Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Quinoa Salad

You could nearly make the case that this is a quinoa blog and I would have to agree.  Here comes another amazing recipe, this one from my amazing mom, Jeanne.  For nearly 3 years now, she has been "Grandma Jeannie", until a month or so ago when Mia quite accidentally called her "Greenie", and of course that is now what she is known by, despite nearly 4 decades of my knowing her otherwise.

Anyway, as any good only child daughter would, I initially ignored this recipe when she sent it to me, slightly annoyed that she would take yet another of my recipes and clearly improve it.  No matter- and good for anyone reading this- because she made it for dinner the other night and it was amazing!  Absolutely delicious and good for many helpings.  I then muscled Mike out for the leftovers the next day for lunch and it was at least as good, if not better. 

And now I put it here, along with a small and well earned slice of humble pie for myself.  Enjoy!

Greenie's Summer Quinoa Salad:  serves 4
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (maybe a dash more?)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4  tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup kalama olives, quartered
  • 1/3 - 2/3 cup crumbled feta
  • (optional) add in 1/4-1/2 cup of fresh or sun-dried tomatoes!

1. Wash, rinse, and drain quinoa.  Place in a 2 quart pot, add water and salt, and bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer with lid on until all water is absorbed (15 - 20 min).  Don't stir the grain while it is cooking.  Test for doneness by tilting the pan to one side, making sure all of the water has been absorbed.  Remove lid and let rest 5 to 10 min. (I spread it out in a shallow dish and turn it occasionally to let all the steam escape.)

2.  Meanwhile, dry toast the pine nuts in low heated skillet or 300 F oven until they begin to change color and give off aroma.

3. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and basil in a large bowl.  Add chives and olives.  I let these ingredients marry for 30 min or more, then add toasted pine nuts and quinoa and toss.  Lastly I add the feta and fold it in.   Serve at room temp.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls (Gluten-free/Dairy-free)

These are tasty little numbers adapted from a recipe given to me by Mia's Naturopath, Dr. Molly Gray.  We love her and everyone else we have seen at their clinic.  Dr. Gray has been especially amazing in how she treats Mia like a full human and makes her visit there extremely positive and cooperative, vs. doing things to her whether Mia wants them or not.

So these were supposed to be a yummy treat that Mia would love to eat and just pack her with nutrients and such, but it turns out she wasn't into them.  Toddlers, right?  But me?  I absolutely loved them!  Being the food enthusiast/Physical Therapist that I am, I brought them to work and shared them with my colleague and about half of my patients and unanimously we all agreed that they were amazing!  To borrow from Cooks Magazine: "Tasters referred to them as 'delicious', 'abundently satisfying' and 'just right, such that you eat one and are completely sated'".  Really, try them for yourself if you have an extra 3 minutes to spare.  That is all it will take.  Bonus, these are the kind of thing that you could put just about anything into and in fact, I used the little bits of about 4 different types of nuts and trail mixes just to clean the cupboard. 

Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Balls
  • 1 cup whole oats (use certified gluten-free if needed)
  • 1c mixed nuts (I used salted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts)
  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 1/2-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbls pure maple syrup
1) in food processor or blender, blend up the oats and nuts until they are finely chopped; add dates and blend until they are also finely chopped.

2) add vanilla and 2T syrup and pulse a few times to combine.  This will still be very coarse in presentation (see photo below).  Add more syrup as you see fit.

3) scoop up small hand fulls and smash into balls.

Pulsed without vanilla or maple syrup

with the vanilla and maple
too beautiful not to add a picture of them!  Reminds me of working on a Kibbutz many moons ago....

scoop up a handful....
and smash it into a ball!