Monday, March 28, 2011

Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Salad- It's What's for Lunch

We have been having some fun meals for lunches the last couple weeks Lentil Stew, Lentil Salad and now this one!  We are starting to move out of winter vegetables and moving toward spring veggies. Bring on the beets, spinach, onions, radishes and so on. I can't wait to get these vegetables going in my garden, I bought the seeds today!

-Spinach, Beet and Quinoa Salad-

2 c. fresh baby spinach
1/4 c. cooked quinoa
2/3 c. beets, roasted and diced
1/4 c. goat feta cheese
1/4 avocado, diced
1 T. walnuts, chopped coarsely
1 wedge of lemon
fresh ground pepper
*Tomato Vinaigrette (this is also on the blog, posted 2-19-11)

1. All of this in a bowl or travel container with a lid for easy lunch travel.
2. Top with Tomato Vinagrette, or put into a container with lid for easy lunch travel.
3. Enjoy!
P.S. I also packed carrots and hummus on the side for an afternoon snack. Yum! (hummus recipe is on the blog)

Coconut Granola- DIY

This is the third attempt to get this recipe on my blog, not sure what the problem is so I'll just get to the point. The blueprint for this recipe came from a blog I follow called 'Kath Eats Real Food', with a few favorite ingredients of my own and another that I love about a friends granola- VIOLA, homemade granola! Enjoy.

-Coconut Granola-
2 c. raw thick rolled oats (there are gluten free ones available)
3/4 c. raw buckwheat groats (these are gluten free, and they are what we use for our raw cereal)
1/4 c. raw macadamia nuts, chopped (these remind us of Hawaii and for some reason I have a surplus of them in the fridge)
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

1/4 c. coconut oil (if its solid, melt gently so it becomes liquid)
1/4 c. brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp. Celtic salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. cayenne (our friend Gwen puts this in hers and we loved it)

3/4 c. raw unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. chopped dried fruit (I used papaya, this also reminds us of Hawaii)

1. Preheat the oven to 300, mix the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss together.
2. Mix the next six ingredients in a separate bowl, you may want to whisk to ensure that all the ingredients are well mixed.
3. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and toss all together making sure to coat everything well.
4. Pour mixture into a baking dish (I used my Le Creuset casserole dish because the first batch I used a cookie sheet and the granola got a little toasty) and place on the middle rack in the oven.
5. Bake for 1 hour tossing every 20 minutes.
6. When done baking, take granola out of the oven and toss in the last two remaining ingredients. Toss well and let cool completely, store in jars or containers with a tight fitting lid.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quinoa- For Breakfast (Cosmo Hippie Chef Alert!)

For the last two weeks I have been doing a spring cleaning menu for Billy and I. Since we are trying to transition seasons I wanted to switch up our eating to get us out with the old and in with the new. We usually start our day with a pretty rich antioxidant protein shake and raw cereal, but the new menu has been raw juice (green apples, lemon, ginger, celery) and Quinoa Cereal. It always takes Billy just a few days to get used to something new, but now he loves this recipe. I think it will be our weekly morning cereal for spring and summer, and the cool thing is I will just switch the fruit for whatever is in season. Enjoy!

-Quinoa Cereal- I make a big batch of Quinoa (1c. soaked overnight in water and then cooked) and portion it out for the week, this is a individual serving.

1/2 cooked quinoa (I soak mine overnight, drain and cook. The ratio is 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, but I go just a little less on the water since it has been soaking overnight.)
1/4 c. fresh organic blueberries
1/4 c. fresh pineapple, chopped
1 tsp. raw pumpkin seeds
1 T. walnuts, chopped
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg (freshly grated)
drizzle of agave or honey
*optional: 1/2 c. organic goat or Greek yogurt (this is how Billy likes it)

1. Scoop the quinoa into a bowl or container and put all the other ingredients on the top, it's ready to eat.
2. I mentioned that I portion this all out for the week, when I do this it's just the cooked quinoa and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Then every morning I take two containers out of the fridge and top it with the other ingredients.
Quinoa- Is highly appreciated for it nutritional value, and it's protein content is very high. Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a great source of dietary fiber, phosphorous and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long duration manned spaceflights! (How cool is that?!)
*I obtained this info form Wikipedia

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tofu Sour Cream- DIY

I used to buy Tofutti sour cream but just like some of the other DIY recipes I make (Almond Milk, Kale Chips), I can make this for less money AND with better ingredients. So I was lucky to find this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks 'Clean Food' by Terri Walters. Enjoy!

-Tofu Sour Cream- Makes 1 Cup (I doubled the recipe)

8 oz firm or extra firm silken tofu (I have found this sprouted tofu that I like, so I used that)
2 T. lemon juice
3 T. canola oil
2 t. brown rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, and I used just a little more to give it that sour flavor)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, chopped

1. In a food processor, whip tofu until smooth.
2. Add remaining ingredients and process until pepper is mixed in and all the ingredients are well combined.
3. Chill before serving.

Cosmo Hippie Chef Burrito

So I made a fresh batch of refried beans (posted Nov. 8 2010) for burritos tonight for dinner and maybe one during the week. We are still experiencing cold weather but transitioning into spring. What's a Cosmo hippie chef to do? On the cold nights we'll eat the burritos, and on the warmer nights I'll make something lighter. This is just a blue print of the burrito we made but feel free to use the beans you make any way you like. Enjoy!

-Cosmo Hippie Chef Burrito-

Refried Pinto Beans with Green Chilies (posted Nov. 8 2010)
Cooked forbidden rice (this rice is black but turns purple when cooked! High in nutrients!)
Chopped fresh baby spinach, chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh avocado
Grated local Beehive cheese
Sprouted tortillas
Tofu sour cream (I'll post this recipe)
*optional- enchilada sauce (homemade, from the store or your favorite Mexican restaurant)

Parmesan, Arugula Cottage Cheese Dip

This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Sunset Magazine during the holidays. I thought it would still appeal to having a rich dairy dip but be a little more balanced, due to the fact that it is made from cottage cheese and not sour cream and cream cheese. It's great for a dip or a great topping for a baked organic russet potato (this is how Billy and I enjoyed it yesterday for lunch). Try it out for your next get together. Enjoy!

-Parmesan, Arugula Cottage Cheese Dip-

16 oz organic cultured cottage cheese (I use low fat)
5 oz baby arugula or baby spinach (I use a combo of both)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
salt and pepper

1. Place the contents of the cottage cheese tub in the food processor, season with a little salt and pepper. (If you like pepper, use a little extra) Pulse a few times to smooth out just a bit.
2. Lightly saute the arugula or spinach in a little oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute just until the greens start to wilt, but are still green.
3. Add the greens and garlic to the food processor along with the lemon juice and zest. Pulse enough to mix well together.
4. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and pulse again to mix in. Taste to check salt and pepper, add more if needed.
5. Scoop into a bowl and refrigerator for a few hours, serve when ready.

Feeling Green Salad

We eat alot of dark greens at our house, kale, collards, spinach, and arugula. So yesterday with lunch I wanted something a little lighter in the green department, so I was glad to find some bright crisp greens (butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, sprouts, celery) in the fridge to whip up this salad for Billy and me. Light and bright and perfect for spring weather.

-Feeling Green Salad- Serves 2

4 c. butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 c. sprouts, micro greens, alfalfa, broccoli
1/2 avocado, sliced or diced
1/4 c. leafy celery, chopped


3 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. agave
salt and pepper
Bragg's seasoning (optional)

1. Divide the salad fixings between to bowls. Season with a little salt and pepper.
2. Whisk the apple cider vinegar and olive oil together in a bowl, then whisk the rest of the ingredients in with the olive oil/vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Dress the salad with the dressing and serve. Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Roundup

I think that the people around me are sometimes overwhelmed with how much I cook, and worry that for them in their lives it just seems unattainable. Not the case! It certainly goes in peaks and valley's for me, at times I have more time on the weekend and at times I have more time during the week. Whatever the case is I just dip into the reserves, whether that is leftover soup in the freezer or making something like Marinara Sauce for a meal during the week. This weekend I had Saturday to be in my kitchen, Billy was off helping Big Mike ALL DAY. In anticipation for their arrival, I just kept on playing in my favorite room in the house. Wait till you see what I was up to, Enjoy!

It all started Friday night-
Dinner: Roasted Spaghetti Squash w/ Vodka Sauce (Vodka Sauce is on my blog) to be honest I had some leftover Vodka Sauce but I just didn't think it was fresh enough to eat, so I made a quick version of the Vodka Sauce- minus the bacon and vodka and I added mushrooms.

Breakfast: Hot Cereal w/ 'Sausage' and Kale (both recipes are on the blog)
Lunch: The Soup (on the blog) just the broth and soba noodles
Dinner: Leftover Tortilla Soup, out of the freezer (on the blog) this was a last minute fix, I'll explain later!

Just because: Homemade Vegetable Stock, here's the deal I probably make this once a month. It's a great way to use whatever is leftover at the end of the week. Celery, carrots, onions, garlic, stalks of kale, stems of broccoli, greens, sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, peppercorns, always a piece of kombu. Throw all your leftover scraps and veggies into a huge pot, add a gallon of water, bring to a boil. Boil for about 2-3 hours, let cool, strain, divide into freezer bags and VIOLA! you have your own stock for the month to come.

Snacks: Vegan Chocolate Pudding (on the blog)
Herbed Vegan Crackers (on the blog)
Muesli Scones, find at Elana's (these are going in our lunch bag this week)

What I was going to take to a party Saturday night...we didn't make it. Family stuff! Thank goodness for frozen Tortilla soup-
Homemade Guacamole, fresh avocado's, lots of lime, salt, garlic salt, onion powder, DELISH!
Jar of my Homemade Canned Salsa, blended
Laurie's Buffalo Tortilla Chips, local company

For dinner during the week- Marinara Sauce, I'm going to use this for Lasagna Rolls for dinner Monday and Tuesday night.

Breakfast: Gingerbread Waffles (on the blog)
Lunch: out with family
Dinner: No dinner, to full from breakfast and lunch ;0)

For our protein shakes: Homemade Almond Milk (on th blog)

PHEW! I'm tired! Thank goodness I have some recipes to carry us for the week.