Tag Archives: quinoa

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo…

3 May

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Cinco de Mayo… Ahh, what a delicious holiday. Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a holiday that celebrates  Mexico’s victory over the French on May 5, 1862.  But, dang, celebrating  their victory with a delicious dinner is just fine by me. Our neighbors to the south know what their doing when it comes to their amazing cuisine and I’m not ashamed of how much I love it!

If your going to be staying in this Cinco de Mayo or if you are planning on having a blow out fiesta with friends, check out these recipes below. I took a look back at my recipe collection and my love is clearly evident… I can’t say that ANY of these recipes are even slightly  authentic but they are definitely inspired by south of the border flavors.

Grab yourself a basket of chips and a bowl of salsa, maybe a margarita or two, and celebrate!

Enchilada Pie 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian and vegan)

Steak Fajitas

Mexican Cornbread

Quinoa Salsa Side Dish

Gringa Tostada

Fiesta Fritata

Baja Shrimp Tacos with a Corn and Radish Salad


Quinoa and Salsa… Quick 1 Minute Side Dish Using Leftover Quinoa

9 Apr

This shouldn’t even be a post, it’s so easy! But it was so dang good that I figured I’d post it because that’s the reason I started this blog anyway. I always come up with random stuff to throw together that ends up being really good and then, poof!, I’ve forgotten what I did as soon as I’ve done it. So, here it is…

Quinoa and Salsa

Quinoa, cooked

Mix leftover quinoa with enough salsa to coat it completely. Heat in a small sauce pan on the stove until warmed throughout. Yum!

– I used a really good black bean and corn salsa.
– Try using mango salsa… I think that would work and be delicious!
– Add a few black beans and a handful of corn to bulk up this side dish.
– Add a few veggies, like beans, corn, bell peppers, onions, and avocado and throw the mix into a tortilla for a quick lunch or dinner.
– Serve as a side dish instead of rice.

Buttermilk Quinoa Pancakes and Quinoa Pancake Ham Sandwiches

7 Apr

Woah. I never thought I’d be this obsessed. Not just with dinner. Oh, no. With the LEFTOVERS!

These pancakes are so hearty and filling, you seriously won’t believe it. They also keep amazingly well in the fridge. I have eaten these bad boys for dinner (Quinoa Pancake Ham Sandwiches), breakfast, and as a snack. I can’t seem to get enough of their light and fluffy, yet dense and filling texture. The pancake batter mixed with the quinoa is such a dubious pair… Oh, you’re gonna love ’em!

These pancakes make the perfect pre/post workout snack. Just slather on a little all natural peanut butter, roll it up, and eat it on the road! For breakfast, add a sliced banana… the possibilities are endless and awesome.

This recipe came straight from penandfork.com.  Gwen Ashley Walters wrote it and said her first batch was just a fun experiment that turned out to be great. How very Pantry Chef of her… no wonder I love them!

Buttermilk Quinoa Pancakes

Time: 20 minutes
Servings: Makes 12 (4 in.) pancakes
Level: Medium

1 cup flour*
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups buttermilk (or sour milk**)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl until well blended. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the quinoa and then fold in 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Brush skillet with reserved melted butter. Ladle  1/4 cupfuls of batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges start to dry about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another couple of minutes, until pancakes are cooked through.

Keep warm in a low oven. Yum!

– *If you want to go all crazy-healthy, replace up to half the flour with a whole wheat flour.
– **To make sour milk, stir 1 tablespoon lemon juice into milk and let sit a few minutes until thickened.
– Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Typically, I make breakfast first and then incorporate the leftovers into another dish. I did it backwards this time. We ate these sandwiches first and then I reheated pancakes for breakfast the next day. Delish!

Quinoa Pancake Ham Sandwiches

Buttermilk Quinoa Pancakes, cooked and warmed
Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices
Thick slices of Ham

Pan sear the ham until warmed throughout. Top one pancake with  a slice of cheese and a few pieces of ham. Spread jam on another pancake and place on top of the other to make a sandwich. Yum!

– Try adding a fried egg to the top.

Quinoa Curry… In a Hurry!

5 Apr

My adventures with quinoa have only just begun and I already have a totally different view of the nutty goodness. Tonight’s dinner was legit, if I do say so myself.

I came up with tonight’s dinner idea out of a craving for Trader Joe’s red curry sauce that I so dearly miss… Come on Memphis! Get it together. I NEED a Trader Joe’s. For those of you reading in a sacred T.J. zone, grab a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, a piece of freshly baked naan, heat up the onion bhajis, and think of me. Poor little ‘ole me who thinks about the good old days and Trader Joe’s in my backyard with a pain in my heart at least once a week.

Tonight was one of those night. Ouch, the pain! What I wouldn’t do for a jar of their red curry sauce… Ah, heaven! Well, the next best thing I could think of to satisfy this craving was to come up with my own red curry sauce. I wasn’t expecting to mimic the sauce exactly… Just get as close as I could. Needless to say, I was so very happy with the outcome.

Normally, I would serve red curry over a bed of brown rice. Tonight… quinoa. And I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Quinoa Red Curry

Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy

1/4  c. onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced OR 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. green peas, frozen
1 1/2 tsp. ginger powder or 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 c. cooked quinoa
salt, to taste

Sauté onions and a sprinkle of salt in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat until onions become translucent. Add garlic, diced chicken or beans, peas, ginger, curry, and cayenne. Stir ingredients together and heat for about 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes and cooked quinoa.

Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes so liquid can absorb.


– Make it vegetarian by using garbanzo beans (chick peas) instead of chicken.
– Add roasted red peppers if you have them for a sweeter curry.
– Try using fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of regular.
– Serve with warmed Naan (a traditional Indian flat bread),  pita bread, or tortillas.

A Journey in Quinoa

4 Apr

I have been thinking about quinoa for awhile now. I’ve made it a few time and served it as a side dish instead of rice and it was good. But it wasn’t OMGaaah good like everyone always says.

I need to come up with some really good quinoa recipes… So today, I made a TON of quinoa. It saves very well in the fridge, is easy to reheat, and can be served hot or cold, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. This way, I thought, I will HAVE to come up with new and inventive ways to use it, instead of just thinking about it, because as we all know… I’m not going to let it go to waste.

As the guy at the grocery store told me, quinoa is an ancient grain that is wonderfully textured, delicately flavored, and highly nutritious. In addition to having a higher protein content than any other grain, quinoa also contains all 8 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

Seems like a great grain to add to your pantry, doesn’t it? Quinoa is more expensive that couscous or rice so it isn’t going to be something I have everyday. But now that I’m forcing myself to try new ways to serve it, I’ll be better equipped for when I do want to serve it.

To make quinoa:

Toast the grain in a dry skillet before cooking, 3-5 minutes, or until the grain becomes fragrantly nutty.

Place grains into a fine strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove any powdery residue.

To cook, use 2 c. liquid (I used chicken broth) to every 1 c. of quinoa. Combine liquid and quinoa in a medium sized saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the grains are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from each grain (how cute!), about 15 minutes. Yum!

Quinoa can be served just like this and it is still very good. But it’s not really any different from serving rice along side a meal. I want to come up with more! If you have any ideas, let me know… I’ve got a few meals worth to use!

UPDATE: Here are a few dished I made using quinoa:

Quinoa Curry in a Hurry

Quinoa Buttermilk Pancakes and a Pancake and Ham Sandwich

Quinoa Salsa Side Dish

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