Monday, August 22, 2011

Quinoa, Black Beans, Corn and Spice!

Tonight, I sauteed up some collard greens in olive oil, onions and garlic. It turned out yummy as always. This went really well with our main dish (all gluten-free). Here's how I made the Quinoa with black beans and corn:


1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can black beans
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne (or more or less to heighten or soften the flavor)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


In large sauce pan (or deep skillet) heat oil, then add chopped onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add Quinoa, brother, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add corn and mix/cook for a few minutes. Finally, add black beans and cilantro and mix through to heat.

Serve hot with the collard greens.

Grilled Polenta with Tomatoes and Curry Vegetables

I got this recipe from The Six O'Clock Scramble and decided to post it here because it's so darn yummy. Definitely make the vegetables with the polenta because they go so well together (and the veggies are super easy to make).

Grilled Polenta Ingredients:

24 oz of plain prepared polenta (sold in a tube) or garlic basil polenta, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
1/4 cup olive oil (I actually could have gotten away with 1/8 a cup for this)
1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 1-2 cloves)
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

This can be done on the grill or in the broiler. If doing the grill, preheat it, put the polenta on a vegetable tray and grill until it's lightly browned - about 3-4 minutes per side.

We did this perfectly in the oven on the broil setting (about 410 degrees for approx. 7 min per side - or just until lightly browned - be sure to flip). I put them about 4-5 inches from the top broiler.

It's a good time to get your sauce together and start cutting veggies and preparing the vegetable side.

For the polenta sauce, mix together the olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt. Once the polenta is done, drizzle the sauce over the slices, top with diced tomatoes and then sprinkle the cheese on top.

Curry Vegetables Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 diced onion (I always use a whole one)
1 diced zucchini (I always use two)
2 cups frozen corn kernels (or 4 ears of corn with kernels cut off)
salt and pepper
1 tsp curry powder

Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the corn to the skillet and cook for another 3-5 minutes (if it starts to brown, turn down the heat). Season with salt and pepper and 1 tsp of curry powder (optional but so good!).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brown Sugar Wafers

I think this was my Dutch grandmother's secret recipe, but I can't be for sure. I came across this recipe written by my mom and decided to make it with my boys last night. They had fun and have been gobbling these cookies down ever since. I think they'll make my dad proud too.


1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed organic dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup pure cane sugar (or granulated) for pressing


Beat the butter until it's creamy. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Add vanilla and yolk next. Add flour and salt. Mix well, shape into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Butter the flat bottom of a glass cup then dip in granulated sugar, press onto cookie balls until flat. Re-dip in the sugar between each pressing for less sticking.

Bake 340 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then carefully remove with a thin spatula onto a cooling rack.

These are great by themselves or with a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings (from a friend)

I keep meaning to try this (even though hubby won't eat chicken or now gluten, I still want to save this in case I get the chance to make it.) I love me some chicken and dumplings!! This is a friend's way of doing them:

"Boil chicken bouillon, drop little balls of biscuit dough into it,
cook for 10-20 min. Stir in chopped (already cooked) chicken a minute
or three before serving so it warms up. I like Mark Bittmans biscuit
recipe, and i put the whole batch in the bouillon (in balls). Makes
the liquid get thick and creamy."

Here is a Mark Bittman biscuit recipe:

Combine 3 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves. Use your fingers to rub in 1 1/2 sticks of butter until the mixture resembles small peas. Add 1 cup buttermilk and stir until just combined. Drop large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees until golden, about 15 minutes.

Last week of Summer Menu

This is the last week before the kids start school and needless to say, I'm home with them all week (no camp). Here are some ideas of what we'll be cooking this week. Oh yea, and hubby decided to go Gluten-Free a few weeks ago so it's going to be a challenge.

Curried Vegetables and Polenta

Grits and Greens (although I'll probably do Quinoa and Greens)

Rosemary Flank Steak (I'll have to remember this recipe since I didn't write it out)

Tostadas and/or Crispy Tacos