Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quinoa & Flax Muffins

I recently found a muffin recipe on the back of a hot cereal box that was too good not to share.  Just reading over the ingredients, I knew I had to try it.  And it did not disappoint!

The cereal is: Hodgson Mill Multi Grain with Quinoa & Flax Hot Cereal.

The recipe is:

  • 1 cup of Hodgson Mill Multi Grain Hot Cereal
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

I substituted 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of honey for the 1/2 cup of sugar.  I used coconut oil.  There were chopped pecans in the recipe originally, but I generally don't like nuts in my baked goods.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liner, or grease the muffin tin.  Blend together the dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.  Batter will be thick.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown.

So good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cream Cheese and Walnut Sandwiches

Cream cheese sandwiches are a great tea time snack!

You will need:
  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 8, 10, or 12 slices of bread of your choice (I use whole wheat)

Both the cream cheese and the butter need to be soft, so be sure to set them out ahead of time.

First, make the honey-butter simply by mixing the butter and the honey together.

Then, mix the chopped walnuts with your soft cream cheese:

Now you have two mixtures: honey-butter, and walnut-cream-cheese.

Spread the honey-butter on every slice of bread.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on HALF the slices of bread.  Be as generous or as sparing as your taste dictates.

Cut the crust off:

Then cut them into triangles.


Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

Our family has been eating less meat lately, so I've been adding quinoa to our chili instead.

First, I cook a cup of quinoa in a flavorful chicken stock.  Then, in a deep cast iron skillet, I pour 30 ounces of tomato sauce and add 30 ounces of beans (I like 15 ounces of black beans and 15 ounces of kidney beans.)  I season generously with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika.  Then I add the cooked quinoa.  I let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  We like ours topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, and my favorite cornbread on the side.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Creamy Carrot Soup

  • 1 pound of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/8 tsp red cayenne pepper (optional)
This will make two average-sized bowls, or four small appetizer-sized bowls.  Double or triple ingredients as needed to accommodate the amount of people you're serving.

Start with 1 pound of carrots.  Peel and chop them.

Add the carrots and 2 cups of chicken stock to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Allow the carrots to simmer in the stock until they are cooked and soft, about 20-30 minutes.  They should break apart easily when poked with a fork.

Once the carrots are cooked and soft, strain them over a bowl.  Catch the extra chicken stock in a bowl and set aside.  

Now you need to mash or blend the carrots.  I used my food processor with great success, but if you don't have one then you can try a blender, or even mash by hand with a potato masher.  Try to get as many chunks out as possible for a smooth soup.

Basically baby food, right? Haha

Now transfer the mashed carrots back into the saucepan and pour the chicken stock that you set aside back in.  Stir well and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Pour the half-and-half in and again stir well.  Add the optional cayenne pepper now, if you want some spice.  Continue stirring slowly until the soup is good and hot, then pour into bowls and serve!