Food! And a new Recipe

So, as I said before, I’m changing my diet again to be gluten free.  As the elimination of soy, gluten, meat and dairy from my diet leaves not a heck of a lot I can eat,  I’m relaxing my standards a bit, out of necessity.  Gluten and soy seem to be major problems in thyroid disease, so those are non-negotiable.  Eliminating dairy has helped me loose a lot of weight and my digestive system seems better, so dairy goes to the “very rare cheat” list.  Which leaves meat as the most flexible “cheat” area.  So last night we had hot dogs and potato salad, and I must say, boy, did they taste GOOD!

That said, I still want to stay mostly with a plant based diet.  So protein sources are mostly beans and quinoa.  Yesterday I came up with a salad  that’s high in protein, cool for those hot days, and actually yummy!

Jicama Quinoa Salad

  •  1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 cup grated Jicama
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • ½ lemon, Juiced
  • ½ c Peas ( use frozen peas, thawed)
  • ¼ c dried cranberries

 Soak quinoa in water to cover for 15 minutes.  Simmer on low, covered, in enough water to cover about 30 minutes. Drain, and allow to cool.

 Open can of mandarin oranges and drain, reserving about half of juice.  Fold into quinoa. Add Jicama, onion, peas, cranberries, sesame oil, and toss lightly.  Season to taste.

 I served on a bed of raw spinach.  I flirted with the idea of making rolls with the spinach leaves, but I was too hungry!

 This recipe lends itself well to experimentation and substitution. I plan to try cooking the quinoa in broth rather than water, trying with other fresh fruits (sliced strawberries, blueberries perhaps) keeping with the savory/sweet theme.

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Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Quinoa Stuffing

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 4 kale leaves, washed and chopped.
  • 12 large chard leaves

Cover quinoa with warm water and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse well.

Sauté onion, garlic in oil; add juice and stock, stirring well.  Add quinoa and kale.  Reduce heat and simmer til liquid is absorbed.

Wash chard very well.  Blanche for two minutes in boiling water.  Immerse in ice water.  Pat dry.  Chard should be just slightly wilted, pliable.

Place a tablespoon of the quinoa mixture on the stem end and roll up, folding the sides in to seal.  Place seam side down in heat resistant pan.  Repeat till all leaves are stuffed.  Make sauce.

Orange Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ c orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 3Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, sauté garlic and green onions in oils until garlic is golden.

Add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Splash several tablespoons of boiling sauce over chard wraps. Reduce heat to medium, stirring in cornstarch that has been dissolved in water to thicken sauce.

Cook chard wraps for 1-2 minutes in microwave, or steam briefly.

Tofu

  • Cornstarch
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces.  Dredge in cornstarch.  Heat oil in deep skillet; fry tofu until browned.

Toss tofu with enough sauce to coat lightly; serve with chard rolls and extra sauce.

Makes: 4 servings.

Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 green onions

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoon orange juice

½ cup vegetable stock

4 kale leaves, washed and chopped.

12 large chard leaves

Cover quinoa with warm water and let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse well.

Sauté onion, garlic in oil; add juice and stock, stirring well. Add quinoa and kale. Reduce heat and simmer til liquid is absorbed.

Wash chard very well. Blanche for two minutes in boiling water. Immerse in ice water. Pat dry. Chard should be just slightly wilted, pliable.

Place a tablespoon of the quinoa mixture on the stem end and roll up, folding the sides in to seal. Place seam side down in heat resistant pan. Repeat till all leaves are stuffed. Make sauce.

Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 green onions, chopped

½ c orange juice

2 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari sauce

3Tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, sauté garlic and green onions in oils until garlic is golden.

Add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Splash several tablespoons of boiling sauce over chard wraps. Reduce heat to medium, stirring in cornstarch that has been dissolved in water to thicken sauce.

Cook chard wraps for 1-2 minutes in microwave, or steam briefly.

Tofu

Cornstarch

Oil for deep frying

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces. Dredge in cornstarch. Heat oil in deep skillet; fry tofu until browned.

Toss tofu with enough sauce to coat lightly; serve with chard rolls and extra sauce.

Makes: 4 servings.

Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 green onions

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoon orange juice

½ cup vegetable stock

4 kale leaves, washed and chopped.

12 large chard leaves

Cover quinoa with warm water and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse well.

Sauté onion, garlic in oil; add juice and stock, stirring well.  Add quinoa and kale.  Reduce heat and simmer til liquid is absorbed.

Wash chard very well.  Blanche for two minutes in boiling water.  Immerse in ice water.  Pat dry.  Chard should be just slightly wilted, pliable.

Place a tablespoon of the quinoa mixture on the stem end and roll up, folding the sides in to seal.  Place seam side down in heat resistant pan.  Repeat till all leaves are stuffed.  Make sauce.

Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 green onions, chopped

½ c orange juice

2 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari sauce

3Tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, sauté garlic and green onions in oils until garlic is golden.

Add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Splash several tablespoons of boiling sauce over chard wraps. Reduce heat to medium, stirring in cornstarch that has been dissolved in water to thicken sauce.

Cook chard wraps for 1-2 minutes in microwave, or steam briefly.

Tofu

Cornstarch

Oil for deep frying

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces.  Dredge in cornstarch.  Heat oil in deep skillet; fry tofu until browned.

Toss tofu with enough sauce to coat lightly; serve with chard rolls and extra sauce.

Makes: 4 servings.

Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 green onions

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoon orange juice

½ cup vegetable stock

4 kale leaves, washed and chopped.

12 large chard leaves

Cover quinoa with warm water and let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse well.

Sauté onion, garlic in oil; add juice and stock, stirring well. Add quinoa and kale. Reduce heat and simmer til liquid is absorbed.

Wash chard very well. Blanche for two minutes in boiling water. Immerse in ice water. Pat dry. Chard should be just slightly wilted, pliable.

Place a tablespoon of the quinoa mixture on the stem end and roll up, folding the sides in to seal. Place seam side down in heat resistant pan. Repeat till all leaves are stuffed. Make sauce.

Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 green onions, chopped

½ c orange juice

2 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari sauce

3Tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, sauté garlic and green onions in oils until garlic is golden.

Add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Splash several tablespoons of boiling sauce over chard wraps. Reduce heat to medium, stirring in cornstarch that has been dissolved in water to thicken sauce.

Cook chard wraps for 1-2 minutes in microwave, or steam briefly.

Tofu

Cornstarch

Oil for deep frying

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces. Dredge in cornstarch. Heat oil in deep skillet; fry tofu until browned.

Toss tofu with enough sauce to coat lightly; serve with chard rolls and extra sauce.

Makes: 4 servings.

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Orange Tofu with Quinoa Stuffed Chard

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 green onions

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoon orange juice

½ cup vegetable stock

4 kale leaves, washed and chopped.

12 large chard leaves

Cover quinoa with warm water and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse well.

Sauté onion, garlic in oil; add juice and stock, stirring well.  Add quinoa and kale.  Reduce heat and simmer til liquid is absorbed.

Wash chard very well.  Blanche for two minutes in boiling water.  Immerse in ice water.  Pat dry.  Chard should be just slightly wilted, pliable.

Place a tablespoon of the quinoa mixture on the stem end and roll up, folding the sides in to seal.  Place seam side down in heat resistant pan.  Repeat till all leaves are stuffed.  Make sauce.

Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 green onions, chopped

½ c orange juice

2 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari sauce

3Tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, sauté garlic and green onions in oils until garlic is golden.

Add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Splash several tablespoons of boiling sauce over chard wraps. Reduce heat to medium, stirring in cornstarch that has been dissolved in water to thicken sauce.

Cook chard wraps for 1-2 minutes in microwave, or steam briefly.

Tofu

Cornstarch

Oil for deep frying

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces.  Dredge in cornstarch.  Heat oil in deep skillet; fry tofu until browned.

Toss tofu with enough sauce to coat lightly; serve with chard rolls and extra sauce.

Makes: 4 servings.

Recipe – Crockpot Breakfast Quinoa

Food facts: Quinoa is a high protein, nutrient dense food.  It contains eight grams of protein in every cup of cooked grain. Well, it’s not actually a grain, it’s a seed, but most people think of it as, and use it as, a grain.  It is a complete protein, containing all nine amino acids.  It also contains iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber, along with a few other essential micronutrients.  It has the added benefit of being gluten free, for those who need to avoid gluten, and can be bought as flour for  baking.

Due to a bitter coating on the seed, it should be soaked and rinsed before cooking.

So tonight I’m making breakfast.  I’ll let you know in the morning if it’s worth replicating!

Crockpot Breakfast Quinoa

  • 2 cups Quinoa, previously soaked and rinsed
  • 3 cups Vanilla Almond Milk (soy, coconut or hemp may be substituted)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbl cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Place all ingredients into crockpot and blend well.  Cook overnight on low.  In the morning, stir; add additional liquid and sweetener if necessary.  Serve in your favorite way.

This turned out ok.  Needs some tweaking.  My first mistake was to start it out  too early in the evening, and on high “just to get it up to temperature” and of course, forgetting to turn it down for hours. It was so thick even by the time I went to bed I had to add the cup of water. My crockpot has a “keep warm” setting, so I left it on that overnight.

The first taste was a little odd, but it grew on me.  Served it with more vanilla soymilk, a little stevia, and blueberries.  Not bad.  I’ll probably  make it again, with some tweaking.