Chorizo Quinoa Peppers

Sleep? Hum, that seems to be overrated for this pregnancy! For the last 2 1/2 months I had been sleeping in 2-3 hour increments for a grand total of 5-6 hours of disjointed zzzzzs. The downer is I either wake up having to go potty, completely uncomfortable or from my legs cramping up (less rare). With Mason, I had leg cramps almost every night and sometimes even 2-3 times per night. They are excruciatingly painful, so having less this pregnancy has been a bonus. In all, I guess the positive aspect is this is just getting me ready for being up with a newborn! But boy do I miss getting 7-8 hours of solid and uninterrupted sleep.

Due to lack of sleep you will have to excuse my delirium and typos in this post! I do have to say that this recipe is super duper delicious. While having dinner my husband even said three times that this is blog worthy. He eats everything I put in front of him, but only a select few get a “put this on your blog stamp.” :) So, by recommendation of my hubster you get this yummy recipe coming your way!

Chorizo Quinoa Peppers
Serves 3
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 Bell Peppers (red, yellow and orange)
  2. 1 lb Ground Chorizo
  3. 1 C Quinoa, uncooked
  4. 2 C Chicken Stock
  5. 3/4 C Feta Cheese
  6. 1 C Mozzarella, shredded
  7. 1 tsp Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add in quinoa, reduce heat to simmer (low) and cook for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed. Set aside.
  3. Saute the chorizo over medium heat until fully cooked.
  4. Add chorizo, feta and quinoa to a medium sized bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove stems and seeds from bell peppers and cut in half. Stuff with the chorizo and quinoa mixture into the peppers. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Place stuffed peppers in a metal cake pan (I used an 8X8) and tent with aluminum foil to avoid the cheese from burning. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes to brown up the cheese.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I have been on a quinoa salad kick lately! My last two salads have been centered around this delicious little seed :) Why not when it tastes delicious right? I love this one because of the cranberries, apples and brussel sprouts. I am a crunchy salad kind of girl so this one was right up my alley! 

Aside from salads, I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays. We were blessed to have a wonderful Christmas in Alexandria! My dad bought $96 worth of king crab and boy did it hit the spot. I love, love Alaskan king crab. It reminds of me of living in Alaska and one of my favorite TV shows, Deadliest Catch. Yummy!

We also spent some time swimming with Mason at the hotel pool. They had a kiddie pool and boy did the little guy get brave at the end. He kept running, losing his balance and then doing a nose dive head first into the water. Obviously we were there to catch him every time, but his face was classic when he came out of the water! 

Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Water
  3. 3/4 C Cranberries
  4. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  5. 2 C Brussels Sprouts, shaved
  6. 2 Small Apples, chopped
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  2. 3-4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Apple Juice
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 3 Tbsp Honey
  6. 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  7. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. Add two cups of water to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Add quinoa and turn down heat to simmer (low). Cook for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed. Set aside and allow to completely cool before adding other salad ingredients.
  2. Chop up the apples and shave the brussel sprouts either with a mandolin or food processor. Put all of the salad ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add quinoa once it has come to room temperature.
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. Add dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar or a food storage container. Add lid and shake until completely combined.
  2. Toss the dressing into the salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Asian Quinoa Salad

I made this yesterday and cannot wait to eat it up again for lunch! Yummy! I must say that Quinoa is one of my favorite super foods and is technically a seed (not a grain, making it Paleo friendly…you be the judge). The main reasons I love it are (source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html):

  1. Protein Rich – Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
  2. High Fiber Content – Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
  3. High in Iron – Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
  4. Contains Lysine – Essential for tissue growth and repair.
  5. Rich in Magnesium – Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  6. High in Riboflavin (B2) – Improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

Quinoa pretty much rocks it from a nutritional perspective and I got inspired by my cousin’s wife because she brought a Quinoa salad with a peanut dressing to our holiday party last Saturday.

Knowing many are allergic/sensitive to peanuts, I created this salad with a dressing that is nut free (and then completely negated my efforts by tossing in cashews) :) Cashews are easy to sub for some sunflower seeds though. 

Asian Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
Asian Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Water
  3. 2 C Chicken Breast, cooked
  4. 1 C Snap Peas, cut in half
  5. 2 C Brussel Sprouts, shaved
  6. 1 C Cashews, chopped (use sunflower seeds if allergic to cashews)
  7. 1 C Carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
  8. 1/2 English Cucumber, chopped
Sesame Sunflower Dressing
  1. 1/4 C Sunbutter
  2. 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  3. 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 3 tbsp Honey
  6. 1 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 tsp Chipotle Seasoning
  9. 4 tbsp Hemp Seeds
  10. 1 tbsp Mustard
Asian Quinoa Salad
  1. Bring water to boil. Add quinoa, turn down heat to low & simmer until fully cooked. Takes roughly 20 minutes or until liquid fully absorbed. Let quinoa cool for 20 minutes before adding dressing and chopped veggies.
Sesame Sunflower Dressing
  1. Mix together olive oil, mustard, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and basil.
  2. Toss dressing with cooked quinoa, vegetables, chicken and cashews until combined.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken & Hominy Soup

Ever since being gluten free I tried many different chicken and dumpling recipes, but none of them have ever turned out. Growing up this was my favorite soup, so I have been a bit bummed that I couldn’t find a good recipe. A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law made a hominy gumbo soup and immediately I thought, “Gee this hominy would be a perfect substitute for dumplings!” After boiling hominy it resembles mini-dumplings and has definitely filled a void for me! 

With Thanksgiving leftovers coming you could always make this soup and substitute turkey for the chicken :) 

Chicken & Hominy Soup
Serves 12
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 Chicken Breasts, free-range
  2. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 2 cans Golden Hominy, drain juice
  4. 2 C Quinoa, uncooked
  5. 4 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
  6. 4 Carrots, rough chopped
  7. 2 Parsnips, peeled and rough chopped
  8. 1 Large Rutabaga
  9. 4 C Water
  10. 64 oz Chicken Stock
  11. 2 tbsp Sea Salt
  12. 3 tsp Pepper
  13. 1 tbsp Oregano
  14. 2 tsp Turmeric
  15. 1 tbsp Garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place chicken breasts on top of a broiling pan with an inch of water in the pan underneath. Drizzle the top with olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub in with your fingers. Turn over and repeat. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Chop into one inch pieces and set aside.
  3. Add vegetables, hominy, quinoa, spices/herbs, chicken stock and water to large soup kettle. Cook over medium high heat until the liquid comes to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for one hour or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add in cooked chicken and simmer for another 20-30 minutes over low heat.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Quinoa Sandwich Bread

I am starting to experiment with making a quinoa sandwich bread. Why quinoa? Well, technically it is a seed and not a grain. So, if I can pull it off then I will have an allergy friendly and delicious homemade bread for sandwiches, french toast and stuffing for Thanksgiving.

The base recipe for this bread came from the website Cooking Quinoa. The original recipe called for two tablespoons of non-fat milk powder. Milk contains protein and protein is needed as binding agent for baking breads, so this was likely added to replace gluten. Instead of using milk powder I went with psyllium husk powder because these seeds are rich in soluble fibers that absorb water and bind into soft gel. There is debate on whether this is grain, but technically it is not. Psyllium husk powder is derived from the seed of the herb, Plantago Ovato, Since the powder is using only the husk it is not considered a whole grain or a pseudo-grain.

If you are curious about the health benefits (I typically am), according to HealthyEating, “Psyllium husk’s soluble fiber slows the passage of sugars into the bloodstream, moderating the rise and fall of blood glucose after a meal. That’s especially useful to diabetics, making psyllium a valued tool in managing the condition. Additionally, soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health. It’s also thought to help with blood pressure, and the gel contributes to normal stool formation by firming loose stool but softening and moisturizing hard stools.” Many people consume psyllium husk to get things moving. Just remember to eat it in moderation and consume a lot of water or it can plug you up (the side effect of constipation is why this cool kid gets a bad rap)! Water, water, water people and you will be okay. 

Another modification I made was incorporating a leavening agent in combination with an acidic liquid. Again because we are losing gluten, the ability for breads to rise is compromised. However, the chemical combination of baking soda with apple cider vinegar causes CO2 to be created, which helps provides more air into the bread for rising purposes. This is also why you should beat the dough with your hand mixer for 3 minutes before setting aside to rise. The more air in the dough the better result you will get. My bread still came out a little flatter than I wanted because I had to stick it in the oven before allowing it to rise completely (time crunch, story of my life). Despite user error and not following my own directions completely, I have to say this bread is one of the best gluten free breads I have had!

Also, I want to say thank you to Cooking Quinoa for the inspiration! Oh and I should also mention that I only had red Quinoa flour on hand, which is why my bread came out a darker shade. Using traditional quinoa flour will result in bread that is whiter :)  

Quinoa Sandwich Bread
Serves 12
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C Warm Water, 110 degrees
  2. 3 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
  3. 1 tbsp Dry Active Yeast
  4. 1 1/2 C Quinoa Flour, lightly toasted
  5. 3/4 C Tapioca Flour
  6. 1 C Arrowroot Starch
  7. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 2 tbsp Psyllium Husk Powder
  9. 2 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  10. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  11. 2 Eggs, lightly beaten and room temperature
  12. 2 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening, melted
  13. 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix together the agave nectar, yeast and warm water into a small glass bowl. Let sit for five minutes until the yeast starts to foam at the top.
  2. Lightly toast quinoa flour over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring to avoid burning the flour. This process will help remove the gritty taste of quinoa.
  3. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl.
  4. Beat together the eggs, shortening, and apple cider vinegar on medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Pour the egg mixture and yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed for another 3 minutes.
  6. Set aside bowl in a warm spot for 60-90 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 bread pan. Pour in dough, set pan in a water bath (cake pan with about an inch of water) and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let bread cool for 5-10 minutes and than transfer to a cooking rack.
Notes
  1. I haven't tried this recipe in a bread maker yet, but when some more I will test it out and let you know.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas

Kids are a hoot MOST OF THE TIME. I say most in screaming bold letters because Mason took a deuce (aka…dump, number 2, pinched a loaf, okay you get my point) in the tub last night! Of course Luke was at basketball, so he missed it all!

Yah, so I was looking at recipes on Pinterest when all of a sudden I looked over at Mason and he was literally dropping the kids of at the pool. I tried with all of my might to get him onto to his potty before he succeeded at his mission, but I failed miserably. Instead I found myself hosing down Mason, cleaning toys and bobbing for turds from the tub with a toy frying pan. The whole time I was fishing for turds, he kept saying, “Mommy, there is a poopie right there.” I just kept saying, “Thanks buddy.” YUCK, that was not fun! And just when I thought I had things under control we missed one, he stepped in it and the whole cleansing process started over again. Oh, the joys of parenthood. 

If you have experienced clean up on aisle 9 due to your toddler dumping a load off at Tubville, I would love to hear about it!

Okay, so doesn’t that just put you in the mood for some Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas….

Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas 

Probably not, but by the time you get the groceries, prep the meal, get it in the oven and watch the this yumminess bake away you will have forgotten about my gross story! At least I hope so! 

Anywho, my husband requested this dish. I have a similar one of my blog (Southwestern Lasagna) that is vegetarian. This version is quite a bit different from the other one because I used sweet red pepper hummus, quinoa, chicken and fresh tomatoes. They are both delish (just different) and are especially good topped with some plain Greek yogurt, avocado and a little hot sauce. YUM! In fact, I am going to go get a little bit more right now! 

Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Chicken Stock
  3. 2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  4. 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  5. 4 C Cheddar Cheese
  6. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  7. 2 C Corn
  8. 2 C Greek Yogurt
  9. 2 C Refried Beans
  10. 1 C Sweet Red Pepper Hummus
  11. 12 Corn Tortillas
  12. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  13. 1 tsp Pepper
  14. 1 tsp Cumin
  15. 1 tsp Onion Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add chicken stock and quinoa to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until quinoa is fully cooked. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the Greek Yogurt, refried beans, hummus and spices in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the hummus mixture onto the bottom of a 13x9 glass pan (this will help avoid the tortillas from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan).
  5. Place a layer of corn tortillas on top of the hummus mixture and spread half of the remaining hummus mixture with a spatula on top of the tortillas. Add half of the chicken, veggies, corn, cheese and quinoa on top of the hummus mixture.
  6. Repeat step five again.
  7. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove tinfoil and broil over high heat for another five minutes to brown up the cheese.
  8. Serve with hot sauce, salsa, guacamole and greek yogurt on top.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Peanut Coconut Bars

I just hired my first employee this week. Boy am I excited to get another research analyst on my team to work on the backlog that has been building up!

Aside from my new hire, I have been craving Reese’s because it is getting close to Halloween. After researching the harmful ingredients (see my coconut peanut butter cup recipe for more detail) in Reese’s I have been trying to make my own healthier alternatives.

My little guy loves breakfast bars with chocolate on them. In fact, this morning he woke up saying, “Mommy, I hungry. Beckfast baas peez.” Code for Mason lingo that means, “Can I have some breakfast bars please.” So, I whipped up these babies for him! Win, win because I totally wanted them too! 

Have to toot, toot my own horn, but Mason loved them and I thought they were pretty darn good too.   

I know chocolate bars are probably not the best way to start out little Mase-Man’s day, but I used dark chocolate and I think these bars are much better than giving him PopTarts, sugary cereals or donuts. So, no judging peeps :) 

Peanut Coconut Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
  2. 2 C 70% Cacao Chocolate Chips
  3. 1 C Unsweetened Coconut, shredded or flakes
  4. 3 tbsp Butter or Ghee, melted
  5. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  6. 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
  7. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
  9. 2 C Gluten Free Cereal Flakes
  10. 6 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  11. 2 tbsp Lucuma Powder
  12. 1/4 C Maple Syrup or Honey
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor except for the chocolate chips. Mix until all of the coconut, cereal flakes and dates have been broken down into tiny pieces. You may need to stop and stir the ingredients a few times during the process.
  2. Press down the peanut butter mixture evenly into a 8X8 cake pan.
  3. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt on high for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 second increment. Repeat this process up to three times or until chocolate is completely melted. Do not over do it or heat up the chocolate all at once or you will have a chunky mess. Trust me I know from experience.
  4. Spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and cool in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Quinoa Coconut Cookies

My dad came into town yesterday & he wanted some cookies. I know he loves both coconut & chocolate chips, so I wanted to see if I could pass a gluten free cookie on him. He tried one and said they were really good. I still haven’t told them they were a healthier gluten free cookie or that would spoil it for him. Guess it will just be my little secret until he sees this recipe! Which he will honestly never look at! 

These cookies are soft & chewy! I absolutely love them even for breakfast! Although, I like anything sweet for any meal of the day :)

Quinoa Coconut Cookies
Serves 24
These chewy coconut and chocolate chip cookies use quinoa flakes in place of oatmeal. They are delicious with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk!
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Prep Time
16 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
16 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Quinoa Flakes
  2. 2 1/2 C Brown Rice Flour (finely ground)
  3. 1 C Butter, room temperature
  4. 1 C Almond Butter
  5. 1 C Agave Nectar
  6. 1 tbsp Vanilla
  7. 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 2 tsp Baking Soda
  10. 1 C Coconut
  11. ​1 C Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix together butter, almond butter, and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Add in agave nectar & vanilla & mix until combined.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets & cook 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool a couple of minutes and transfer to parchment paper.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Quinoa Monster Cookies

One of my all time favorite cookies is Monster! I just love the combination of peanut butter, oats and chocolate all wrapped into yummy goodness. However, these cookies are loaded with sugar and lots of butter. Not to mention many of the recipes have wheat flour in them. My quest was to make them “healthier” version (well, at least I did my best to reduce some butter & sugar).

Most monster cookie recipes have M&Ms in them as well, but word of caution is that M&Ms have petroleum-based artificial food dyes in them (Check out this article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-f-jacobson/mms-artificial-dyes_b_4116130.html). To make a long story short:

Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that dyes can cause hyperactivity in sensitive children. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledges this, but the FDA has refused to ban dyes or even require a warning notice on labels. However, the European Union does for most dyes.

The FDA drives me crazy! Clearly, Europe is on to something! At any rate, if you can find some that are colored naturally I would recommend it. Even though I know the dangers, I lived a little here and used the M&Ms from the states this time. Mostly, because I had them leftover from Halloween :) However, in the future I will get them on Amazon because Europe bans artificial food coloring in M&Ms!

FYI, the final cookies were toddler approved….all I heard was “More Momma, more!”

Quinoa Monster Cookies
Serves 24
Gluten free, nut free & higher protein remake of monster cookies. These are so delicious that I dare you to eat just one!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Quinoa Flakes
  2. 3 C Oats (Certified Gluten Free)
  3. 2/3 C Butter, room temperature
  4. 1 C Sunbutter
  5. 1 Egg
  6. 3/4 C Honey
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1/2 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  9. 1 tsp Salt
  10. 2 tsp Baking Soda
  11. 1 C Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)
  12. 1 C M&Ms
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, sunbutter, sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add in salt, honey, egg, vanilla until combined.
  4. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl & then combine with wet ingredients until mixed.
  5. Hand stir in M&Ms and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets & cook 10-12 minutes. Cool a couple of minutes and transfer to cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Quinoa is my new favorite super food. The main reasons I love it are (source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html):

  1. Protein Rich – Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
  2. High Fiber Content – Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
  3. High in Iron – Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
  4. Contains Lysine – Essential for tissue growth and repair.
  5. Rich in Magnesium – Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  6. High in Riboflavin (B2) – Improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

Quinoa rocks it from a nutritional perspective, so I have been trying to put it into a lot of my recipes lately & even the ones where I am making desserts. In the next couple of days I will also be adding two cookie recipes I made from Quinoa! I am cookie freak & trust me when I say they rock too! Aside from cookies, here is a savory recipe of quinoa in a salad.

Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Serves 6
Light & refreshing salad made with quinoa, chickpeas, basil, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Red Quinoa, cooked
  2. 1 C Chicken Stock
  3. 1/2 C Water
  4. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/4 Rice Vinegar
  6. 1 Lime, juice
  7. 1 tbsp Mustard
  8. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  9. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  10. 1 C Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  11. 1/2 C Basil Leaves, fresh & chopped
  12. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  13. 1/2 C Feta Cheese, crumbled (optional)
  14. Salt
  15. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring chicken stock and water to boil.
  2. Add quinoa, turn down heat to low & simmer until fully cooked. Takes roughly 20 minutes or until liquid fully absorbed. Let quinoa cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  3. Mix together olive oil, mustard, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and basil.
  4. Mix dressing with cooked quinoa, vegetables, chick peas and feta cheese in a large large bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Omit feta for vegan version.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Quinoa Garlic Pizza Crust

My husband just recently converted to eating gluten free because of pre-term evidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Just a little tidbit on autoimmune diseases. There is a lot of evidence that gut irritant foods such as beans, grains and eggs/dairy can speed up the disease progression of autoimmune conditions because these foods inhibit vital nutrients from being absorbed in the intestinal tract. So, looking at this research my husband is trying to alleviate arthritis pain by eliminating these trigger foods.

Moving back to this pizza crust! My husband is a “Pizza Connoisseur” or what I call a “Pizza Snob.” Thus far (well until this recipe), he has not liked any gluten free pizza crusts I have ordered & believe me he has tried at least two dozen of them. Taking his criticism of gluten free pizzas into consideration (e.g. too doughy, grainy texture & flavorless), my latest quest was to make a gluten free pizza from scratch that even my husband would like.

Proud to say I nailed it. This crust was slightly crispy, not doughy, not grainy & full of flavor! The best part of all is my husband went for thirds and there were no leftovers. I consider this a big success. Not to mention this crust is hands down more nutritious & more protein rich than the standard wheat crust!

The downside is, this crust is yeast based, so it will involve a little more prep time than simply calling Dominos or buying a pre-made crust in the store. Also, the flours in the crust are expensive (especially xanthum gum, arrowroot powder & quinoa flour at over $10 per pound each), but to me it is totally worth it. Now that I am getting to know how gluten free flour interplay & react to each other I will try to make another version with no yeast preparation & with less expensive flours. Tried a couple thus far and they are just not cutting it! Until then this is well worth the time & money!

For the flours, I used Bob’s Red Mill for everything. I was able to get everything except for the arrowroot powder at the local grocery store, but a health food store should have everything.

Oh & this recipe will make 3 pizza crusts. You can freeze the rest of the dough for another occasion. Hope you pizza lovers enjoy!

Quinoa Garlic Pizza Crust
Serves 4
This gluten free flour crust is crispy, not doughy, not grainy & full of flavor! The crust is hands down more nutritious & more protein rich than the standard wheat crust!
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C Millet Flour
  2. 1 1/2 C Brown Rice Flour, fine grain
  3. 1 C Potato Starch (not potato flour that is different)
  4. 1/2 C Arrowroot Powder
  5. 1 1/2 Quinoa Flour
  6. 1 1/2 Sorghum Flour
  7. 1/2 C Olive Oil
  8. 2 tbsp Xanthum Gum
  9. 2 Eggs, (Can sub 2 tbsp flax and 6 tbsp of water if Vegan)
  10. 1 tbsp Rosemary, dried
  11. 1 tsp Salt
  12. 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  13. 3 (.75 oz) pkg. Yeast
  14. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  15. 3 1/2 C Warm Water (115 degrees)
  16. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  17. Olive Oil, for drizzling
  18. Italian Seasoning, for sprinkling on to crust
Instructions
  1. Put yeast & sugar into a small bowl. Add warm water & let it rise for five minutes.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl (not Italian seasoning, that is used to sprinkle onto crust after it is finished baking).
  3. Add eggs, olive oil, crushed garlic, yeast & dry ingredients. Mix together with hand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Cover bowl with cheese cloth & let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Roll out pizza crust onto parchment paper. Use some extra brown rice flour to avoid the crust from sticking to the roller. I rolled mine into a square to fit onto a flat cookie sheet, but feel free to use whatever shape you want. The height should be about 1/8 inch thick.
  6. Transfer crust onto thin baking sheet. I just flipped mine over & then peeled away the parchment paper from the top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush crust with olive oil & sprinkle lightly with Italian seasoning.
  8. Add whatever toppings you like. I used some leftover spaghetti sauce, cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, black olives, fresh tomatoes, spinach and fresh basil. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Quinoa Raisin Cookies

One of my favorite people in the world is my sister. Throughout the years we have experienced our ups and downs, but no matter what I love her with all of my heart. The fun part of our relationship is the difference in age. Since she is 18 years younger then me I have not only been a big sister, but also a motherly figure at times.

With that said, her favorite cookie is oatmeal raisin. Recently my sister’s doctor advised her to switch to a gluten free diet due to digestive issues. This news is not fun for anyone who loves bread, cookies, muffins, pizza, etc. So, I decided to make a cookie just for her! Cheers to my baby sister!

For this cookie, I substituted quinoa flakes for oatmeal because quinoa is technically a seed and does not upset the digestive system like oats. The other change was lowering the processed sugar content by replacing white sugar with honey. The final modification was replacing wheat flour with an easier digested brown rice flour. In all, I think this version tastes better than the original and is much healthier for you!

Quinoa Raisin Cookies
Yields 3
Missing oatmeal cookies, here is a delicious alternative for those who have troubles tolerating oats & wheat. These cookies are chewy & super moist! I challenge you to eat just one!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C Quinoa Flakes
  2. 2 C Brown Rice Flour (finely ground)
  3. 1 C Butter, room temperature
  4. 1 C Sunbutter
  5. 1 C Honey
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 2/3 C Brown Sugar
  8. 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp Salt
  10. 2 tsp Baking Soda
  11. 1 C Raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, sunbutter, brown sugar and honey together until smooth. Add in cinnamon, salt, vanilla, baking soda, flour, quinoa flakes and raisins.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets & cook 10-12 minutes.
  4. Cool a couple of minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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‘Oatmeal’ Chocolate Chip

Chocolate chip cookies are amazing! Love them! Well, I don’t love any of the pre-made Gluten Free mixes & especially the ones that use garbanzo bean flour as the base. They come out tasting terrible! So, I was on a mission to make a gluten free/Paleo version that did not taste like a bean burrito.

While in the process, I learned there is debate over whether or not Quinoa is Paleo friendly or not. I will leave that argument up to your discretion, but I have read that Quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain. On the Paleo diet you are allowed to eat seeds, so why not incorporate this high protein “seed” into cookies & other meals? I am going to start listing any of my recipes with Quinoa under Paleo recipes now.

​These cookies are chewier than a standard wheat flour cookie because of the almond flour & quinoa, but the flavor is spot on. Not to mention they are super duper moist, which is how I like to eat my cookies! Overall, they are fantastic!

I am going to experiment with substituting some of the butter for nut butter & will let you know the outcome :)

'Oatmeal' Chocolate Chip
Serves 12
Craving oatmeal cookies on the Paleo diet? Well, here is my rendition that uses the high protein seed of Quinoa in place of oats. Enjoy!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Grass Fed Butter, softened
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1 tbsp Vanilla
  4. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 1/2 C Agave Nectar
  7. 1/2 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 1 C Quinoa Flakes
  9. 3 C Almond Flour
  10. 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  11. 1/2 C Carob Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter & coconut palm sugar until smooth using a hand mixer. You can also use a stand mixer, but for cookies I prefer using a hand mixture because I have noticed my stand mixer misses the bottom of the dough.
  3. Add vanilla, agave nectar and eggs & mix until combined.
  4. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to wet mixture, & mix until combined.
  5. Hand stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  6. Dropping by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets. If you want to get the cookies uniform, an ice cream scoop works great.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes then transfer to parchment paper.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Black Bean Burgers

We just got back from a fantastic trip to San Diego. While there we visited the San Diego Zoo & my son loved every minute of it. Oddly enough, the Meerkats were his favorite!

His giggles & some much needed sunshine gave me some inspiration to come up with this healthy & light meal.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
Serves 6
These homemade veggie burgers use portabella mushrooms caps as a bun & are topped with apple guacamole for a fresh twist. Perfect spring time meal.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Quinoa, cooked
  2. 1 15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed & drained
  3. 1/2 C Corn Meal, fine grain
  4. 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  5. 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
  6. 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  7. 1 C Cilantro, finely chopped
  8. 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  9. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  10. 1 tsp Paprika
  11. 1 tsp Salt
  12. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  13. 1 tsp Crushed Garlic
  14. 6 slices of cheese (I used cheddar, but swiss or provolone would also work)
  15. 6 Portabella Mushrooms
  16. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  17. Toppings for burger (Apple Feta Guacamole, see recipe under appetizers)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Saute bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices, salt & pepper in one tablespoon of olive oil until onions are translucent.
  3. Pulse beans, quinoa, corn meal, remaining olive oil, cilantro and vegetables in a food processor until combined. Do not over process. Form into patties. If corn meal is not finely grained just add it to a coffee grinder & put on espresso setting.
  4. Add tablespoon of coconut oil into large shallow saucepan.
  5. Cook burgers 5-6 minutes on each side until browned.
  6. Transfer to baking dish, layer with cheese & bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  7. While burgers are in oven, heat remaining coconut oil.
  8. Saute portabella mushrooms 5-6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt & pepper on each side while cooking.
  9. When everything is done, place one portabella mushroom on the plate. Top with burger & guacamole.
Notes
  1. I also made a Greek Yogurt chipotle mayo by combining a cup of plain Greek Yogurt with tablespoon of fresh cilantro & tablespoon of chipotle seasoning. Free free to experiment!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Southwestern Lasagna

There was a triathlon in my neighborhood this morning and I am not sure how the participants had enough courage to jump in to the 50 degree water for the swim. Yikes! I sure hope they were wearing wet suits! At any rate, seeing people racing prompted me to kick out a faster run than usual! Boy, did it feel great. I can’t wait to participate in a race later on this summer myself :)

When I got back I was craving some lasagna, but not just any lasagna, I wanted it to be my southwestern version. Also, since this is one of my husband’s favorite meals, I wanted to treat him as well. To be a little different, I made it vegetarian by substituting quinoa for ground beef. Turned out great!

I topped this with fresh guacamole, plain greek yogurt and tomatillo salsa. Delish to the max folks! Hope you enjoy!

Southwestern Lasagna
Serves 10
A delicious southwestern remake of lasagna!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Quinoa
  2. 4 C Water
  3. 1 15 oz can Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  4. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  5. 8 Gluten Free Tortillas
  6. 1 C Salsa
  7. 1 C Corn, frozen
  8. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  9. 1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped
  10. 1/2 Onion, chopped
  11. 1 Lime, juice
  12. 1 tsp Cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  14. 1 tsp Salt
  15. 1 6 oz. bag Cheddar Cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring four cups of water to bowl over high heat. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until quinoa is tender & water is completely absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Mix together black beans, salsa, spices, corn, peppers, lime juice, onion and quinoa in a medium sized bowl bowl.
  4. Spread black bean mixture evenly into the bottom of a 13X9 cake pan.
  5. Tear four tortillas in half and place them on top of the black bean mixture.
  6. Top the tortillas with a thin layer of Greek Yogurt.
  7. Add another layer of black bean mixture on top of Greek Yogurt.
  8. Repeat by adding another layer of the tortillas, yogurt and blacks beans.
  9. Add shredded cheese to the last black bean layer.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil & slightly lift up the center as a tent to avoid cheese from sticking.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove tin foil.
  12. Turn oven on broil & bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  13. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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