easy cooking

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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Green Lentil Pancakes with Coconut Honey

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Lentil Pancakes topped with coconut honey and humus. Side by side with: White rice and beef.

Green Lentil Pancakes

.. Delicious! This is Vinaya’s recipe. Vinaya and I have known each other for close to 15 years, she’s seen my kids being born and grow. One day she showed up with this delicious dish and I had to ask for the recipe. So instead of writing the recipe, she got me a batter of the green lentils mix she had made at home for me. Speechless, and full of joy, I could not help but try this recipe myself and add my original coconut honey recipe!  Here it is..

Ingredients

1 cup of green lentils soaked in water overnight, 1 tsp salt, 1 TBSP ginger and green chiles (optional.)

Remove water reserving only 1/4 cup of the liquid, Grind the lentils coarsely with the 1/4 cup of water. Mixture should look like this:

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Green Lentil Pancake Batter

Set your grill ready with medium heat and 1 TBSP of oil. Add one spoonful of batter or more, depending on your preference. (I was feeding my kids, so 1 TBSP of batter worked great.)

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Once ready to serve you may top them with humus (picture here shows red chili humus.)

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We also had coconut honey (see recipe below) as optional if you prefer a sweet topping. 🙂

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Coconut Honey

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk; 2 TBSP cornstarch; 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup; 1/2 cup white sugar; pinch of salt.

In a small saucepan, at medium heat, whisk the coconut milk with the cornstarch until cornstarch dissolves. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and let it boil while stirring frequently so mix does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

 

 

Veggies and Jalapeno Peppers Pizza – 2 of 3

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Under normal circumstances, to make Vegetable Pizza at home, I simply reach into the fridge and use every possible vegetable there. However, a basic veggies pizza can’t be without: White onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, green olives, black olives and jalapeno peppers (my favorite.) Those were the exact ingredients in this pizza. A note on jalapeno peppers: They are really optional, but my family loves a spicy pizza! 🙂

To read the English version of this post, go here.

Recipe

Start with store-bought dough of good quality. Spread it in the pan and let it bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 500 degrees.

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Add the marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and vegetables in that order.

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Drizzle with olive oil and add 1 Tablespoon of oregano. Bake at 500 degrees for 5 more minutes. Check on your pizza as ovens vary. Take it out when you see the edges turning brown.

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Cut into slices and enjoy! For more taste bud kicks, add red peppers and Parmesan cheese. This veggies pizza goes perfectly with greens salad  and a glass of white wine. 🙂

Pizza! 1 of 3.

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1/2 Pepperoni 1/2 Cheese pizza ready for the oven.

We all love pizza! Last night we decided to make pizza at home. We made pizza three ways. In this post I will share our 1/2 cheese, 1/2 pepperoni.

To read the Spanish version of this post, go here.

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Same pizza, different shot! 😉

We decided to make things simple and we went for good store-bought dough (not hard today.) I got good mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. First I baked the dough at 500 degrees for 5 minutes. Then I got it out of the oven and added home-made marinara sauce. My experience with store-bought marinara is also as good. I have added store-bought marinara to other recipes  which I have shared in my posts and the end product is just as delicious.

I added a layer of mozzarella cheese and then 1/2 of the pizza received a layer of pepperoni while the other half did not. Last, I sprinkled the pizza with oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. Back to the oven for another 5 minutes.

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Pizza baking in the oven.

And … Ready to eat! My kids devoured it! 🙂

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Kid devouring pizza!

 

I obviously set the red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese nearby for an extra kick. 🙂 Next time I will share the veggie and jalapeno pizza! 🙂

Easy Warm Noodle Salad

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Warm Noodle Salad

Warm Noodle Salad is the prime dish when it comes to budget. It is an extremely ‘easy’ recipe! I couldn’t help but share it with all of you. It’s attractive, colorful, delicious! My kids love ramen noodles but not the veggies. This recipe gets them eating the veggies every time.  I hope you agree with me. 🙂

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 Ramen noodle package, red, green and orange sweet peppers, 1/2 yellow onion, broccoli (as much as you want), celery, carrots and peas (optional.) 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

1. Start by chopping the veggies.

Veggies

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2. Boil the ramen but do not use the seasoning package. Instead add salt and olive oil to the boiling water, before adding the noodles. Cook exactly according to package directions. They will be sautéed later on.

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3. Saute the veggies. Add salt and pepper according to taste. ( I like 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. )

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4.  Saute the ramen noodles and the veggies together.

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Serve! This warm noodle salad is so easy and so delicious everyone will want the recipe.

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