Tag Archives: food

My Nutritarian Diary: Quinoa and Green Bean Salad

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If you’re not sick of salads yet, this Quinoa and Green Bean Salad is for you. It can be eaten on its own as a meal, or it makes an excellent side.

The original recipe calls for a lot more olive oil than I’m comfortable using, so my recipe significantly reduces that ingredient. The original also called for a cup of flat leaf parsley leaves, and while I like parsley, I thought that flavor was too strong for this salad when I made this the first time. Instead, I used a half a cup of fresh, hand-torn basil leaves. (I don’t recommend cutting basil with a knife, as the leaves will turn brown too quickly!)

I love how quick this recipe is to make and how nutritious it is. Not only that, as the picture shows, it is beautiful! One of my nutritarian travelers mentioned that this salad would look holiday festive if diced red bell peppers were added. I thought that was a great suggestion, so I passed that along to you, too. You’re welcome.

Really skies the limit as to seasonings and options for this gem of a salad. If you discover a particular combo that really tickles your palate, please share!

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Quinoa and Green Bean Salad
(Slightly adapted from Meatless, a Martha Stewart Living cookbook)

INGREDIENTS:

  • low sodium vegetable broth for sautéing
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup fresh basil, hand torn in small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (red-wine, white-wine, brown rice, apple cider, or a combination)
  • ⅓ cup almond slivers
  • DIRECTIONS:
    Place onions and garlic 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable broth in a saucepan. Lightly salt and pepper onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in quinoa and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. According to the original recipe directions, “Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Let cool completely.”

    While the quinoa mixture is cooling or as you cook the quinoa, blanch green beans in a pot of boiling salted water for about four minutes. You don’t want to cook the beans much longer than that, as they lose their crispness quickly. Drain and rinse the beans in cold water to stop the cooking.

    In a large bowl, combine the quinoa mixture, green beans, olive oil, if using, vinegar and almond slivers. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Cool salad completely in refrigerator. Then, enjoy!

    Pinterest:Impossible – Gyoza and Teriyaki Chicken

    pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundThere’s just something about having family in town that makes me want to cook. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but feeding a large group (at least half a dozen adults and two kids going through a picky phase) of people whose opinions actually matter to me seems like an excellent challenge. AND an excellent opportunity to try out some more recipes from Pinterest!

    Last week for Family Dinner I made gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and chicken fried rice. I pulled gyoza (or potstickers if that name works better for you) and Teriyaki chicken recipes from Pinterest and used my own tried and true fried rice recipe. I’ve spent YEARS perfecting that one and am quite proud of it.

    And to be completely honest here, I’ve made gyoza before so they weren’t a huge challenge for me. The recipe I found was not exactly the same as the one I’ve used in the past, however, and two times out of every five that I make gyoza I burn them a bit, so there is still some work involved for me in making them.

    chinesefood

    Before you ask, yes, of course, I made substitutions and changes to the recipes. I can’t seem to help it. I like stuff the way I like it and that is that. The gyoza called for cabbage to be included in the filling along with the pork, but I’ve never thought it was necessary. The pork is so flavorful by itself (well with all the spices and seasonings mixed in) that cabbage seems superfluous to me. PLUS it always seems that if I buy cabbage I don’t use enough in the gyoza and there is tons left over and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m cool with cabbage but I don’t love it and I don’t want to be eating it for weeks just because it comes in giant quantities.

    I also took out the shiitake mushrooms and I’m not sorry. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t want them in my gyoza. So there.

    Gyoza are wonderful and delicious and addictive, but they also take awhile to make as you have to individually fill the little wrappers and then fold them properly so they don’t fall open while cooking. THEN you have to fry them a bit til the bottoms are a light brown and then steam them a bit so the sides are nice and chewy. It is an involved process that takes more than a few minutes and so I needed the dishes that I was making along with the gyoza to be a bit simpler. That’s why I was very happy to find a Teriyaki chicken recipe that was made in the slow cooker. I set up the chicken and sauce before I left for work and by the time I got home it smelled amazing and tasted even better. The only change I made to that recipe was cutting up the chicken before adding to the slow cooker. I thought it would be easier to deal with once it was cooked if it was cut into small chunks.

    The fried rice turned out to be the most complicated (and messy) dish I made, and that was mainly because I was making it in my dad’s kitchen without the use of my giant rice cooker and electric wok. Juggling different mix-ins between frying pans and big pots was not the easiest thing to do but I managed as well as I could. And the rice turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

    Between the gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and fried rice, I’d have to say everything turned out well. My family ate lots of food and my picky five-year-old nephew even ate two gyoza, so I’m counting this Pinterest:Impossible a success!

    – Mia V.

     

    *Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

    **Interested in my fried rice recipe? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to share!

    SOURCE – gyoza
    SOURCE – crock pot teriyaki chicken

     

     

    Pinterest:Impossible – Chicken Gyros and Thai Chicken Soup

    pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundI went a little crazy with the chicken last weekend. I can see that now. But it all turned out so good, you won’t see me complaining.

    I picked two slow cooker recipes to try off Pinterest this time aroundChicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Thai Chicken Soup. I love gyros and I love Thai food so they seemed like no brainers. PLUS they were slightly more complicated than most slow cooker recipes I make. It seemed like it might be time to push myself a bit

    chickengyros

    First up were the Chicken Gyros. The chicken part was actually pretty simple. I just mixed the meat with onions and herbs (dill and oregano) and a bunch of lemon juice. The recipe called for “the juice of two large lemons” but I had the little lemon-shaped squeeze bottle of juice so I had to guess on how much was equal to “two large lemons.” The chicken was edible so I must have guessed right.

    There were very few alterations I made to the recipe this time around. I skipped lemon wedges, lettuce, and tomatoes ‘for serving,’ and I used regular salt instead of sea salt. But otherwise I followed the instructions exactly (well okay, there was that lemon juice thing, but whatever).

    About a half an hour before the chicken was done cooking (and boy did that smell good in the slow cooker for three hours) I made the Tzatziki, which is basically the yogurt sauce stuff that goes in the gyro with the meat. The recipe included Greek yogurt and sour cream so I had a feeling it would be amazing.

    The Tzatziki was the complicated bit of this recipe.  I combined yogurt and sour cream and garlic and olive oil and mixed them up. Then I had to include grated cucumber. I have never used grated cucumber before and actually watched a few YouTube videos to make sure I was doing it right. I’m glad they mentioned scooping out the seeds beforehand to keep the Tzatziki from being too runny.

    The gyros came out almost a total WIN. The chicken was a little dry and I’m not sure if that was because I cooked it too long or my slow cooker just cooks too hot. I’m still learning how to use it properly so it was probably user error in this case. The next time I try this recipe I’ll do it on Low and check more often to catch it at the perfect stage of done-ness.

    thaichickensoup

    My second recipe was Thai Chicken Soup. It included red curry, peanut butter, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Basically a bit of every good Thai recipe EVER. I was also very particular about following the instructions on this one. I included everything in the ingredient list except cilantro (because I don’t need to garnish my soup) and cooked brown rice, because later it says to serve with white rice instead and I found that all kind of confusing. Also, I love long grain white rice so I went with it instead.

    Getting everything into the pot for the soup was pretty easy. About halfway through cooking, however, I noticed that it looked like the coconut milk was separating from the rest of the broth and clumping up. In fact it looked a bit like I had dumped cottage cheese in the soup. I mixed it up thoroughly but it never completely smoothed out. I went online to see if broth separation was common with this kind of soup but wasn’t able to find anything explaining it.

    Obviously I was a bit concerned with how the soup would turn out. But luckily, though it looked kind of strange, it tasted wonderful. The peanut butter was obvious in the aroma wafting off the slow cooker, but the taste in the soup itself was quite light. Overall it was a little bit sweet, a tiny bit spicy, and a tad nutty. I thoroughly enjoyed it (especially with rice), which is a good thing as the recipe made about enough for at least six people.

    – Mia V.

    *Be sure to check out all of the great recipes we’ve got on our Fox28 Foodies Unite and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

    SOURCE – chicken gyros
    SOURCE – thai chicken soup

    Adventures in Spokane – Party TwentySix: Where I Watch Movies, Eat Sushi, and Play with Science

    It’s pretty outside today. I want to be out there playing in the sunshine instead of inside all day here at the station. My family in Texas is at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today, playing in the sunlight and having a great time. I wish I was there. Spring Fever will probably be setting in pretty soon around here. I wonder if they’d let me move my desk outside for a few months to enjoy the nice weather. I’ll let you know how the campaign for that goes.

    Last week was relatively quiet for me. I hung out at home quite a bit, watching bad movies (turns out Showgirls is just as terrible now as it was when I first saw it 18 years ago) and reading books (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s autobiography is pretty fascinating folks) and Skyping with family. I did make it down to Borracho once but as I was getting over a chest cold I only partook of one tequila shot. I’m still inching ever closer to completing the Tequila Challenge, though I was a little disheartened to learn that the original winner of the challenge managed to complete it AGAIN before I even got halfway through it. What, does that guy just live there or something? Sheesh.

    I made it up to The Garland Theater for a showing of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug on Tuesday evening. Definitely enjoyed the second movie in the trilogy way more than the first. A big part of that was due to the dragon, of course. They did an amazing job with that dragon. I was concerned at first because I have found the CG on the main orc characters to be less than stellar. I didn’t want to see a crappy CG dragon. Luckily Smaug was far from crappy. I could probably wax on poetically (or just screech with fan-girl zeal) for hours about that dragon, but I won’t. Just imagine if I went on at length extolling the many amazing things about that dragon and we’ll call it good, okay?

    St. Patrick’s Saturday happened at some point last week (probably around Saturday I’m thinking). I’m sure it was lots of fun for many people who wandered downtown to partake of the drinking and merrymaking. I was not one of those people. I love to have fun as much as the next person, but I find St. Patrick’s Saturday to border a bit too much on the chaotic and so leave it up to others to enjoy instead. I was downtown very early on Sunday morning (like 6:45am), however, and saw three random shoes, one abandoned pair of pants, two puddles of someone’s regurgitated lunch (ick), and a lot of green glitter. Go St. Patrick’s Saturday!

    Why was I downtown at such a ridiculously early time on a Sunday, you’re probably (hopefully) asking? Well I was joining with some of my fellow local Modified Dolls to answer phones at KYRS Community Radio for their Spring fund drive! For three hours we were there to take listener pledges and chat on the air with Sam of NonProfit Spokane. While it wasn’t their most lucrative fundraising slot, we had a good time participating in the drive and hanging out with each other and being on the radio, so it was worth getting up early for.

    After a long and lovely nap Sunday afternoon it was time for my new favorite event of the week: the Cosmos viewing party at Mobius Science Center! First I had a quick bite to eat at Sushi Maru as it was right across the street. Then I headed to the Science Center to check out their planetarium show at 7pm. Unfortunately right after I arrived something came up that kept me from seeing the show, but I didn’t mind so much as I still got to hang out at Mobius. That was one of the best parts of the event this week, in my opinion. After the first planetarium show and before the guest speaker began, attendees were running around the Science Center, playing with exhibits and learning about science and having a great time.

    The speaker this time was Dr. Kamesh Sankaran. He talked about asteroids and comets and the end of the world (well not exactly) and was really pretty fascinating. Some of the science went over my head (I’m more of an English/creative writing/liberal arts kind of girl) but what I basically took from the whole thing was that relying on Bruce Willis to save us if a giant asteroid heads our way is probably not the best plan of action. After all the asteroid talk it was time to watch the new episode of Cosmos, which was beautiful and lovely and all about evolution and how everything on our world is connected. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    If you are in the area and into science and space and fun and awesome, you REALLY need to come out on Sunday and watch Cosmos with us. The viewing parties are getting bigger and better each week and you’re missing out by not attending. Just saying.

    That wraps it up for me this time around. I’ll be back next week to talk about geek girls, outdoor adventure shows, tequila (of course), and even more Cosmos! To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out and have some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

    – Mia V.

     

    This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
    Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
    The Garland Theater
    The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
    KYRS Community Thin-air Radio
    The WA Modified Dolls
    Sushi Maru
    Mobius Science Center
    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey