Noor’s Pumpkin Kale Dill Quinoa

After garnish

After garnish

I’ve talked about quinoa numerous times, and always recommend it to clients who are looking for tasty ways to incorporate whole grains into their diet. Quinoa is a wonderful high protein grain and it tastes great with almost anything.

This recipe is so easy to put together once the initial step of baking the pumpkin and cubing it is over. I made this after my little sister came home from a field trip at the apple orchid.  Pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A, and is a nutrient dense food. It carries anti-cancerous properties, potassium, and yes, Vitamin C too. Don’t hesitate; get pumpkin on your plate.

I usually like this dish with parsley, but I was making the pesto full zucchini noodles that day and had a bunch of fresh dill on hand. It gave it an interesting flavorful kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic quinoa*

1 tablespoon organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

3 cups organic frozen kale (or spinach)

1 small fresh pumpkin (pre baked and cubed)

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup fresh dill, washed, dried, and chopped

1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lemon slices, fresh dill, fresh red peppers

 

Directions:

  1. Sautee the coconut oil, mushrooms, and kale in a deep pot for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add about 5 cups water and the quinoa. Add all the spices and stir with a spoon to mix everything in evenly.
  3. Cover and allow it to cook for about 18 minutes; until the quinoa is tender.
  4. Fold in the fresh dill and mix slightly.
  5. Pour into a serving platter.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices, extra virgin olive oil, and red peppers.
Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don't become mush.

Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don’t become mush.

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A Super Delicious Super Food: Quinoa

For my health advice column in the newspaper this week, the question was referring to Quinoa as a gluten free food. Along with the request from a friend for my quinoa recipe, I thought I’d put up the recipe (I know I put this before but I altered it a bit, and added the advice). So I’ll share the advice response here too, followed by the recipe, which is dedicated to a special friend.  😉 

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free (don’t top with Organic Greek Yogurt/ Organic sour cream), and vegetarian, yet high in protein.

I have to say, although this is yummy, this is not my favorite recipe for quinoa. My favorite is cooked without tomato paste or corn, and topped with a bunch of avocados.  I’ll have that step by step recipe soon .:)

My response to the question in my weekly health advice column:

Today almost everyone is struggling with a food allergy or intolerance. While one person is lactose intolerant, another is allergic to nuts, and a third is struggling with celiac disease. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid could really help one cure their body.

Quinoa is growing in popularity, and when you take a deep look at its health benefits you’ll know exactly why. For those unfamiliar with this seed, quinoa is a grain like crop. Quinoa sure is gluten free, so those with celiac disease or wheat intolerance should feel comfortable enjoying this grain.

Quinoa contains many essential protein amino acids, and is high in many essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, and calcium. For those with arthritis, do add quinoa in your diet for it helps lower inflammation in the body. Plus, while quinoa is high in protein and fiber, it’s very low in fat and is quite filling. So what’s not to like about this super-seed?

Quinoa is prepared very similar to rice. Usually one cup of the grain takes two cups of water for it to be tender.

I love using quinoa in desserts as well as main dishes. I even occasionally replace burghul (cracked wheat) in my homemade taboulli salad with quinoa. You can replace your usual bowl of oatmeal with cooked quinoa topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, raw walnuts, raisins, and Organic Raw honey.

As a main dish I cook Quinoa and allow it to cool. I add a variety of vegetables, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Flaxseed Oil, and of course top it with lots of fresh ripe avocadoes. Or as a variation I do a “Mexican quinoa” salad with black beans, tomato paste, and delicious spices. It’s easy to play around with this seed, and I assure you once you add it to your diet you wouldn’t be able to go on without it. 

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

 

Noory’s Gone Mexican Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, rinsed and soaked

1 bag frozen Organic, non-GMO corn

1 bag Organic Chopped Spinach

1 can Organic tomato paste

1 can Organic diced tomatoes (spicy if desired!)

Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt, mustard, black pepper, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and cajun

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

Organic Sour Cream or Organic Grass-Fed Greek Yogurt (optional)

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices as desired, and rinsed Quinoa. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above) Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tenderly cooked it will be transparent in color.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm. My suggested serving, a dollop of certified Organic sour cream/Greek Yogurt and the fresh chopped cilantro!
  4. Enjoy!

P.S: This tastes delicious alone or as a dip with clean ingredient tortilla chips! (Pick Organic when possible ;))

Noor’s Gone Vegetable Quinoa

For those who love the taste of Mexican, this is a healthier version of the good flavor, without the greasy meat and fatty cheese on top.

Quinoa is  a very healthy grain and an excellent replacement for rice. You can use it in main meals, snacks or desserts.

I had friends try many of my quinoa recipes and this was one of their favorite (excluding Layan). You can play around with this recipe by adding or omitting things you like. I’ve made it without the tomato base before and it was great.

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, soaked and rinsed

2 cups frozen organic and non-GMO corn

2 cups organic spinach chopped, frozen or fresh

2 large fresh tomatoes chopped

1-2 fresh jalapenos, optional

1 6 oz can Organic tomato paste

Seasoning of your choice: : Himalayan Pink Salt, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Curry, Rosemary, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne, etc

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

 

Directions:

STEP 1

In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.

STEP 2

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning, and rinsed Quinoa. Add jalapeno here if adding. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above). Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tender cooked it will be transparent in color.

STEP 3

Fluff and serve warm. Suggested serving, fresh mint leaves and a scoop of certified organic sour cream!

Before garnish

Before garnish

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Noor's quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Noor’s quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Removing the Bad Rep of a Cookie

Almost everyone loves cookies, and I was one of those people, until I’ve learned what’s put in those things. While pre-packaged cookies are full of multi-syllabic ingredients I can’t pronounce, and have an ingredient list bigger than the actual cookies, homemade cookies can be bad too. Eating a cookie others make means most likely bleached flour, nasty oils, and a ton of refined sugar. These are reasons why cookies have a bad reputation. 

Well for someone who once loved cookies, and still does (only when I make them, and see what goes in them), I came up with what I call not so bad rep cookie bars. Since I was careful about buying gluten free oats, my entire recipe is gluten free. Oats are usually gluten free but contaminated in factories, so watch your labels if you are tolerant. 

 These are high in protein (thanks to the Quinoa), very low natural sugar (raisins), and taste great! The coconut oil is a “good for you oil”, so you could enjoy your cookie and not have to worry about what you just put in your body.  

Ingredients:
2  Organic/pasture-raised eggs

½ cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

¾ cup Organic coconut palm sugar or organic raw honey

1 ½ cups Organic Quinoa flour (grind whole raw quinoa  like I did, or buy it ready)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup un-sulphured raisins (or dried blueberries/cranberries)

1 cup raw walnuts (or any nut, chopped or whole)

¾ cup old fashion oats, gluten-free if necessary

Directions:

STEP 1

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the eggs and melted coconut oil. Mix well with the palm sugar/honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.

Image

Add dry ingredients.

STEP 2

 Fold in the raisins, walnuts, and oats if you like. Use a spatula or your palms to fold the dough. The dough will be nice and thick.

Image

Add walnuts and raisins (you can alternate)

                                                                   

                                       

STEP 3

Place in a baking dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until browned on the edges.

Image

Bake 35-40 mins.

STEP 4

Cut and serve as desired.

Clean and delicious.

Clean and delicious. Serve on a platter.

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Disclaimer

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