Monday, January 28, 2013

Quinoa, Tomato, and Spinach Salad with Pesto

This salad is super easy and super flavorful. I like to make large batches of pesto and freeze them in small mason jars to keep them on hand at all times. One day I wanted a quick salad for lunch and ended up throwing cherry tomatoes, chopped spinach, quinoa, and homemade pesto in a bowl. This would be great for a picnic, or even to pack for lunch at work. Just make sure to put the pesto on the bottom of whatever container you're using, then add a layer of quinoa, tomatoes, and spinach on top, so that the spinach doesn't wilt by the time you eat. This would be even more delicious with fresh chopped mozzarella.

(serves 2-3 people)

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups chopped spinach
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons pesto (store bought or homemade)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

If you're not making it ahead, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. If the salad is too dry, go ahead and add a drizzle of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Honey Vanilla Granola

For my birthday my good friend Whitney sent me this amazing cookbook called, PURE VANILLA, that includes tons of recipes for vanilla--go figure. Those that know me well know that I love vanilla, and I have a so-so relationship with chocolate. I'm just not a chocolate girl. Anyways, while skimming through my cookbook I decided to adapt the recipe for honey-vanilla granola. I changed a few things to make it a bit "healthier". I also added honey glazed almonds and flax seeds after the granola was done baking. This granola is delicious and crunchy, and the perfect amount of sweet. You can use gluten-free oats (like I did) or you can use regular oats. Completely up to you!


2 large egg whites
1/4 cup baking truvia
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon gf vanilla bean paste
3 cups gf old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup honey glazed almonds (from trader joes, or you could use regular toasted almonds)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix top 6 ingredients together in a bowl, making sure all oats are evenly mixed in.

Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring ever so often to make sure the oats don't burn. (I actually had to bake mine for 35 minutes, so it probably depends on your oven).

Remove from oven and let cool, then break up into clusters, add in flaxseeds and almonds. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy with yogurt or milk.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wheat-Free Blueberry Scones

I've really been craving scones lately, and since I had some fresh blueberries on hand, I decided to experiment with wheat-free blueberry scones. The recipe (from Petit Foodie)  that I followed sounded good, but I added a few of my own twists. With the addition of quinoa flour, oat flour, vanilla bean paste, and greek yogurt, I think I found a winner. Mind you, because I used spelt flour these are wheat-free, but not totally free of gluten. You can try using just oat flour in place of the spelt flour for gluten-free.



2 cups gluten free oat flour
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup baking truvia sugar (or you can use 1/2 cup white sugar, or omit completely)
8 tbsp cold butter (1 stick, chopped)
3/4 cup almond milk (or any milk you like)
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp lemon
1 egg white (for glazing)
raw sugar for sprinkling
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the cold butter (or process in food processor) until pea-sized lumps form. Add in lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, greek yogurt, and milk, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries and move dough onto a floured surface and pat down to an 8-10 inch circle. Cut into 8 triangles and place onto baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly baste beaten egg white on each scone and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake 15 min, until golden.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup

This soup is our new favorite. After making spaghetti and meatballs, I like to save half of the meatballs and make this Italian wedding soup the next day. I like to add a bit of lemon, to give it a little bit of tanginess. I also break up the meatballs so I can get a bit in each bite of soup. This soup can be made gluten free if you use gluten free pasta. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan on top and this soup can make a perfect end to a cold day.



 leftover meatballs , cut into fourths
1 box of organic chicken broth
1 can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chopped organic carrots
1/4 cup chopped organic onions
1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta (or quinoa pasta)
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp dry parsley
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp dry basil juice of half a lemon
2 cups organic fresh spinach
fresh parmesan cheese

Saute chopped carrots and onions on medium-low heat, until onions are translucent. Add box of chicken broth and water, garlic, dry and fresh basil, parsley, and allow to gently cook one medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add in pasta and continue to cook on medium heat until the pasta is al dente. Turn heat to low, add drained diced tomatoes, spinach, chopped meatballs, and lemon juice. Allow to cook until spinach is wilted, and serve with parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs (GF)

This is one of my go-to comfort food meals, and the best part: it's super healthy. It's so delicious that my husband (the man who doesn't eat healthy foods) loves it. This could fool even the most skeptical critic. The marinara sauce covers the taste of the spaghetti squash so that it tastes exactly like pasta. One of my favorite secrets to making jarred spaghetti sauce taste better is to add a splash of red wine while heating it on the stove. Then I toss it on the spaghetti squash, throw some mozzarella cheese on top, and bake it in the oven so it's cheesy and delicious. The best part is that you can save half the meatballs for another meal later on in the week, like Italian Wedding Soup or as meat in greek gyros.




1 package lean ground turkey (20 oz.)
2 egg whites 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup finely diced white onion (I used 1 tsp. onion powder because the husband hates onions)
1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil (you can use dried if you like)
1 tsp. garlic granules
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes

1 whole spaghetti squash
1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce (homemade recipe coming soon)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cubed or grated mozzarella cheese

 Whisk egg whites and chopped garlic together in a bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes. In another bowl add turkey, parmesan cheese, almond meal, onion, basil, garlic granules, salt, pepper, cayenne, and egg mixture. Gently mix until just incorporated (you may have to use your hands). Be careful not to over mix, you don't want the turkey to be tough after cooked. You can also add more almond meal if the mixture is too wet.

Roll turkey into 1 1/2 inch balls and set in fridge for an hour. (I do this to allow the ingredients to stick together better, though it's not necessary).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray, place on baking sheet (cut side facing down), and bake for 30 minutes or until it's tender. Remove and allow to cool.

When the meatballs have set for an hour, cook them on medium heat in a sauté pan, turning every minute or so to ensure that all sides get brown. This should take about 15 minutes or so.

Once the meatballs are cooked through, carefully (and on low heat, to avoid splatter) add the spaghetti sauce, making sure to scrape up any turkey bits from the bottom of the pan - this will make the sauce even tastier. Then, take a fork to the spaghetti squash and scrape away the insides. The squash will start to come apart, thus looking like "spaghetti noodles".

Place the squash noodles in a baking dish, and top with the meatballs and spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (maybe even more parmesan and basil!) and bake at 400 until cheese is melted.
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