become too soft, let the puffs sit in the refrigerator on a clean cookie sheet, for about 15 minutes before baking. When you're ready to bake, place the puffs on a greased cookie sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining egg mixture. With a sharp knife, cut three shallow slits in the top of each puff. (This part is important because it will allow steam to escape and prevent your pastry from exploding!) 
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. Plate, serve, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bake: Fall Favorite - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Fall is finally here! 

A few of my favorite things about this season are: the crisp light sweater weather, the chance to once again break out the boots that have been quietly awaiting their return from the back of my closet, the changing colors of the trees as the green chlorophyll slowly drains from their leaves (everywhere except in most parts of Southern California apparently), epic football games and tailgates, and last but not least - the bountiful harvest that brings us such foods as pumpkins, squash, and persimmons.

I would have to say that pumpkin is by far one of my favorite foods and flavors. I love everything pumpkin, from pie, to bread, to cookies...and now that I write this I realize that I might just like it because it seems synonymous to dessert... ;) ...so it is no wonder why this food enthusiast with a huge sweet tooth loves it.

The number one pumpkin recipe that I am best known for is my recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. And today, I am sharing it with you! Enjoy!

*This recipe is the first in a series of Fall Favorite recipes that I will be sharing until the end of the season.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2/4 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp almond milk (or any other milk)
  • 2 cup chocolate chips

Makes: About 3 dozen cookies                              Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, butter, applesauce, egg, vanilla, and all spice.
  4. In a separate bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the almond milk and add to the wet mixture.
  5. Mix together the wet and dry mixtures until just combine and add the chocolate chips. Make sure you do not over-mix the cookies, because this will result in tough cookies rather than soft and fluffy ones.
  6. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are starting to brown on the edges.
  8. After taking them out of the oven, let the cookies sit for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. And now you're ready for a taste of Autumn!