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Lentils and Quinoa

Served Lentils and Quinoa

Lentils and Quinoa

Quinoa has been recently been given a boost in popularity due to its many benefits! What I like the most is that it is extremely low in  carbohydrate and it fills me up much more than pasta, rice or bread, without the calories! 🙂 It is very low in cholesterol and sodium and it has magnesium and phosphorus. It’s a great source of manganese, all great nutrients so important for me and my family.
In terms of flavor I  must say I had to try several recipes to start to enjoy and learn how to prepare it well. My husband and kids followed my footsteps and now I have to prepare double portions since they all want some.
Here is my favorite recipe. It is perfect as comfort food and great for any time of the year. That said, I can also see this recipe making a great cold weather crock pot or potluck meal.
  1. Prepare lentils per package directions. Prepare 2 cups of lentils. When seasoning, only add salt, pepper to taste and one basil leave. It’s best if you prepare the lentils from scratch. I recommend that you avoid the temptation to use canned lentils. The flavors will be better if you do not use canned lentils.
  2. Prepare quinoa per package directions. Prepare 1 cup of quinoa. When seasoning the quinoa, add:
    1. 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. If you don’t enjoy spicy foods then change the red pepper flakes part to 1/4 tsp.
  3. Mix the two preparations in one saucer or pot when both of them are ready. Let them cook for at least 10 minutes together. Add peas and carrots to the mix and allow the mixture to continue to cook for another 10 minutes, mixing well.
  4. Optional: Sprinkle dry parsley on top of each serving.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Some pics to illustrate the process.. and to explain why I love this dish so much. 🙂
Quinoa

Quinoa in the Bag

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Fully cooked Lentils

Mix of Lentils and Quinoa

Fully Cooked Lentils and Quinoa Cooking with Peas and Carrots.

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Yum! It’s ready to enjoy!

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My easy version of Posole

 

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This is my version of Posole. Maybe you’ve tried authentic Mexican posole before… Well, this isn’t! I always try to make my version of the recipes I love and that is what I did once again here. Why? Well, the first reason is my kids have a hard time with chile in soups (as it continues to release spicy flavor and it can be too much for them.) In this version of Posole, I am training their taste buds by  making it without the chile but adding pepper flakes when serving. Second reason is I can’t eat pork, so I make it with chicken and give it an extra punch of flavor from other herbs and seasoning (not needed when making it with pork, as pork releases a lot of flavor by itself.) Last, I love to experiment with flavors and luckily for my family it all turns out delicious!

Here is my [easy] version of Posole in 4 steps:

1. Start by placing 2 cups of posole corn in 6 cups of water with salt to boil for 1 hour and a half. Add the chicken breast to the boiling water. (1 chicken breast is enough for 3 people.)

2. Add 1 TBSP salt, TBSP pepper, 1 TBSP cumin, 1 TBSP paprika, 1 cup of chicken stock, 1 TBSP oregano, 1 TBSP tarragon, 1 TBSP parsley and 1 clove of garlic (optional.)

3. Add 1/2 white or yellow onion cut in chunks, carrots and sweet peppers.

4. Let it boil until the posole corn is tender.

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Serve adding red pepper flakes and cabbage on top.

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Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Chicken Noodle Soup

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I couldn’t help it; I had to make chicken noodle soup while US weather news reporters spoke of record-breaking low temperatures for 50 states.. Wind chill, historic freeze, 1-2 feet snow accumulations, and more.

My recipe is quite simple but it has a twist, which adds another level of flavor complexity to this comfort food favorite. Besides the traditional ingredients, I add cilantro, sweet peppers, potatoes and a kick at the end: Red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe:

Ingredients: Carrots, green onions, sweet peppers, celery, cilantro, chicken breast, noodles, 1 potato (cut in thick slices), salt, pepper and cumin.

Directions: Add a chicken breast to a pot of water ( 4 or 5 cups); Season with 1 TSP salt, 1/2 TSP pepper and 1 tsp cumin. Add diced celery (1/4 cup), green onions (1/4 cup), 1/4 bunch of cilantro (chopped) and potato. Once it boils, let it simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/2 (or 1) cup noodles at the last 10 minutes. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese at the end.

Stay warm with chicken noodle soup! 🙂