Recipes

Chocolate Quinoa

Quinoa! I’m sure you’ve heard about it before; but did you know it is a seed? It is also gluten free. It’s actually considered to be a close relative to the spinach family. Crazy, right?
One of my obsessions right now is chocolate quinoa in the morning. My kids love it too; which is super great, because hello nutrients! Quinoa is a complete protein. Complete proteins are REQUIRED for every human being. There are 9 essential amino acids (what protein breaks down into) that our body cannot produce so we MUST get this from our food intake! So it is a protein power house; but let’s not forget, it also has a high amount of fiber, omega 3 (think heart healthy) fatty acids, folate and magnesium—this is a small snapshot of the rocking nutrition quinoa has to offer!

So a little FYI about my recipe here…I LOOOOOVE chocolate. I’m talking raw cacao powder here, not the milk sweet chocolate we all grew up on. This can be bitter to some folks. (You know who you are, lol) It doesn’t taste bitter to me anymore because I eat it 24/7. So if you’re just starting on this raw cacao powder journey, start slowly. Taste. Add more. Taste. Add more. Same goes with the honey or maple syrup. This is how I love it and have made it for friends, so tell me what you think if you make it!

Look at your quinoa package before you make it by the way, mine requires 2 cups liquid, 15 minutes simmer after a boil. That’s what the following recipe is based on. Read your directions! It may be different 🙂  ps. Totally forgot I was making it this morning and all the water boiled away, hahaha. Motherhood…oyyyyy!
Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups non sweetened vanilla almond milk (or non dairy milk)

3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder (I do 4)

2-3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup (being honest, totally do 3. I love honey)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt
Directions to this chocolate goodness:

In a medium sauce pan, let your 2 cups of non dairy milk come to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa (if yours is the same as mine! Read your label). Add ONLY 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder, the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the pinch of sea salt. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Once done, add the rest of the raw cacao powder and the honey or maple syrup. Best to add small amounts at a time until it’s sweetened to your preference.
If you’re like my husband and I, I add more raw cacao to my bowl and he adds more honey, HA!

Other toppings: granola, fruit, chocolate chips, coconut flakes or perhaps dried fruit! Coconut flakes sound delicious right now. Note: add to grocery list 😂

FYI, I like cooking the quinoa with one tablespoon of the cacao powder because it takes on a rich chocolate taste. If I do not add it, it doesn’t taste as strong as it does when it cooks with the cacao. Quinoa will always take on the flavor of the seasonings or powders you cook it with. So that’s the big secret, cook it with some cacao powder and vanilla milk! I wait to add the rest of the raw cacao powder at the end so I can get the benefits of raw cacao powder without cooking most of those nutrients out 🙂
Cheers to happy, healthy eating & drinking!
With gratitude,
Nichole

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Recipes

Yellow Curry Quinoa

I love quinoa. I love curry. So I thought, why not??

I thought wrong. The boys didn’t care for it. Except the 1 year old. He loves everything.

If you like the two, you’ll probably like this recipe. My husband doesn’t like curry so I figured he wouldn’t like it but he gave it a try at least.

Ingredients: 

1 cup cooked organic quinoa {follow directions on your package, for flavoring I’d highly suggest you salt & pepper it as well as adding .5 tablespoon of yellow curry while the quinoa is cooking. Quinoa will absorb the flavors you cook it with}

1/2 of an onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

.5-1 tablespoon yellow curry, use .5 tablespoon if you’ve already cooked your quinoa with curry, 1 tablespoon if you haven’t.

1 cup broccoli

I love easy. This one is EASY. Like I said earlier, cook your quinoa, mine takes about 15 minutes and I HIGHLY prefer to cook it with spices as mentioned above! While that is cooking get to chopping. Chop up that broccoli into small bite size pieces. Next, smash and mince 3 garlic cloves 😋😋 then cut your onion in half. Did you know to prevent crying you’re supposed to use the top of the onion first, leaving the root last?!? It works 90% of the time for me! So, once you’ve cut your onion in half, chop it up to your liking. (The other day I used the mandoline. It worked so well and again, way easier! Ha! And my husband doesn’t have a heart attack watching my knife skills. Or lack there of…) Heat your olive oil in a sauté pan, once the oil is heated, add the onions and sautée until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and sautée for another 30 seconds or so. Throw in the broccoli. Sprinkle the rest of your curry powder on top and sautée until the broccoli is BRIGHT green. Do not cook it all the way through as you will loose the nutrients of these miracle trees!! If you wanna be fancy you can deglaze with some water or wine. Took me years to figure out when you’re supposed to do that…when the pan and its contents are really really hot and there’s no liquid left 😂. Adds some yummy liquid gold if you’re up to it…Go ahead and take a drink too. No one is watching.

Throw in the quinoa at the end (if you deglazed wait until that liquid is mostly absorbed) and mix up. Then hope your family likes it and eats it. If not, I’m just a phone call away 😉😉😉

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Homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mmm, salad dressing! You either love vinegar, or you hate it. Or so my husband and I thought. We spent years making two salad dressings, his was honey mustard    dressing and mine honey balsamic dressing. We’ve found a happy medium with this recipe instead.

In the last six months I started trying to find a balsamic recipe with less olive oil and more flavor. I didn’t think it was possible….but….after months of experimenting and multiple friends asking me for the recipe, here it is!

 

Special shout out to my husband who is always in the kitchen, trying new combinations. Especially when I say I want something to have more (fill in the blank) he gets to experimenting and always hits the nail on the head!

 

So, anyways, honey balsamic vinaigrette: {use organic ingredients when possible, or GMO free}
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (Go to the bottom of this page to learn about balsamic vinegar–does yours contain caramel coloring/gluten?)

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

.5 tbsp of RAW honey (unfiltered if you can), organic agave is also a great substitute if vegan 

1 to 1.5 tbsp dijon mustard (if you like the mustard taste more than sweet, try 1.5 tablespoons and see how you like it..(my husband))

2 cloves of garlic, minced 

Pinch of salt & pepper

 

 

Combine all ingredients in a deep bowl. Whisk away. Have kids? They especially like the whisking. Store in the refridgerator. No, I don’t know how long it WILL last because mine doesn’t last long enough to find that out! 😉

 

Having a glass container like this is handy! $4.99 at TJ MAXX.

 

Vinegar FYI:

http://lettherebebite.com/in-store-guide/vinegar/

 

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