Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Southwest Quinoa

This is a delicious Green Smoothie Girl recipe that I have adapted slightly and we love it. You can basically make it your own and add whatever you would like to the quinoa that you have on hand. It is super fast to throw together as well. Plus we could eat mexican food every day all day over here so it's a good way to get a super healthy food like quinoa into our diet while still incorporating our love for mexican food! This makes a LOT so for the two of us we usually half the recipe. This is definitely my husband's favorite quinoa recipe that I make, so if you are trying to introduce your family to quinoa, start with this one!

This is the full recipe and makes a large bowl. Also, cherry tomatoes aren't amazing in it but it was all we had when I took this pic. I recommend Roma or vine ripened tomatoes for sure.

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
2 cans black beans (or 3-4 cups cooked black beans)
4 medium tomatoes
8 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro

1 heaping Tbsp. lime zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
4-6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper

Rinse quinoa thoroughly and strain water out through a fine strainer. Cook the quinoa in water (we just use our rice cooker, it's so easy!) and add everything else when finished. Pour dressing over top and gently mix. Top with fresh salsa and guacamole if desired (in my opinion the salsa and guac are a must:) You can serve this hot or cold but don't reheat once it is all mixed together. Buen provecho!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Chimichangas

I have a very trim, slim husband who can pack in the food and he was getting tired of sandwiches for lunch and I was getting tired of having left overs always ready, so voila! We discovered these scrumptious chicken chimichangas that can be frozen and then thawed for a quick lunch. They are much healthier and tastier than frozen food aisle burritos (though we are certainly guilty of buying those for a quick snack).

This recipe is adapted from one my mother makes.  I will show you the additions.

2 1/2 cups cooked, diced, chicken (To make it vegetarian, use pinto beans for added substance).
1 cup salsa (we prefer homemade. I will share the recipe later)
1/3 cup sliced green onion
1 can black beans, drained (I frequently add another can).
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
I add:
1/2 jar/ 8 oz. of Green Enchilada sauce
2 TBSP honey
2-3 cups cooked brown rice

whole wheat flour tortillas
grated cheese
melted butter

Mix chicken, salsa, onions, cumin, oregano, salt, honey, enchilada sauce and black beans in a large bowl. (I don't think these pictures will get any awards, but you get the idea. :))

 Take your flour tortillas and place a good dollop of chicken mixture, then add a good dollop of brown rice and sprinkle with cheese.  Fold the two bottoms and then the two sides, so the tortilla looks like a square pillow. Turn over so the folds are on the bottom. Brush with melted butter.

To freeze:
Wrap individually in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 30 days.

To Bake:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Bake for 13 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and crispy. Serve with fresh tomatoes, salsa, avocado and lettuce.

I also convert them to enchiladas and simply top with the rest of the green enchilada sauce mixed with a bit of half and half.

P.S. HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLACK BEANS, courtesy of Whole Foods:

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, black beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans' fiber and protein, but this is far from all black beans have to offer.

To read more, visit this article on black beans: whfoods.com.