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Archive for the ‘Quinoa’ Category

I am a firm believer that the birthday girl should always get to choose her birthday cake. So when my friend Kaitlyn recently celebrated hers, she requested that I make a cake using this recipe, an old family favourite.

I was a little dubious – a gluten-free chocolate cake that claimed to be moist and intensely chocolately.  Boy was I ever proven wrong – this cake is amazingly rich, with one of the best structures I’ve ever tasted for a gluten-free cake.  It’s also super easy to mix up.  I decided to frost it with a White Chocolate Ganache, but the cake is tasty enough to stand on its own if you are in a pinch for time.

Best of all, my friend said that the cake easily converted to lactose-free too – all that’s needed is to substitute the butter for vegetable oil and milk to almond/soy milk.

 

Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Carson & Rose Chen

Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Carson & Rose Chen

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

(Original recipe from Quinoa 365: the Everyday Superfood)

No one will believe this chocolate cake is made with cooked quinoa —
no flour required. It is kid-friendly and gluten-free.

Serves 8-16

Ingredients

2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1-1/2 cups white or cane sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce  to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the  covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a  fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round or square cake  pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add  2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until  smooth.

Combine sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on the centre rack for 40 to 45  minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan before serving. Frost if desired.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to a month.

Bon appetit!

 

– Catherine

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My final exams are quickly approaching, and I admit to frequent procrastinating via cooking. I happened upon a recipe that combines three of my favourite ingredients, and couldn’t resist trying it for dinner!  I love the nuttiness of quinoa, and frequently pair it with a parsley lemon vinaigrette.  The ingenuity of this recipe comes with the addition of pomegranate and baked acorn squash.    The squash caramelizes as it bakes, providing contrast to the acidity of the pomegranate. And, oh is this dish lovely looking!

I tinkered with the original recipe’s proportions by doubling the dressing and upping the pomegranate quota (one can never have too many pomegranate seeds…)  This tasty and beautiful dish comes from A Thought For Foods blog.

Quinoa with Acorn Squash and Pomegranate

Quinoa with Acorn Squash and Pomegranate

Serves 4 as an entree, or 6 as a side

 

Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa, cooked

1 acorn or kabocha squash

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (or 1 pomegranate)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for roasting squash

Juice from one lemon

Zest of a lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. With a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the squash.  Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.  Cut each piece in half again lengthwise.  Then slice each quarter lengthwise, creating 1/2 inch slices.  Place squash slices into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread across the pan and arrange so each piece sits flat. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.  In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, and scallions.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Once the acorn squash is finished, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

5. Mix together the cooked quinoa, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and dressing in a big serving bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with the roasted squash pieces.

Bon appetit!

 

– Catherine

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Quinoa is one of my favourite grains – deliciously nutty and flavourful.  When I learned awhile back that it was also a complete protein, it gave me the perfect excuse to eat it more frequently.  My father has been travelling in Switzerland, and arrived home on Sunday.  For a special welcome home dinner, I decided to make stuffed tomatoes and peppers along with a summer quinoa salad.

I threw together a few vegetables, including the first yellow tomatoes of the season, and copious amounts of fresh herbs (straight from our herb garden!) and mixed it with quinoa.  Feel free to add more vegetables to your heart’s content. I dressed the salad with a tangy lemony vinaigrette that set off the quinoa beautifully.   My family’s only complaint was that I should have made more for leftovers!

Quinoa salad is perfectly cool and refreshing on a hot summer's eve

Quinoa Summer Salad

(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

1 yellow and 1 red tomato, coarsely diced

A section of cucumber, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 can of corn, drained and rinsed

1/2 red pepper, minced

Handful of carrots, chopped

1/2 cup of a combination of coarsely chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, and chives

Olive oil

1 lemon

Small spoonful of Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to season

1 1/2 cups quinoa

2 1/2 cups broth

Directions:

Simmer the quinoa in the broth until cooked.  Set aside and allow to cool (or to cool quickly, rinse under cold water in fine sieve and allow to excess water to drain for a few minutes).

Add the chopped vegetables and herbs to a large salad bowl.  Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon together to form the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix the quinoa with the vegetables and dressing.  Toss to coat quinoa evenly.  Delicious served chilled!

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