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Healthy Cooking, Naturally!

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#3: Cream of Quinoa: breakfast that tastes like a memory

Oh quinoa, you strange but wonderful grain! I made some for the first time a few months ago. Having never tried it before, I was a bit unsure, but thankfully Vidal loved it. I, on the other hand, was not crazy about it. But as Vidal liked it (and I had 3/4 box to go!), I tried again. It got better...

The second time I tried quinoa, it had a better, not bitter taste. I probably followed a recipe that included rinsing the grains (as Cecily also posted on our Facebook page).  What I remember most is that there was a vaguely familiar taste, like my all-time favorite breakfast, Cream of Wheat. I can still picture my grandmother cooking it over her stove. What warm memories!

Feeling a bit under the weather today, I wanted something comforting to eat. As Cecily had just commented on quinoa recipes I had recently posted on Facebook, I remembered the Cream of Wheat taste, and knew immediately what I was going to do…

The following is my twist on a recipe from Martha Stewart; I kept it close to my grandmother’s recipe, hence the butter, as I can find nothing else that comes close to the taste.  You, however, can omit it! You will find the link to her original recipe below.  Check it out – as it has more links within for other fascinating quinoa recipes!

INGREDIENTS

  • ·         2 cups almond milk, plus more for serving
  • ·         1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • ·         ¼ cup blueberries
  • ·         1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave or raw sugar
  • ·         OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon butter, for serving

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until three-quarters of the milk has been absorbed, roughly 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup/agave/raw sugar. Cook, covered, until almost all the milk has been absorbed, up to 5 minutes. Stir in blueberries; cook for 30 seconds. Serve with additional milk, sugar and butter as desired. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Link to original Martha Stewart recipe

Taco's Blog Entry #1: In the Beginning... There Were Brownies!

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help. Romans 14:1-5 (The Message)

Not everybody sees the way I do... I need a lot of prayer to remember that every day! What a beautiful message, don't you think? That message can be applied to pretty much anything, but let's stick to food, and more specifically in this post - desserts. There are, after all, people who believe that desserts, outside of fresh fruit, should not be part of an everyday healthy diet - and definitely not a choice for a diabetic, that cookies, cakes and brownies are sinfully decadent, and the thought of offering them to a Diabetic should be a 'Thou shalt not...' as the Eleventh Commandment. I respectively disagree, but will try to remember the Message above and not push my beliefs on anyone. Although I am not saying brownies should be on the Diabetic table daily - I do believe there are healthy, delicious alternatives to all the 'bad' recipes out there. It's just a matter of research, trial and error until you find that perfect alternative.

As Vidal is the main reason my whole way of looking at cooking has changed, I decided that my first entry should be his favorite: brownies. Prior to his Diabetes diagnosis, he (as well as friends and family) drooled over my brownies, and it was the only thing he said he cared about possibly never being able to eat again - as if his whole reason for beating diabetes was to be able once more to eat brownies!

I tried a variety of healthy recipes before finally finding a good one on Sparkpeople.com (the original recipe was called '103 calorie brownies'). As always, I tweaked it, adapting it to fit our tastes - and made it healthier while doing so. According to Vidal - this recipe is even better than the original brownie recipe he originally fell in love with.

Vidal's Beloved Brownies

Nutrition Info, using whole wheat flour: (47g serving) 96 Calories (8 Calories from Fat), .9g Total Fat, .5g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 102mg Sodium, 22.5g Carbs, 1.2g Dietary Fiber, 2.3g Sugar, 1.8g Protein

Nutrition Info, using oat flour: (46g serving) 94 Calories (9 Calories from Fat),1.09g Total Fat, .6g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 102mg Sodium, 22.0g Carbs, 1.3g Dietary Fiber, 2.3g Sugar, 1.8g Protein

Ingredients

1 apple (to make 1/4 cup homemade applesauce; see below)

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup agave syrup (Splenda or raw sugar can be used as a substitute)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or oat flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (you can even use instant espresso - if you are a coffee lover!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Canola cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch non-stick cake pan with spray - sometimes I use a small rectangular glass pan; I have even used silicone candy molds to make brownie bites. Whatever works for you!

Peel, core and chop the apple and place in microwaveable container with ¼ cup water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes; check and stir, microwave 2 min more as necessary until mushy (*always check to make sure there is enough water - you don't want dry applesauce!). Put in a food processor to get applesauce consistency.
In a medium bowl, mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and agave syrup until they are well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking powder, and salt. Add to the above mixture. Add chocolate chips and nuts; stir until batter is just combined and no lumps remain.

Pour it into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool 5 minutes.

Try not to eat them all in one sitting - these are best when lots of love is added and shard with others!

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