Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Few Recipes and Some Changes

We've been eating some yummy food around here of late, so I thought I'd share. A few days ago with virtually no food in the house I was scraping around to try to come up with something for lunch, since we had just arrived back from vacation, I hadn't had a chance to get groceries yet and it was pouring SHEETS of rain and I didn't want to get drenched walking to the farmers market (across the street...).

So I threw together a quick, delicious pantry meal of Mexican Black Beans and Quinoa. At least that's what I'm calling it.

In a medium sized pot, heat 2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock to boiling. Add 1 cup quinoa, put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. 

While that's simmering, in a medium or large cast iron pan heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced, and one can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or the equivalent of dry beans, soaked and cooked). Add sea salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Saute until it's all heated through. 

When the timer goes for the quinoa, dump it into the skillet with the beans and add 1/3 cup of your favourite salsa. Stir around until everything is warm and delicious. Check for salt, then serve it up. Yum!

Another delicious supper was this Chow Mein recipe from Rightthinker. It was really, super, fantastically yummy. I will be making this over and over again. What a great way to get coconut oil and cabbage - two super-good-for-you foods - into your diet.

Last night we had Potato Leek Pizza from the Pioneer Woman cookbook. It sounds weird, but thinly sliced potato makes a surprisingly delicious pizza topping. Add bacon and sauteed leeks and mozzarella on a homemade whole wheat crust and you're in pizza heaven.

Last but not least was lunch today. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I had to restrain myself in order to snap this picture.

Cold Cucumber Soup! Now before you run screaming away from your computer screen, give it a chance. It's cool, refreshing, very simple to make and a great way to use up some of those cucumbers that are so cheap right now. I got three HUGE local cucumbers across the road today for only a dollar. Can't beat that price!

Inspiration came from this youtube video from Working Class Foodies. I watched the video, blog-hopped a bit to see what other people have done, and came up with my own version (of course!). Here's my recipe:

Cucumber Gazpacho

Into the pitcher of your blender, add:

3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped (6-7 cups)
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbps fresh dill weed
1 tbps fresh parsley
1 large avacado, pitted, skinned and chopped
1 cup homemade chicken stock (or vegetable for vegetarian)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
4-5 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

Blend until smooth, then chill for an hour before serving. Drizzle bowls with olive oil, eat with crackers or toast.

Eli kept complaining that it was "hot" (spicy) but don't listen to him, he's a wimp. He ate his whole bowl anyway, so it can't have been too hot. I love tzatziki sauce, so this was kind of like tzatziki in soup form. It doesn't have a ton of protein though, and I'm kind of a protein junky so I'm having some cheese and crackers right now to round off my lunch.

In other news, I'm currently working with the wonderful h. rae from An Original Belle on a new custom blog design. She does great work and I'm thrilled with what she's come up with so far. She's fast too, so I don't imagine it will be too much longer before everything is ready and up (though I am going to be gone for the weekend, so probably not until next week). Keep your eyes open for a totally new design and even a new blog title! I've always hated "The Vail Family" because it's pretty lame, but I'm terrible at coming up with something else. She even helped me with that process and I'm so excited to introduce it to you all. She just sent me a sneak peek and I couldn't be happier with her design. I can't wait for you all to see it!

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