Quinoa-Veggie Sushi Rolls

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

I’ve made this twice now and the first time was somewhat of a disaster, taking me far too long to make on my own and it didn’t make nearly enough to feed the whole family.  I made them too tiny and they just weren’t perfect, like I wanted them to be.  This time, I added more veggies, more quinoa and had the girls layer the rolls while I rolled and cut them.  Wholesome Cook has several variations on these rolls but I wanted something simple without meat.  The recipe below made a LOT of rolls.  There was enough to fill up the five of us at dinner, plus a lunch for each of the girls and myself the next day.  I had to search for a tutorial on how to roll sushi because I’d never done it before so if you’re a sushi-rolling virgin, I suggest you do the same.  I’d also recommend buying more than one sushi mat and encourage someone to help you layer and roll the rolls because it’ll go much faster!

For the Quinoa Sushi Rolls:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package nori (sushi roll seaweed)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 cup carrot shreds
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 2 avocados, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped roughly
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds

To Cook Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under cold water.
  2. Transfer quinoa into a saucepan, add vegetable stock and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring, until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Add chopped almonds & chia seeds.
  5. Place a nori sheet on the sushi mat, then spread a couple spoonsful of quinoa mix on half of the nori sheet, working from the edge closest to you and right to the sides.
  6. Layer your favorite toppings across the middle of the quinoa and, using your mat, tightly wrap the rolls all the way to the end.

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Fresh Strawberry Watermelon And Red Grape Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Dressing

Fresh Strawberry Watermelon And Red Grape Fruit Salad With Fresh Mint Honey Dressing

I made this ridiculously-named salad several months ago and just never took the time to post it.  It’ll be nice to have on hand next for Valentines day or a warm spring day!  The description of the recipe on Group Recipes literally made me laugh out loud when it suggested that it be served at your next yacht party!  If you have a yacht then, by all means, this would be the salad to serve.  It only makes sense.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • 1 bag seedless red grapes
  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces or use a melon baller

For Honey Lime Dressing

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Fresh lime juice, enough to thin out honey to proper consistency to dress fruit
  • about 10 fresh mint leaves, finely julienned

Directions

  1. Combine all the chopped fruit in large bowl.
  2. Pour honey into medium mixing bowl. Add lime juice, whisking into honey, until the honey loosens up enough. Toss in the mint.
  3. Pour dressing over the fruit and lightly toss. Garnish with a few mint sprigs.

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Quinoa Greek Salad

Quinoa Greek Salad

Everyone keeps talking about easy weeknight meals because they’re too busy to pull something elaborate together.  My reality is that I only make easy stuff because I’m lazy.  The time it takes to prep some dishes bores me to the point of insanity!  Back to Her Roots published this recipe earlier this month and it’s exactly what I want.  Easy.  Quick.  Healthy.  It now resides happily in the archive of Maynard where it will be used over and over again.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 loose cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, parsley, onion, olives and feta.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, honey and lemon juice. Pour over salad and stir to combine.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to salad and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to marry.

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Raw Oatmeal Snacks

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My middle child is the adventurous one.  The one with the messiest room, the sense of style that always surprises me and the one who loves to experiment in the kitchen.  Recipe cards?  Not on her watch!  Last night she wanted a snack so she set out to make granola bars and came up with this super healthy, very satisfying snack instead. 

Her measurements did not include any cups or spoons, relying on her “sense of feel”, instead.  After eyeballing the bowl of goods, I estimated what was in there.  In the end you’ll want the balls to stick together as much as possible, though hers didn’t stick well – she grumbled through it though and after they were frozen they were the perfect texture,  chewy and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup uncooked oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 8-10 dried apricots, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In a food processor, process the almonds, oats and cinnamon until it’s very fine.
  2. Pour into a bowl and mix honey and chopped apricots in. 
  3. Roll the mixture into balls teaspoon sized balls and carefully place in a freezer bag.  Freeze for 30 minutes or so until they’re firm.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

I spotted this recipe when Pam, at For the Love of Cooking, first posted it and knew it’d be something I’d want to share with good friends. 

I doubled the original recipe (below) knowing that the kids would want some as well. I used a 13×9 inch pan and cooked at the same temperature as below, for 55 minutes.  I was a little nervous doubling it because I wasn’t sure how the extra batter would affect cook time, but it turned out as good, if not better than expected.  The top and bottom were just beginning to get dark, but the inside stayed moist and fluffy.  I served this with mimosas (to my friends, not my kids!) and loved every minute of my 10 AM buzz!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour, minus 2 Tablespoons (for the blueberries)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar (for the top)
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together with a mixer until creamy & smooth.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of flour to the blueberries and toss to coat evenly.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining flour together with the baking powder and salt until well mixed.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk, then fold in the blueberries gently.
  7. Spread batter into the pan evenly (it will be very thick).
  8. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on top of the batter.
  9. Place into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

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Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Donut Muffins

My love for donuts is rivaled only by my love for my children* so when I saw this recipe at Koko Cooks I knew I had to try them because I almost always forgo the donut section in the store.  Self restraint is a virtue I like to pretend I have, but the reality is, behind closed doors I could pack away half a dozen donuts on my own.  For real.  I’ll be honest though, I didn’t think these came out tasting like a donut, but more like a snicker-doodle in muffin form.  Lightly flavored &  dusted with cinnamon sugar, these come in as a close second to a donut, paired with a cup of coffee in the morning.

I doubled the recipe below and came out with 20 muffins.  Kept as is, you’ll get about a dozen, depending on how full you fill the tins.

*My husband read this and wondered aloud “So you love our kids AND donuts more than me, huh?”  Quick on my toes, I replied, “Of course not!  I love you more than donuts and our children.”  He was satisfied with this.  Carry on.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

  1. Lightly coat a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and egg.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  4. Pour dry mixture into the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Add vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla, stirring until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes clean, about 17-18 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from tin.
  7. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. While the muffins are still warm, press and roll each one in the mixture, coating all sides with the cinnamon sugar.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnust

These are a tradition! at our house every year at Christmas.  I always had them growing up, and when my kids came along, they adopted the love of these little addictions.  Salty, crunchy, savory and warm they’re the perfect appetizer to throw on any holiday plate.

You can use regular bacon but I prefer the leaner, much less greasy texture of the turkey bacon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 package turkey bacon, cut into thirds
  • toothpicks
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cooking sherry

Directions

Preheat Oven 350 degrees

  1. Cut each chestnut in half then wrap a slice of bacon (a third of a piece) around the chestnut, secure with a toothpick and place in a 13×9 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix the Worcestershire Sauce and sherry then pour over the wrapped chestnuts.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon has begun to brown and get a little crispy.

Farmer’s Salad

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In an attempt to hold onto summer a little longer I wanted a salad for dinner that wasn’t the same salad we’ve had a hundred times over the last four months. For the Love of Cooking provided this recipe and it hit the spot with creamy textures, lots of dill and plenty of garlicky goodness.   

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. container of large curd cottage cheese
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled & diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Dice all of the vegetables.
  2. Combine the cottage cheese with the yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and cucumber in a large bowl.
  3. Add the chopped dill and season with a dash of garlic powder, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  4. Mix until evenly coated. Taste and re-season if needed.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I’d never had a lettuce wrap and I was excited to give another new recipe a try.  These, found at All Recipes, cooked up really fast, with very little prep and the kids had theirs half gone before I even sat down after taking the picture; the little guy’s WAS gone.  They loved them!  The husband didn’t like the idea of it being wrapped up in a lettuce leaf, but he went back for seconds so I’m going to take the liberty of saying he got over it.  Next time, just to snob these up a little, I’ll try shredded beef rather than ground.

*update: The third time I made these, I used ground pork instead of beef and it was really good.  Much better than beef…even better than ground beef.  Worthy of changing the recipe, actually – but I won’t because I know plenty of people who love their beef.

  • 1 head of Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
Directions
  1. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head, rinse the leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain, reserving about a tablespoon of the fat in the pan, then put the hamburger into a separate bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and vinegar to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Put a spoonful of the beef mixture into a leaf of lettuce, sprinkle with the shredded carrot, then wrap the lettuce and enjoy!

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