Recipes and Tips for Foodies like you!

Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa, you either love it or you hate it. I’ve heard a lot of people comment that they don’t like the bitter after taste of quinoa, but I think you need to find the right recipe to enjoy this grain, which isn’t really a grain but a seed. There are hundreds of ways to cook it, as a salad, as a side dish and even as a breakfast cereal. It’s definitely worth giving it a try, it has so many health benefits: it’s loaded with fiber, minerals and protein and doesn’t contain any gluten. It has been included in the superfood group.

I’ve already shared two quinoa salad recipes in the past (Sweet Corn & Quinoa with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette and Quinoa and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing), but this time I have something different for you. Try it as a breakfast cereal. You cook it in milk, and add sweetener (such as stevia or honey), and once it is cooked mix in lots of berries. You can eat it warm, or make a batch to keep in the fridge and eat it cold with some extra milk (it gets thick, you’ll want to add some extra milk). I’m not writing this post because quinoa is trendy, but because I really like having this for breakfast. Honest. It has a nutty flavor, I love the texture, and it keeps me full all morning. As a variation for the topping, you can try peaches and slivered almonds.

My only recommendation is, watch the pot!  You’re cooking with milk, so keep an eye on it. You don’t want to ruin your morning by having milk boil over and make a mess out of your stove.

Update:  We were discussing this post with our friends, and one of them mentioned that in the procedure process I forgot to include that quinoa has to be washed (up to three times) before cooking.    I have never done so, but I noticed that on the box I buy, it doesn’t ask you to wash it since it is already pre-washed to take away the saponin that makes it bitter.   So, read the instruction from the particular brand of quinoa you purchase to know if you have to rinse it first, or not.

 

Helga

Breakfast Quinoa.jpg

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Smashed Potatoes

I never really put much thought into different ways to cook potatoes. You either mash them, hash them, boil them or bake them, right?  I liked this Smashed Potatoes method when I saw it, and thought it would be a fun new way to eat them at home: they are soft in the inside, and because you brush them with oil and leave the skin on, they get a crispy exterior. These are great just with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and some pepper, but for a richer flavor you can add sour cream or cottage cheese, with chopped chives or cilantro… Or how does sour cream and bits of crispy bacon sound?

All you need is a baking sheet and a potato masher to do the job of squashing the potatoes once they have boiled to get soft. When at the store, try to pick smaller potatoes so they are easy to press down on. These would make a fantastic side to grilled beef or chicken, so give them a try next time you turn on your griller.

Helga

Smashed Potatoes

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Rhubarb Berry Squares

As you already know, one of the things I absolutely love about having the blog with Helga, is that we cook a lot. And most of that cooking we share with friends. Picture this: For fall, we get pumpkins and pumpkin puree, so we have pie, soup, puree, muffins, a loaf or cake… all within a week or two. We have to get creative. First, we taste it out. Then, we share it with family and friends. And sometimes, we freeze some of the dishes or some of the ingredients. So, most of the times, when I’m baking desserts, I try to make them for special occasions or gatherings, that way I know the food will be tested… and loved! Not all the times we can be adventurous, but after baking and combining flavors, there are just a few pairings that you know will go amazing together. Take this rhubarb, blueberry and cranberry squares. Think shortbread cookies with jam and crumble on top. I thought it was going to be great, but man it was a hit!

It was a few months since we hanged out with a bunch of friends, and since we all had an open night on a Saturday, we all got together to talk about life, how was this year starting to look like, what would love to do throughout 2015 and just give thanks that we all have each other. I whipped up this recipe earlier that day, and just a 15 minutes shy of cutting out the first piece, it was halfway gone. I didn’t get a chance to take anything back other than the dish I baked it in… so I am happy to share this tweaked recipe with all of you.

If you don’t have rhubarb or cranberries at hand, replace all of the amounts with any type of berries you like, or even peaches and blueberries… the combinations are endless. In the frozen section of your favorite grocery store, you can find frozen berries and that is the perfect combination for this recipe. I hope you enjoy cooking this, but specially seeing the dish just fly by as much as I did… I even had to ask for a time out to take the picture (with my phone!) and to taste a small square before it was all gone!

Kitty

Rhubarb Berry Squares

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