The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “quinoa”

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Our garden is booming and so our need to use a lot of tomatoes and peppers is growing. We had about 13 gypsy and poblano peppers that needed immediate consumption, and I was trying to come up with a good way to make peppers be the main dish.

So  I stuffed ’em, ya’ll.

I cooked up some quionoa with olive oil and garlic, added salt, pepper, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and some lemon juice.Quinoa Stuffing

I cut the tops off of the peppers and scooped out their seeds and tossed them all with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, using a teaspoon, I filled them all with the stuffing.Peppers Pre-cooked

I popped them in the 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Delicious!Roasted Stuffed Peppers

I’m making this with bigger bell peppers next weekend, and will probably add chopped mushrooms and scallions to the mix.

For dinner last night, I also chopped up six or seven golden potatoes and tossed with chopped garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper and baked those for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

A salad of arugula and garden fresh tomatoes was tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. Simple, rustic, and oh so good.dinnerplate

I’m starting to feel energized again. A lot happier than I was a few weeks ago, but I guess that’s the ebb and flow of life. I just have to keep breathing and anytime a boundary (no matter how small) is crossed, I just have to shake it off. And I’m getting much better at it.

Toodles, kids. Eat happy.

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California Cooking and the Spiral.

Hey guys,

My recent obsession with Shark Week re-runs has me aching to get back to an ocean. Even now, sitting on couch and watching SVU, I’m day dreaming about waves washing over me. I can feel the cool water lap against me and the salt stick to my skin. Heaven.

Feeling a little distant from my roots, and desperately needing some nourishment, I channeled my SoCal self and went to work making a quinoa salad and black bean burgers.

*I have zero photos of the process because all photo-taking devices were un-charged.

For the Quinoa Salad

I first sautéed half an onion and a clove of garlic in some oil. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. Then add a cup of quinoa and stir to toast slightly before adding 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 cup  of dried cherries to the water. They’ll get plump and it’ll sweeten the dish. Simmer for fifteen minutes and when the water has boiled away, add half of a chopped green pepper and a little fresh lime juice.

Tasty and healthy. When ready to serve, add some avocado and tomatoes. Or some sliced almonds for a yummy crunch!

For the black bean burgers:

Add a couple tablespoons of sauteed, diced mushrooms, a can of black beans, half of a chopped green pepper, a clove of garlic, and half a cup of bread crumbs into a blender or food processor. I also added a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Coarsely puree the mixture. The mix will be very wet, so the best way to to form the patties is to line a small tupperware with plastic wrap and then fill it with the mixture. Wrap up the patties and then pop them in the freezer to set up and cook when you want them. Delicious and protein packed.

Again, my apologies for the lack of food photos. Everything was eaten too fast.

And so we have entered tech rehearsals for How to Succeed. After a long hiatus, I was expecting to be frazzled and expecting to have a harder time finding the flow of the show. Surprisingly, this has been easy breezy. I’m a little more disorganized than usual, but I think that has only helped me to be a little more spontaneous, calm, and adaptable. We’ve got a great show and so far, it’s been melt-down free.

Except for once. For five minutes. Last night. And here’s where I might start to spiral. Like I said, tech has been great, but when we started our dry tech on Saturday and I opened my kit, I saw the note. A note from him that glares back at me and asks, “Why haven’t you taken me down yet? Take me down, throw me away…or at least hide me in a different box. Why do you leave me here?” And for a moment on Saturday (okay a few moments) I felt a lump in my throat and a wave of melancholy. On our ride home, I talked to Geoff about it.

“Why?” I asked, frustrated.

“Because you hope,” he said. Damn. He’s right. I do hope. For what, I’m not sure. Do I hope that we’ll move on and be fine someday? Yes, of course. Do I hope for a reconciled relationship? I’m not sure…maybe. I hope for answers and explanations. But do I really think leaving a note taped to my kit will give me those things? Oh, fuck if I know.

Geoff continued (and Geoff, forgive the paraphrase), “You’re holding on because you hope. You have to overanalyze and talk about it because, still, anything he says will put you into a downward spiral.”

Yep. That’s true. Yesterday in the middle of act two, after an unfortunate glance towards a friend’s email inbox, I realized how my friends are still connected to this person and there’s not one damn thing I can do about it. I have to sit and say nothing, while a person who destroyed me emotionally connects with the people I know and love. I have to sit and say nothing because it isn’t my place to ruin him for them. I have to accept that my friends will be his friends no matter what happened…and honestly, that’s really harsh. And devastating. And yeah, I stifled tears through act two (though I called it like a champ, thanks very much) because it hurts so much. And sucks…majorly.

Ok, I’ll shut up about my downward spiral and keep California Dreaming to get through. Also…I’ll kick major ass with this show.

Peace.

Welcome Spring…and Hello, again!

Well, hello again. I can’t believe it has been nearly three months since my last post. As always, many things have happened. That nannying job I took? Well…the family was a little crazy. And controlling. My health? A few hiccups here and there, a few biopsies, a few days in bed…but I’m starting to feel much better. Oh, and no cancer. The news? Oh no big deal. I’m just a licensed real estate broker. Ok, it’s a big, awesome deal! So…currently unemployed, but searching for a real estate firm to begin a new career with. AND, CDR is about to be my roommate, and that’s totally rad. So please forgive the absence, but life got busy.
And how wonderful that spring has finally sprung?! It is such a glorious day outside! Broozer and I celebrated the Earth’s new life by taking a long walk this morning (and we’ll be off on another upon completion of this post). Our walk brought me solace, new energy, and clarity. As the season has been changing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the year that I had and I have been starting to feel some of the summer sorrow swell up (say that five times fast) again. Now, I do have many things to say on the topic, but I’ll limit myself to just a few statements.
While the summer was difficult in nearly every possible way, and didn’t make for a very happy fall or winter, it was not without its victories and highlights. Aside from passing the real estate exam, my minister blasting “Shake it Out” by Flo and the Mo through church speakers because it reminded him of me, and adventures with CDR, some of my greatest victories came from the kitchen. To curb the tears, I’ve baked, grilled, and cooked incessantly and I’ve taken each successful dish as a win against the antagonist(s)… And ok, as proof of my bad-assery.
The highlights: perfect cupcakes, gluten and dairy free cookies, grilled cookies, chocolate covered bacon, turkey-quinoa meatballs, and chicken wings.
The cupcakes were for a bridal shower and bachelorette party (and Easter this weekend). Find the cake recipe here. I just made cupcakes instead and used vanilla frosting, a slice of strawberry, and gold sprinkles to top them off. They are DIVINE. Absolutely perfect.

So pretty!

So pretty!

Chocolate covered bacon? Cook some bacon (I recommend doing it in the oven so it doesn’t crinkle as much) and then dip it in melted chocolate, and freeze until the chocolate hardens. It is a PERFECT salty sweet bite, and totally man-friendly.
Sooo tasty

Sooo tasty

I’m searching for my photo of these turkey quinoa meatballs, but until I find them…oh my god, so good! Mix together half a cup cooked quinoa, half of a sautéed diced onion, one garlic clove, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, egg, and whatever herbs you want with 1lb of ground turkey. Form into meatballs, and pan fry to brown (they’re really delicate so it is better to brown them rather than just dropping them into a sauce) and then finish in a red sauce. Or just bake in the oven. They are light, healthy, and oh so good.
And today, to welcome spring I made a quinoa citrus salad! Delicious. Basically, just cook up a cup of quinoa and add it to a bowl with avocado, orange slices, orange and lemon juice, salt, pepper, other herbs of your choice (I would use fennel, basil, and mint), a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and a little bit of crumbled blue cheese. Serve warm or cold. Delicious!

Avocado and Orange

Avocado and Orange

MMM!

MMM!

And that’s what I’ve got for you today. Staying strong, cooking, packing for the move, and working on the cookbook/memoir until next time.

Happy Spring!
…Dammit Rent!

Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed-like grain that resembles cous-cous, but in my opinion has less flavor. It requires a lot of dressing up, and so I made it by simmering a 12oz box in 3 cups of water, and the juice of a lemon.

Essentially, you are cooking it the same way you do rice. Bring water to a boil, put in the quinoa, and simmer fifteen minutes and then fluff. I wanted to use vegetable broth instead of water, but I was cooking for someone whose dietary needs were gluten-free (most broths have gluten in them). I think that would have added nice flavor as well, but ultimately it was delicious. When it was done cooking, I tossed it in bowl with chopped basil, parsley, lemon zest, and scallions.

Admittedly, it was a little undercooked, but overall I would call it  success.

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