Breakfast Quinoa

I made a batch of quinoa for an appetizer I made and thought I would look on Pinterest to see what other ideas I could make with it. As a new mommy, breakfast is a hard thing thing to make/eat every morning. I saw a bunch of overnight oatmeal recipes on Pinterest and thought I could do something similar with my quinoa. The best part about this quick dish is that you can top it with anything you like! I basically went into my pantry picked out my toppings below and it turned out to be so good! I really had to hold myself back from adding chocolate morsels…

Breakfast Quinoa

breakfast quinoa

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 quinoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon of any nut butter (I used maple almond butter)
Toppings:
Sliced almonds
Shredded coconut
Cinnamon
Honey
1 sliced banana

Directions
Cook the quinoa per instructions on the box, substituting the water for the coconut milk. After the quinoa cooks, mix in the vanilla extract, nut butter and cinnamon. (You can melt the nut butter in the microwave to incorporate it easier). Add any toppings you’d like, I added the ones listed above. Drizzle with honey, and enjoy! You can serve warm and it will keep well in the refrigerator to heat up the next day too!

Recipe source: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/04/breakfast-quinoa/

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Chocolate Avocado Mousse

So I am just going to come out and say it…I am addicted to chocolate.

When I found this recipe for chocolate mousse I knew I had to try it with the healthy spin of adding avocado. I thought it was weird at first, but the avocado is really just the base and consistency for the mousse. To my surprise you only taste the chocolate! And you feel good eating it knowing you are getting some healthy fats from the avocado while indulging in some decadent chocolate! The best part, it is SO EASY to make!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

chocolate avocado mousse

Ingredients
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 very ripe (8 ounce) avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Kosher or rock salt, for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Directions
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (can be prepared 1 day in advance). Garnish with fresh raspberries, sprinkle with the kosher salt, and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-avocado-mousse-recipe.html

Brie Bites with Fig Jam

Brie and figs…my two favorite things! The cheesy sweetness of this appetizer goes so well together and is such an easy last-minute dish to put together. I bought already cooked phyllo shells, and didn’t melt the brie cheese to make this even quicker. Next time I will put it in the oven for a bit to melt the cheese and I bet it will be that much tastier!

Brie Bites with Fig Jam

baked brie bites

Ingredients
1 package of already cooked mini phyllo shells
6 oz. brie cheese, about 1 wedge
¼ cup fig preserves
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Place a cube of brie cheese in each shell. Add a dollop of fig jam on top of the cheese. Sprinkle each shell with some walnuts. Put on a pretty platter and serve!

Recipe Source: http://phyllo.com/2013/11/07/baked-brie-phyllo-shells-with-fig-preserves/

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

I had this pasta with romesco at a restaurant near my house so I was determined to learn how to make it! I found a recipe for romesco sauce and put my skills to the test and low and behold, it was just as amazing! I feel like romesco sauce is a healthier, much quicker, version of old fashioned tomato sauce.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

pasta with romesco sauce

Ingredients

1 lb pasta of your choice
2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity olive oil

Directions

Boil water, and once it is boiled add a good amount of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes.

Grind the almonds in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily.

Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

romesco sauce

Once the pasta is cooked, strain and then add the romesco sauce to the pasta and stir. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/romesco-sauce-recipe.html

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

I love brussels sprouts. I will eat them all year round! I also love balsamic vinegar, I put it in a lot of things (including chili). I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. I added shallots because I wanted to add a depth of flavor and love the sweetness of the shallots and knew it would balance out the vinegar.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

sauteed brussels sprouts

Ingredients

1 (10 ounce) package shredded Brussels sprouts (you can buy them at Trader Joes)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots until soft and tender. Add the butter and the remaining olive oil. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute them, stirring frequently, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still bright green. It might look like a lot of Brussels sprouts when you add them in the pan, but just like spinach, they will cook down. Once tender, turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar, season to taste, and serve hot.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sauteed-shredded-brussels-sprouts.html

Chile One-Pot Pasta

I love this one pot meal! It is a life-saver to my new life as a full-time Mommy to a newborn! Not only is this easy (and less clean-up) but its delicious!

Chile One-Pot Pasta
 

Ingredients
1 pound penne pasta
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup grated pecorino
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Calabrian hot pepper paste (I used Harissa chile paste)*
1/3 cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
In a 10-inch high-sided saute pan, bring 1 inch of water (about 4 cups) to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 9 minutes; there should be a little water left in the pan.

Sprinkle the pecorino over the pasta; toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, chile paste, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil, and toss.

*Harissa comes in mild to hot varieties, so make sure to choose the level of spice depending on your preference.
Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/calabrian-chile-pasta.html

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

Pasta can get boring but I love finding new and exciting recipes to spice up boring ole pasta. This recipe is a keeper!

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

spicy garlic and anchovy farfalle

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the extra-virgin oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy paste, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the breadcrumb mixture, cooked pasta and half of the cheese. Add in the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/1181/spicy-garlic-and-anchovy-farfalle

Greek Marinated Chicken

I love the fresh flavors that this marinade brings to the chicken! The marinade is so easy and I traded in whole chicken pieces for chicken breasts to make the cook time quicker.
Greek Marinated Chicken
greek marinated chicken
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breasts
Directions
  1. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Zest 1 lemon into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
  3. After marinating for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Recipe source:  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/06/greek-marinated-chicken/

Fiesta Fish

Yes this fish looks fancy, it is also so delicious! Don’t let the long directions steer you away from this fabulous fish! It is so light and refreshing and I bet it would be even better if you grilled the fish!

Fiesta Fish

fiesta fish

Ingredients
1 lb whitefish of your choice (I used Sole)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
paprika
Drizzle of olive oil

Onion and Jalapeño quick pickle:
1 cup fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

Avocado and Mango Salsa
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 small ripe mango, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chives, chopped

Directions
Onion and Jalapeno quick-pickle:
Whisk together the juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and jalapeno, toss to coat and let sit at room temperature while you bake the fish.

Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle each side of the fish with salt, pepper, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake until cooked through (about 20 minutes).

While the fish cooks, make the Avocado Mango Salsa:
Put the avocado and mango in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, the parsley, chives, and salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.

When the fish is done cooking, coat the fish in the pan with most of the onion and jalapeño mixture and let it marinade for 5 minutes. Save a little to add onto the plate before serving.

To assemble, add the fish to the plate, add some onion and jalapeño mixture on top of the fish, and finish with a scoop of avocado and mango salsa. If there is any juice left to the onion and jalapeño mixture, drizzle that on top as well.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/tirado-de-mahi-mahi-recipe.html

Savory Waffle: Cheddar & Scallion Waffle with Mustard Syrup

sweet and savory waffles

After an impromptu waffle iron buy last night, we decided to make waffles this morning! This savory waffle is delicious with the mustard syrup! And the best part is, it is so easy to make!

Cheddar & Scallion Waffles with Mustard Syrup

cheddar and scallion waffle

Ingredients (Makes 4-6 waffles, or 1 Belgium waffle)
Waffles:
1 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 of 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar (I used monterey jack)
3-4 tablespoons of scallions, chopped

Mustard Syrup:
1/2 cup syrup
1/8 cup dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Directions
Waffles:
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
2. Whisk the milk, the cooled melted butter and 1 egg in a separate bowl until combined; pour into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. (A few small lumps are fine.)
3. Preheat a waffle iron; lightly brush with vegetable oil, then fill with batter three-quarters full and cook until the waffles are golden and crisp.

Mustard Syrup:
1. Combine the syrup, mustard and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. When the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat to low. Stir until well combined.
3. Pour into a serving container and serve immediately.

Pour the syrup over the waffles to serve and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/haylie-duff/mustard-maple-syrup.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/top-notch-waffles.html