Monday, April 30, 2012

Quinoa and Kale Cakes

I made these Lemon, Olive, and Parsley Quinoa cakes a couple of months ago but never got around to blogging about them because I hadn't taken a picture when I initially made them. I thought I would make them sometime again, until I made these similar cakes.

I'm not a huge fan of lemon and I like kale, so I really enjoyed these even more than the first ones I made because they are so simple and easy to make.

I added red pepper flakes to these, but if you don't like spicy foods as much you can use regular ground pepper as well. I typically don't like a lot of spicy foods, but I enjoyed the small kick that the red pepper flakes gave to these delicious cakes!

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa, rinsed
2 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for frying
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped kale
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon water

Place quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease heat, and simmer 25-30 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. You're going to need 3 cups.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add kale and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the apple cider vinegar. Place this kale mixture in a bowl with the quinoa and allow to cool to room temperature (placing this in the fridge speeds up this process).
Once the kale and quinoa has cooled, add the Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Then, add the beaten eggs and stir until most of the mixture is moistened. Finish by adding the tablespoon of water.
Take 2 tablespoons of this mixture and form into a small ball. Flatten into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the batter (you can refrigerate this if you don't want to make them all at once). 
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add about 6 patties to the pan and cook until evenly browned on each sound, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Enjoy immediately!
Source: adapted from Joy the Baker

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

I was a little skeptical about making these wraps at first because I had never tried or cooked with tofu before. This recipe originally called for 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, but I ended up adding 1 teaspoon of chili powder because it tasted a little bland with just 1/4 teaspoon.

These were so simple and easy to make, but still tasted great (especially topped with avocado).

1 tablespoon olive oil
12-14 ounce package firm tofu
11 ounce can shoepeg corn
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
Romaine lettuce hearts

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add the tofu, break into very small pieces, and cook until it starts to darken. Add corn, cook for a couple of minutes, add chili powder and soy sauce and cook for about a minute more.
Spoon into romaine hearts and top with avocado.
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Caramel Nut Brownies

Although this recipe calls for a cake mix, these are probably the best brownies I have ever made! The top and bottom layers have a german chocolate cake mix while the filling has caramel, chocolate, and nuts.

If you like really gooey brownies, bake these for less time. If you like a firmer brownie, bake these for a few minutes longer. I like to bake these for the time listed in the recipe (15-18 minutes) so they are firm enough to easily cut, but are still gooey. Either way, these are delicious!

1 package Kraft caramels 
5 ounce can evaporated milk
1 German Chocolate cake mix 
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. 
Melt the caramels and half of the evaporated milk in a double broiler. 
Combine the cake mix, butter, and the remaining evaporated milk. Place half of this mixture in an 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake 6 minutes. 
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped nuts. 
Evenly spread the melted caramel mixture over top. Pat the rest of the dough over the caramels until the caramel is covered. 
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Source: Andie

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Edamame Stuffed Avocados

Over the past few weeks I have grown to love avocados. I didn't really like them before, but they are so delicious! I like eating them this way with edamame and I also like to slice half of one and put it on a toasted piece of bread.

This original recipe called for more ingredients for the edamame filling as well as a dressing but I just leave those components out because I didn't really like the dressing or the other ingredients with the edamame when I first tried it.

I also like to eat this with a little bit of salsa and bread or pita chips. Scoopable, spreadable, and always a nice meal.

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 ripe avocados, sliced in half with pits removed
1/2 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the edamame and parsley in a medium bowl. Place a spoonful of this mixture into half of an avocado pit and top with a little of the toasted coconut. Eat with a spoon, salted and peppered.
Source: Joy the Baker

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cookie Sticks

I don't particularly like making cookies because it usually takes so long once you start baking them to keep putting sheets of balls of cookie dough into the oven since the recipe makes so many cookies. I liked the idea of these cookie sticks because you still get cookies, but without the time it takes to form the cookies and keep pans in and out of the oven. Convenient!

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup M and Ms

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and set aside.
Stir together the oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a medium size bowl. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a large rectangle the length of the cookie sheet. Press the M and Ms evenly on top of the dough and bake 8-9 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting the dough into small strips.
Source: Cookies and Cups

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cilantro Lime Rice

I first made this rice back in December, but have not taken a picture of it until now. I really like the flavor of the lime and cilantro in this rice, which tastes great with spinach, avocado, and seasoned chicken.

If you strain the mixture before adding it to the rice you don't get as strong of a lime flavor and you can also control the overall flavor by how much you add to the rice. I like adding all of it, though, because I really like the flavor of it with the rice. Delicious any way you have it! 

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups + 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic

Place the rice, 2 cups of the water, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover, and reduce to low heat. Let cook, covered, until the rice is fluffy and the water is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes.
Combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Combine this mixture and the rice and fluff with a fork.
Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vegetable Risotto

I was really enjoyed with how the first risotto I made turned out, and I knew I wanted to make it again soon. I switched up the vegetables in this recipe from the original recipe, so you could substitute in other vegetables if you would like. You can't really go wrong with this recipe!

5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 bunch broccoli, cut into pieces
1 bunch asparagus, snapped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 whole yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine, divided
1 cup frozen peas
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pour the chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. The broth needs to be warm when you add it to the risotto.
Place the carrots, broccoli, and asparagus in a pot with about an inch of water. Cover and cook until tender. Set aside.  
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Then, add the diced onions and minced garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the steamed carrots, asparagus, and broccoli. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Remove this mixture from the pot and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in the same pot over medium-low heat. Add the rice, stir, and cook 1 minute. Add half of the wine and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Stir and cook until the rice absorbs the wine. Then, add 1/2 cup of the warm chicken broth and let cook until the rice absorbs all of the broth. Keep repeating this step until all of the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Then, add the rest of the wine and cook until it is absorbed by the rice. Add the peas and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and remove from heat.
Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan, and vegetables until combined. 
Source: The Pioneer Woman


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