Tag Archives: quinoa

Quinoa bake with spinach and ricotta

As we head in to the festive season, I find that I need to balance out the indulgences of this time of year, with home cooked, healthy (at least semi-healthy) meals.

Packed full of goodness, and also gluten-free (for any of you who are gluten intolerant), this baked quinoa “pie” with spinach and feta is as comforting as it looks. Hot from the oven, the quinoa are almost pillowed amongst the ingredients, adding a lightness that you wouldn’t get if I omitted them. I only need to cook for two, so I made enough for four, split the mixture in to two small pie tins, and will freeze the other portion for a time when I need something easy, quick and delicious. All I have to do is warm up and eat.

This recipe is really versatile – adding in ham or bacon would work too.

Ingredients (for one large pie to feed four or two smaller pies)

  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
  3. 200g feta (you can also substitute ricotta or even cottage cheese)
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. Splash of milk
  6. 1 cup of grated parmesan, divided in to two portion
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F
  2. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until tender and the germ is visible
  3. Stir in the spinach leaves as you fluff the quinoa – the residual heat will wilt the leaves
  4. Crumble the feta in and mix
  5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk and one portion of the parmesan
  6. Add a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper – don’t over-salt as the cheeses will already add some savouriness to the dish
  7. Loosely spoon the quinoa mixture into your pie dish, pour over the egg mixture and combine the two in the dish
  8. Flatten the top and sprinkle the second portion of parmesan over the top
  9. Bake for 30-35 mins until the top is golden
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then enjoy hot !
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Smoked Bacon Soup with Kale and Quinoea

I’m so happy – I found kale ! After reading all your posts about how delicious it is, and how wonderfully nutritious it is, and the amazing recipes you share (eg kale chips which are being made as I type this), I FINALLY FOUND KALE. We went to Pasar Bella yesterday and bought an entire trunkfull of delicious meats, cheese and vegetables.

Today for lunch I made a vibrant, bursting-full-of-goodness soup, with a smoked bacon stock – making it bursting-full-of-flavour soup.

Again soups like this can be entirely adjusted depending on what vegetables you have handy in the fridge – I used yellow and purple carrots and the leaves of purple and green kale. The quinoea gives the soup an added protein boost.

Ingredients serves 6 for lunch or as a starter at dinner

  1. 400g smoked bacon bones
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 3 stalks celery, sliced
  4. 2 medium carrots, diced
  5. 1-2 bay leaves
  6. large handful kale leaves, stalks removed, thickly sliced
  7. 1/4 cup raw quinoea

Method

  1. Brown the bacon bones on medium-high heat in a large, heavy-based saucepan
  2. Remove from pan reduce heat to medium and soften the onions for 5 minutes
  3. Add the celery and carrots and soften, an additional 5 minutes
  4. Add the bacon back to the pan, add the bay leaves
  5. Add water so that everything is just covered, and simmer on low for 2 hours
  6. Remove the bay leaves
  7. Add the quinoea and continue to simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Add the kale leaves and simmer for a final 5 minutes
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Happy New Year !!

Lentil salad with balsamic and pomegranate molasses dressing

I hope you all had a fun-filled and happy start to the new year !!

The last few weeks of 2012 saw the silly season in full swing in our household and whilst I had a ball on Monday night with my friends, I think I would be happy to be booze-free for at least a few weeks (I can’t even fathom a whole month of not drinking), lighter food and more home-cooked meals – and thought I’d start the year at least eating healthily.

I think the earthiness of these ingredients makes it a more substantial salad than a green leafy salad – it’s filling and full of goodness that will keep you feeling satiated until it’s time for your next meal. The pomegranate molasses adds a wonderfully rich sweetness to the dressing.

Carolyn’s new year salad of lentils and quinoa with balsamic and pomegranate molasses dressing

Ingredients serves 2

  1. handful puy lentils
  2. handful of uncooked quinoa
  3. 1 cup chicken broth
  4. sprig of thyme
  5. handful of swiss brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
  6. small handful 0f cherry or baby roma tomatoes, halved
  7. 1/2 avocado (or 1 if you love them)

For the dressing:

  1. 2 tbls balsamic vinegar
  2. 4 tbls good extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tsp pomegranate molassas
  4. salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cook the lentils and quinoa in the chicken stock and thyme, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the lentils are tender and the quinoa germ has spiralled out
  2. Drain and discard the stem of thyme
  3. Let cool slightly then mix together with the mushrooms, tomatoes
  4. I add the avocados on top just because I want them to not be too mushy
  5. For the dressing, add all ingredients to a jar, and mix well

 

 

 


Warm quinoa salad

Trying to fully recover from this flu I’ve had for over two weeks now, I am putting a bit more effort in to preparing meals that are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants to help my body fight off the bad guys.

This quinoa salad I made for lunch was super easy, delicious, and full of goodness. I love quinoa – you cook and eat it as a grain, but it has a very high protein content (unlike wheat or rice) and is also gluten-free (for those of you who are intolerant).

Any suggestions on new and inventive ways to include quinoa in my diet ?

Ingredients (makes 2-4 lunch-sized portions)

  1. 1 cup quinoa – rinsed if not already pre-rinsed to remove the bitter outer coating
  2. 2 cups boiling water
  3. 2 cups of any vegetables you have in your fridge, diced: this time for me I had capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, red onions and mushrooms
  4. juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
  5. extra-virgin olive oil
  6. salt and pepper
  7. optional – add nuts for more super goodness – toast some raw almonds or pinenuts
  8. another option – crumble tangy salty feta cheese on top

Method

  1. Add the quinoa to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. The cooked grain should have a tiny curl that has separated from the seed, and have a nice bite to it (like al dente pasta)
  2. Transfer to a large salad bowl and fluff with a fork (as you would with couscous)
  3. Add the vegetables and mix
  4. Dress with the lemon juice, a good glug of the olive oil and salt and pepper