Archive | June 2012

Quinoa Pasta Salad

I absolutely love pasta salad! You know what else is great about finding quinoa pasta? Finding multi-colored quinoa pagoda pasta! Now I can have some pasta salad that looks very similar to traditional pasta salad!

In fact, I found out that someone at the party didn’t even know it was quinoa! I tried to make sure and tell everyone but I must have missed some people.

Well, this salad turned out very well. It probably could have used a little more dressing as I’ve found that quinoa pasta requires more flavoring than rice or traditional pasta. The texture is also a little firmer than traditional pasta.

All in all, this was an enjoyable treat for me to have and quite a bit had gotten eaten. I’ve actually been having a little bit of the leftovers all week and have been really enjoying it. I just wish I could freeze some. I like to make food ahead and freeze it for laziness convenience…actually, both. 😉

I didn’t really measure anything out. I like lots of veggies so I use a lot. The key is to use whatever veggies you enjoy and how much you like in your pasta. I will list what I used.

Quinoa Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
Quinoa pasta pagodas
Green bell peppers, chopped
Red bell peppers, chopped
Baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Green onions, sliced
Italian Salad Dressing

Instructions:
Toss veggies and pasta together and add Italian dressing to taste. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to blend flavors well.
Enjoy 🙂

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Italian Beef

I’m BAAAAaaaaack! 🙂

Ok, my daughter’s graduation party is over, house is put back together, I am rested, and I’m back into my routine.

While planning for the party, I left it up to my daughter to choose the foods. I knew I wanted to make as much of the food as I could myself so that it was healthy and I would be able to eat it. Selfish, I know…but alot of other people coming have begun to eat healthy too. Plus….that means plenty of taste testers for my recipes! 😉

Well I knew I could make some awesome Italian Beef…but that was “before”. What about now? I couldn’t use my regular main ingredients for this dish as they are totally unhealthy. I came up with some ideas for ingredients and gave it a try. Low and behold! The first batch came out perfect! I was soooo happy! This went over very well and I didn’t have much left over 😦

The best part? Not very many ingredient! Very easy!

Italian Beef Recipe:

Ingredients:

2.4-3 lbs Beef Roast (I used whatever was cheaper. I think round and rump)

1 c low sodium beef broth

1 tbsp Italian Salad Dressing Mix

4 tbsp Braggs

1 tbsp vinegar

Green Pepper, sliced into strips

Onion, sliced then cut slices in half

Instructions:

Add roast, broth, seasoning, braggs, and vinegar to crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until it shreds easily.

When beef first becomes tender enough to just start shredding, add peppers and onions. I like a lot so I use quite a bit.

Before shredding beef, remove layer of fat and discard.

Shred and serve!

I ate mine today on an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain hamburger bun (I only ate half! Saving the other half for tomorrow. MMMMM) You can also eat it wrapped it lettuce or just on a plate (that’s how I ate it for the party. I don’t eat bread often…but when I do it’s Ezekiel Sprouted)

Enjoy! 🙂

Italian Salad Dressing Mix

This Recipe is a part of the Italian Salad Dressing Recipe but I thought I would post it separate so it is easier to find when being included in other recipes.

Italian Dressing Seasoning Mix:

By Soraya Taheri McLaughlin

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp stevia (I use xylitol)

2 tbsp oregano

1 tsp white pepper (I use less)

1/4 tsp thyme

1 tsp basil

1 tbsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp celery seed

Mix together and store in a tupperware.

We go through this so fast that I times the recipe by 10. I’ll give you those measurements so you don’t have to figure it out yourself!

Italian Dressing Seasoning Mix x10:

3/4 c onion powder

3/4 c garlic powder

3/4 c xylitol

1 1/2 c oregano leaves

1/8 c white pepper

1/16 c thyme

1/4 c basil

3/4 c parsley flakes

1/16 c celery seed

Mix and Store

Enjoy! 🙂

Tzatziki Sauce/Veggie Dip

I know, I’ve been away too long! I had a custom jewelry order to make so I had to apply my time to that…Sometimes I wish we didn’t need sleep because I have so many things planned and not enough time to get it all done! Speaking of which…I am planning my daughter’s graduation party so recipes may be coming to you a little on the slow side for the next week and a half. I’ve already gotten lots done but still more to go. Oh, I made a healthy test cake so that I can have some at the party too (I ordered a very delicious sounding and very unhealthy cake from a local bakery for everyone else) and it was AMAZING!!!! I will post that recipe after the party.

Ok, so about this recipe…I am working on a healthy home-made version of gyros and I almost have it perfect. Hubby says it’s perfect but I don’t think it’s quite on it yet. This sauce though…that’s right on it! It is so delicious and is very close to exact taste. The consistency is a little thinner though but that’s ok! This tzatziki sauce also tastes great as a veggie dip!

I searched the internet for a recipe for this sauce made healthy and found 2 recipes that sounded about right. I used some of the ingredients from each one and change the measurements to what seemed right to me so I guess It’s somewhat my own recipe. Hope you like it too!

oh…as soon as I get the gyros down right, I will post it but I figured in the mean time…since this will make a good veggie dip as well, I might as well post it. Plus, I have several other recipes in tweak mode so this was pretty much the only one ready to post 😉

Tzatziki Sauce/Veggie Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

1 16 oz container of Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2% …nothing but yogurt making stuff in it. If you use 0% it will be really watery)

1 cucumber

1 tsp dill weed

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp coconut aminos

Instructions:

Peel and slice cucumber in half long ways. Remove seeds.

Put in blender and pulse until chopped small not pureed.

Put chopped cucumber in lint free towel and press out as much water as you can from cucumber. I do this in a second towel as well. You want as little water as possible in your cucumber so that your sauce isn’t watery.

Add the other ingredients to blender and blend just until smooth

add cucumber and blend just until smooth.

Pour sauce into sealed container and let chill for a couple of hours so flavors blend

Spoon sauce onto gyro or use as a dip

Enjoy! 🙂

The Best Steak Fajitas With Fresh Salsa

Another beef recipe for you! Chicken has been working hard and needs a break!

These steak fajitas are absolutely delicious and the fresh salsa really adds to it. This is not my original recipe but I did add to it! This recipe was posted in my group by Soraya Taheri McLaughlin who comes up with some delicious recipes!

This recipe does require that you marinate the meat for 12-24 hours so don’t think you’ll have it today. 😦 It’s worth the wait though!

The Best Steak Fajitas With Fresh Salsa Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Flank or skirt steak (1 1/2-2 lbs) cut into strips

4 roma tomatoes, scoop out insides then chop

4-5 mini sweet peppers, chopped

1/2 green pepper cut into strips (my addition)

1/2 medium to large onion, sliced then cut slices in half (my addition)

1/4 c + 2 tbsp lime juice

10 green onions, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp cilantro, minced

1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp coriander

3/4 tsp braggs

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (my addition)

Instructions:

For the Fajitas:

In large baggie, add: 1/4 c lime juice, 2 sliced green onions, 3 cloves minced garlic,cilantro,red pepper flakes, coriander, and 1/2 tsp braggs.

mush baggie to mix

Add sliced steak to baggie

mush to mix

Seal baggie and refrigerate and marinate (I love when I accidentally rhyme!) for 12-24 hours

For the Salsa:

in a medium bowl, add 8 sliced green onions, 2 tbsp lime juice, chopped tomatoes, chopped mini sweet peppers, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/4 tsp braggs

stir to combine

cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Putting it all together:

After 12-24 hours, heat olive oil in medium skillet.

Add green pepper strips and onion slivers and saute for about 5 minutes

Add the meat mixture and saute until meat is fully cooked and liquid is reduced.

Serve wrapped in a lettuce leaf or clean corn tortillas like El Milagros brand (all they have in them are corn, water, and lime) topped with the fresh salsa

Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This is the recipe I told you about in the Sweet Sesame Chicken post that was inspired by that recipe. I hope that made sense. I think I am getting better at combining flavors on my own. It always feels great when a recipe I made up myself turns out delicious. Maybe one day, I will have it mastered and can make complicated dishes completely from my own imagination. Anyway, I have been posting quite a bit of chicken recipes so I thought I would take a moment and give beef a chance to shine. It was becoming jealous and feeling left out. I am sure though that if you prefer poultry, that this recipe could be used for that instead…just don’t tell the beef.

The noodles I used to serve the meatballs over were those curly ones (rotelle). I think more like a fettuccine noodle or farfalle noodle would have been better though. A flatter noodle of any name, really. The only ones I had on hand were those curly ones (rotelle), elbows, and spaghetti. But, whichever you prefer is all that matters!

This recipe was simmered in the crockpot but could easily be done on the stove. You choose! I love using the crockpot on the warmer days because then I don’t heat up the house but I still get a delicious, healthy meal. Plus, you don’t have to pay as close attention to it as you would a stove.

This looks like a lot of ingredients and looks like it will take a long time but it’s pretty quick to prepare. I just try to break every step down so the recipe is easily followed and hopefully to have no doubts about what to do!

I am always open to comments! (Nice ones 😉 )

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb ground round

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 + 1/2 tbsp braggs

1 egg

1/8 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp parsley flakes

1/4 c honey

1/8 c + 1 tbsp low sodium beef broth

1 c frozen pineapple chunks

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 slices of onion, quartered

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

Cooked gluten-free pasta (I used American Harvest Quinoa Rotelle)

Instructions:

In medium bowl, mix together well with your hands the beef, garlic & onion powders, 1/2 tbsp braggs, egg, mustard, and parsley.

Form into balls (I used my cookie scoop) and place on baking sheet

Broil on high on middle rack for 10 minutes, turning them after 5 minutes

Meanwhile, turn the crockpot on low and add the honey and 1/8 c broth then chop veggies while that is heating.

Add pineapple, green peppers, onions, pepper flakes,  and 1 tbsp braggs to crockpot. Stir to combine

After meatballs have had their 10 minutes in the oven, add them to the crockpot along with a little grease and sludge (that’s what I call that meat stuff on the pan that came off the meatballs. Doing this adds more flavor…you don’t want a lot, just a little will do) Stir

Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours to combine flavors, stirring occasionally

Remove meatballs and set aside.

Pour sauce into a small saucepan

in small bowl, combine 1 tbsp cold, low sodium beef broth and 1 tbsp arrowroot powder. Mix until smooth

Bring sauce to a boil and whisk in arrowroot mixture.

whisk sauce until thickened

Remove from heat and return meatballs to sauce

Stir to mix in the meatballs

Serve over your favorite gluten-free pasta

Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Sesame Chicken

You are going to absolutely love this one! It is sooooo good AND I came up with it myself! (Yes, that was a pat on the back 😉 ) This recipe also inspired another one that will be posted later this week. Make sure you look forward to that one!

Not too sweet, this yummilicious chicken is sure to make your taste buds shout with joy! It’s truly a dinner treat!

I made this recipe in the crockpot because hey, who doesn’t like simple? But then again, I’m sure it would be just as simple baking it in the oven. At least with the crockpot, you don’t heat up the house on hot days. So, choice is yours…crock or bake.

Sweet Sesame Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 c raw honey

1/4 c + 1 tbsp low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp braggs

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

sesame seeds

Instructions:

Turn on crockpot and add 1/4 c broth and honey. Let heat up while chopping veggies.

Stir honey and broth mix to combine before adding veggies. Should be warm enough that the honey melted some.

Add peppers, onions, garlic, braggs, mustard, and pepper flakes.

Stir to mix

Add chicken, cover and cook on low for about 4 hours or until chicken is very tender. Be careful not to burn the honey mix.

Remove chicken and set aside

Transfer honey sauce to a small sauce pan

Mix 1 tbsp cold broth with 1 tbsp arrowroot powder

Bring sauce to a boil and whisk in arrowroot mix. Keep whisking until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and drizzle spoon over chicken breasts

Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of chicken and serve

Enjoy! 🙂