Monday, April 16, 2012


I thought this week it would be fun to have a topic that could encompass many different areas. So ta-da Oils....just think of the possibilities: oil paints, essential oils, massage oils, cooking oils what the heck even motor oils, the list could go on forever!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amaranth Stuffing

Well, as I was getting ready to make some awesome quinoa I realized I was out of it!!!!! Ahhhhhhh! But, I did have a heaping cup full of amaranth. So, this is a twist on the recipe I had. Amaranth is smaller than quinoa and  a little firmer crunch to it. It's texture makes me think of creamy wheat when it is prepared with more liquid. When not, it is light and fluffy. Amaranth is highly nutritious. It is actually a seed from a flower, but is fit in with the grains for its appearance. In an article I read it listed some of the nutritional qualities of 1 cup of amaranth uncooked.
26g of protein
13 g of fiber
31% Daily values of Calcium
82% Daily values of Iron
14% Daily values of Vitamin 

Here are  listed some of quinoa's nutritional qualities:
It is an excellent source of magnesium. 1 serving of quinoa can meet 48% of the daily value that we need.
It is rich in magnesium, iron, tryptophan, copper and phosphorous.
It is rich in protein, calcium and iron, which makes it a meat substitute for vegans.
It contains all nine essential amino acids including lysine, which is necessary for cellular renewal.
It is an excellent source of fiber and starch.
It is low in calories despite being packed with so much minerals and nutrients, which makes it ideal for dieters
It is gluten free, which makes it a great alternative to grains for people with gluten sensitivity.
You can swap out the amaranth for quinoa in this recipe. Hope you enjoy it! I loved it! 

Amaranth (or quinoa) Stuffing
2 T. olive oil
1 onion minced
2 large garlic minced
2 stalks celery minced
1 heaping cup of chopped portabello mushrooms
1/2 c. chopped dates
1 3/4 c. vegetable or chicken broth
1 c. amaranth
3/4 t. sage
salt to taste
Sautee your onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil until it begins to brown. Add your mushrooms and dates and continue to saute. Then, add your amaranth and broth. Bring to a boil and then turn town heat and cover with a lid. Let it cook on simmer for 20 min. If you take the lid off and there is still too much water in the mix, turn the heat to medium and cook without the lid until enough has vaporized. Add your sage and salt to taste and Enjoy!

Kale and Quinoa Cakes

I told my girls that I was going to make Quinoa Cakes and they said, "Yay!  Mom's going to make cake!"  I said that it's not really cake, but more like biscuits.  This was followed by another, "Yay!  We like biscuits!"  I didn't want to mislead them entirely, but I also didn't want to tell them up front that they would be chock full of kale and sun dried tomatoes and onions in addition to the little seedy bits of quinoa.  I figured they would reject them immediately without a second glance if I did that.  So I let them use their imaginations to decide what they thought quinoa cakes would be like.

Quinoa cakes were nothing like they imagined they would be, but were good enough to eat about half of one before they decided they didn't like the way the "green things" were looking at them.

I bought black quinoa.  I thought it looked prettier than the white.  That was good right up until I let my mind wander and think about ants.

I hear ants are tasty.

Sauteed onions and garlic with the chopped kale added until it just wilts.

They smell delicious as they sizzle on the pan.

Brown them nicely and serve hot.  I ate all five in a flash, they were so good.

Kale and Quinoa Cakes
adapted from Joy the Baker

makes about 2 dozen small cakes

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bunch (about 3 cups) chopped kale
splash of apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup grated romano cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon olive oil for frying, add a bit more as necessary

Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Wash under cool water for a few minutes.  Quinoa needs to be rinsed or it tastes dirty.
In a medium saucepan place rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add kale and toss until just slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add a splash of vinegar.  Place kale mixture in a large bowl with prepared quinoa.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  You can speed up this process in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Add cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Add beaten eggs and stir until all of the quinoa mixture is moistened.  Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture.  Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
Scoop out mixture by the 2 tablespoonful.  (I used an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture right into the hot pan.)  Use the back of the scoop to pat the mixture into a patty.  
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  If your pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan.  Cook on each side until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Low heat helps the quinoa cakes cook slowly. Brown on each side then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Any extra mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.