Italian Pasta Salad

I always inspired by the Italian Market to make something fun. I made this recipe for a family picnic and it was a hit.

1 Box Quinoa Pasta ( Works Best with Ancient Harvest Pagodas which are like little different color twists http://www.quinoa.net)
1/2 Cup Chopped Sun dried Tomato’s
1 Can Artichoke Hearts
1/4 Cup Slice Green Olives
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of Half a Lemon
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1 Tbs Dried Oregano

Cook pasta and make sure not to over cook, your looking for it to be firm. Drain the pasta and allow it to cool. Then, in a food processor place the oil, salt, sugar, lemon and oregano in the food processor and mix well. Pour dressing over pasta and mix in Artichoke, Tomato and Olives. Toss well and Serve.

* This can be prepared ahead of time but keep the pasta and dressing separate until ready to serve.

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Avocado Lavender Ice Cream

Avocado season is in full swing and I can’t get enough. How can you beat a super healthy, creamy and sweet fruit that be made into anything from a meal, sauces, dessert or by itself.

1 Avocado
1 Cup Yogurt
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 tspn Vanilla
1 Cub Almond Milk
1 Tbs Lavender Honey (We Bee Brother’s as always)
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs Fat Free Half & Half ( use soy if vegan)

Place all ingredients in blender and mix well. Taste and add sugar as you wish. Allow mixture to chill in fridge for 2 hours. Then place in ice cream maker to freeze for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Ancient Harvest

Quinoa has always been a favorite of mine. It super health benefits, unique nutty flavor and its unique ability to be used many different ways. I use it recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and both cold and hot.

A few weeks ago I was in the store looking for quick meal to make and I was craving mac and cheese. Until this day I had never found a gluten-free pasta I liked. Kt always cooks into a mush. The employ at the store explained that rice pasta often does that and I should try this quinoa version of mac and cheese in a box. I figured why not.

He was right! This stuff was amazing! The pasta cooked great and held its shape. The powder cheese is exactly hot I remember from when I was a kid. Even Jay liked it and he will never eat my store bought gluten free stuff. The next day I wrote the company to express my love for this product. Thankfully the company makes a ton of different stuff which I am working hard to try it all. From all kinds of gluten free pasta to polenta and even quinoa flour.

Is quinoa gluten free?

As a grain, quinoa is gluten free. Our Ancient Harvest Quinoa is grown exclusively in the high Andean Altiplano regions of Bolivia. Our quinoa is grown at 12,000+ foot elevations in very arid conditions which will not support traditional gluten bearing grain production, therefore insuring us no possibility of potential field contamination with such grains. Our Traditional, Inca Red and Black whole grain quinoa is then cleaned, processed and packed in our quinoa-only organic and gluten free facilities.

Are your products produced in gluten free facilities?

Our Ancient Harvest Quinoa, Quinoa Flour, Gluten Free Pasta Corn/Quinoa Product Line and Food Merchant Polenta are all processed in specialized gluten free facilities in the United States. This assures us of the highest quality integrity and frequent shorter production runs for fresher product delivered to our customers. Our Quinoa Flakes are now also processed in a gluten free facility.

Playing with this stuff is a blast. I will be posting everything I make but Next time you are at the store pick up a box and give it a try.

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Hidden vegetable Soup

With all the great Peanut Butter & Company flavors I have to play with I am trying to come up with some new fun ideas. With the school year around the corner its important to have some quick go to recipes that kids will love and mom is proud of. My peanut butter soup will leave all kids asking for more and they will never know its packed with veggies.

Ingredients:
3 Cups chicken broth (vegetable broth if vegan)
2 cups skim milk (almond milk if vegan)
7 Tbs Peanut Butter & Company “It’s Hot in Here” peanut butter
2 Tbs Peanut Butter & Company “Honey” peanut butter
5 carrots cut into rounds
1 can diced tomatoes
3/4 medium yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/4 Cup diced fresh ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by lightly browning the onions and garlic in a pot. Add carrots and broth and cook on medium / high heat till carrots are soft. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 45 min stirring every few minutes. Shut head off and use a food immerser to blend soup into a smooth consistency. Serve hot!!

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Blondies

Looking to make something sweet but don’t want junk food sitting around? What would you say if I could make a Blondie with no flour, no egg and no butter but only a can of beans and a few simple ingredients?

Try using the White Chocolate Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter Company’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter to really make this recipe really something special.

Ingredients:
1 Can of white beans (drain and rinse)p

2 TBS of your favorite peanut butter ( I recommend a fun flavor like the White Chocolate from New York Peanut Butter Company)
1/4 Splenda or any sweetener you would prefer
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup quick oatmeal

This recipe is really easy. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well.
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let it cook and then cut into squares.

*Since the recipe has no egg feel free to taste for sweetness and adjust how you would like.

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Quinoa for Breakfast

I am always looking for new and quick breakfast ideas and trying to come up with something different that is low in fat, high in protein and fiber. I love quinoa for any meal but have never given it a try in morning. As the one “grain” with the highest protein I figured it makes sense to give it a try for breakfast. Unlike oatmeal, quinoa needs little added sugar or cream. The texture of the partials does not absorb all the moisture and sweetness during the cooking process like oatmeal often will. Try this in the morning and see what you think.

3 Tbsp. dried quinoa (Any color is fine, I used yellow but red is even better)

¾ Cup Water

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 Banana

½ tsp. honey

In a small dry pot, pour in dry quinoa and heat over low flame to toast. This will allow you to create a really nice flavor before adding any liquid to the pot. Move grains around and toast until a light brown color forms on the bottom grains. Next add the water bring to boil, stir and cover. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pick up the lid and stir, add cinnamon and allow quinoa to continue to cook with lid on for another 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove lid, and continue to cook on low until water is almost gone. Add crushed banana and mix well. Water amount in this recipe varies depending on the humanity in the air the type of pot you are using. Your goal is for the mixture is not to be bone dry but not to have any liquid remaining in the bottom of the pot when you stir. Once the quinoa and fruit have cooked for about 2 minutes remove from heat and serve with honey on top. Enjoy!

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Falafel Chicken, Hummus and Parsley Salad

When we can’t decide what to have, anything greek is a good option. When summer comes around it’s a safe bet that we have all of this stuff in the fridge.

Falafel Chicken

Make a big batch on Sunday and it is a great protein to bring for lunch any day of the week. Put on a salad, or in a sandwich and you’re good to go. This recipe can be done with store bought falafel mix but I prefer to make my own.

1 pound chicken breast (clean and cut into nuggets)
1/2 cup chick pea flour
2 Tbsp. coriander / cumin Blend
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano

Mix all the ingredients together without the chicken to make a falafel mix. Once combined well, coat each piece of chicken with mix. It may be easier to pour mix into a large zip lock and shake. Cook the chicken on a medium flame in a large well sprayed / oiled pan till golden brown and cook completely.

Hummus

This recipe is in my blood. I can understand why buying store made hummus is such a big trend. It’s expensive and has a lot of preservatives. It’s so easy make hummus and to always keep all the ingredients around. Once you get a good base recipe down, that you enjoy, feel free to add whatever you want from pesto, to roasted peppers or anything else.

1 can chick peas (reserve half the liquid)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until appropriate consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as you prefer. I love adding roasted red peppers to the mix for some additional flavor and color.

Parsley Salad

2 Seeded and Chopped Tomato
1 chopped seedless cucumber
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice half lemon
2 cups chopped parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in fridge for 20 min before serving.