Tag Archives: quinoa

Baking

Gluten-free Chocolate Quinoa Cake

The world is awash today with images of hearts and chocolate.¬†Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. I know what you’re thinking. Chocolate, hearts, berries…but what’s Valentine’s Day without quinoa? I hear you, ye tired, hungry and gluten-free. Because having quinoa in your cake is like having dinner together with dessert. It’s just more efficient.

I happened upon this recipe at the Week of Menus blog. She must cook during the day because she has way better lighting than I do, and is reflecting on how to be a better mother while I am just thinking about my hair and thinking about how I can make dinner into a dessert. (I cut my hair. After a couple of weeks of awkward silences and people averting my gaze trying not to comment on it while I was figuring out how to work with it, I have finally found a way to make it look effortlessly tousled which requires way more time than if I tried to make it look like I made a concerted effort. But such is the price of beachy.)

Week of Menus has done a good job laying out the recipe, so I’ll just link to it below, but the basic gist is that you mix the quinoa in a blender with a bunch of stuff and end up with a batter that looks like this:

Bake it like she tells you to. I’m sorry, but making my hair look effortlessly tousled has drained me of my will to share detail. You’ll end up with a cake.

Then you can cut a heart out of wax paper, snowflake-style:

Place it over the cake and dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar:

End up with this:

So follow the recipe. Eat it. Enjoy.

Cooking Food

Herbed Quinoa with Beets

I’m a pretty dedicated carnivore, but every once in a while I read an article like this one about death by bacon and I think, “Well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt for me to try to live 13% longer, just for today.” Even if the only result of all my recent working out is not awesome abs or toned arms, but bigger calves, and get this — a bigger butt. This was not what I was hoping to achieve. I may actually need to invest in a new pair of big butt jeans to accommodate. Yesterday I wore my jeans with a rubber band around the button, maternity-style. Sigh.

It was just me and the girls tonight, but I compensated for the meatlessness by clipping a few sprigs of jasmine from the garden and sticking them in a glass. So simple, but it smelled so fancy.

Jasmine

Anyway, back to dinner. I wanted to make something flavorful and filling, so I did a fridge raid and here’s what I found:

quinoa and beets
Quinoa and red beets

I heated up the oven to 400 and popped the beets in for an hour. I like to cook them in a covered ceramic container lined with parchment paper (for easy cleanup), but you can also just wrap them with aluminum foil. I’ve avoided cooking with aluminum foil ever since I read that it increases your chances of getting Alzheimer’s. I don’t need any extra help getting there.

I had cooked the quinoa the night before, but my favorite way to cook quinoa is in a rice cooker, so that it comes out perfect every time, but you can also follow the instructions on the package.

While the beets were roasting I grabbed some parsley, dill and scallions. Chopped them. Grabbed a handful of grape tomatoes and halved them with a serrated knife.

herbs

I made a quick little vinaigrette with 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground better. Mixed it all up in a measuring cup.

Once the beets were roasted and slightly cooled, I peeled them (they slide right off if you apply pressure and push to the right) and diced them. I combined all the other ingredients, poured the vinaigrette over it, and tossed.

You know what? The kids actually liked it, and it was filling. Go keeeeeeeeen-waaaaaaaahhh!

HERBED QUINOA WITH BEETS

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 red beets
  • handful of parsley and dill, chopped
  • 4-5 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Roast beets in a covered ceramic container lined with parchment or wrapped in aluminum foil at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Meanwhile, chop herbs, slice scallions and halve grape tomatoes.

In a cup or small bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil, 1/8 cup vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until uniform.

Peel beets and dice. Add the herbs, scallions, grape tomatoes, beets and vinaigrette to the quinoa and toss. Add salt and pepper and additional lemon juice to taste.

P.S. I didn’t do this but I’m thinking that adding a handful of toasted pine nuts to this recipe would make it extra delicious!