web analytics

Tag Archive for no eggs

::summer love:: Southwest Keen Wah Salad


This past year has been the year of changes. Now that I have a deck, someday we’ll get deck furniture, and then I will have a place to eat outside. For now, I’ll drag a kitchen stool out there on the occasional evening, enjoy a margarita, and watch the sun go down. If I did have deck furniture, this is a perfect dish for a Summer dinner on the deck.

I’ve never really been one for pasta salads. Just in the past few years have I even been willing to try non-creamy looking ones. I’m not really sure why I still hesitate on them. Beyond burgers, I have always shied away from most picnic foods. Last year, I decided it was time to experiment with quinoa (pronounced keen wah) in the kitchen. The most appealing things I found turned out to be fancied up “pasta” salads. Go figure. But quinoa is a “super grain”, so I had to try it! My first quinoa salad scared everyone I served it to. No one had ever seen or heard of it before. But it was delicious. I never wrote down the recipe, but I know there was edamame, garlic, lemon, roasted red peppers and scallions involved (I took pictures). It looked like this:

I’m going to have to recreate it at some point this summer, because it was good. I just made way too much of it. It may have been about 2 gallons of Quinoa Edamame Salad… This one was a bit smaller, but not by much, and still seemed to last us forever. It can be served as a side on it’s own, or if you want it as a main course, add to the top of a bed of greens, and for a finishing touch, some slices of avocado on top do the trick quite nicely. Best part: we got to use some cilantro from our garden ūüôā

What You Need
Step One

1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
Step Two
lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Agave syrup
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
Step Three
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 med red onion, chopped (~1/2 cup)
handful of cilantro, chopped
Step Four
Salad Greens

Always rinse your quinoa first! Then just like rice, combine the quinoa and water in a pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover. Let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, then take it off the heat and sit for 5 more minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together all step two ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together all step three ingredients.  Add the cooled quinoa to the large bowl and mix in. Once combined, stir in your dressing.


Make your presentation fancy. Serve on top of a bed of greens. I would not recommend an herb salad! The extra cilantro can take the flavor balance overboard a bit.

The slices of avocado add exactly what this salad needs to round it out. Be careful with your portions, this can be quickly filling!

::super snack:: Red Pepper Hummus

Beans and I were good buddies throughout my pregnancy. With my love of starch, most specifically noodles, a variety of beans helped me get through the first couple months without starving myself of any and all nutrition. And there are so many things to do with beans. Once things were back to normal with my eating, we had a go at a new snack.

This recipe was inspired by Cooking Light’s Cooking Through the Seasons, but I didn’t follow theirs exactly. I just did what I wanted. In my opinion, Eden Organics has the BEST canned beans. It is a bonus that they are one of the only companies of canned foods that has stated that all of their cans are BPA-free. Yes, BPA is from plastic, not tin cans… but modern tin cans are lined, and sometimes with bad stuff. Just one more tiny effort to keep us and our little Bean safe from bad stuff.

What You Need
1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp tahini
~1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

What you do: Drain & rinse those beans! Chop up the peppers. Zest and Juice your lemon.

Put all of your ingredients in a food processor.

Serve with pita chips, veggies, or a spoon ¬†ūüôā However you like your hummus.

::simple snack:: Carrot Ginger Scones

The thought of scones can definitely widely vary from one person to the next.  My initial introduction to them was during my Starbucks employment.  They were dry, hard, and typically flavorless.  If not flavorless, the flavors tended to be overpowering to me.  It was certainly not a good impression.  At other coffee shops though I had scones and tea biscuits that were moist and dry at the same time and all together seemed perfect with their subtle flavor.  To me, this was the perfect companion to a first cup of coffee.

Because of my fear of dry scones, I had been searching for a base scone recipe for quite sometime. ¬†Unwilling to experiment for some reason, I waited until I had a strong recommendation. ¬†Then, of course, I changed the recipe anyway. ¬†Luckily, the friend that had recommended had changed it as well, so I was even more willing to experiment. ¬†So, Cooking Light, I can try and give you credit for this… but it really isn’t much like your original recipe at all. ¬†These scones have a very subtle flavor which actually comes out a bit more with the glaze. ¬†They paired perfectly with my coffee and were exactly what I wanted them to be. ¬†They may end up on my Mother’s Day menu since they were still great the next day!

What You Need
food processor
baking sheet
400F oven

Step One

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Step Two
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Step Three
5 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Step Four
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step Five (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Start by processing oats until finely ground.  Add all step two ingredients and pulse 3 times.

Add butter and pulse about 5 times until the mixture looks like a course meal.  Add all step four ingredients and pulse until JUST combined.  If adding nuts, do so now and pulse about 2 more times to combine.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. ¬†If it isn’t completely together, don’t worry, it will all combine by kneading lightly 3 or 4 times. ¬†Press out to about 1/2″ thickness. ¬† According to the recipe, you can use a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter to make 10 perfectly sized scones. ¬†I simply sliced my dough into 12 oddly shaped, but roughly the same size triangles.

Place onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil and place in the oven for 14 minutes.  Tops should be firm to touch and starting to have just a bit of golden brown.  Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Optional Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over cooled scones.

Yields: 10-12 scones

::summer love:: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The first sign of rhubarb in the store is an exciting one for me. ¬†I grew up on a farm and rhubarb just grew uncontrollably. ¬†I could just go steal some from my brother…but I would spend more on gas than a pound of organic rhubarb would cost me at the store. ¬†So I buy it. ¬†And organic strawberries – because MY GOODNESS – they are so much better than conventional strawberries. ¬†WOW.

I haven’t found the perfect pie crust recipe for me. ¬†And I really do believe it is a very personal thing. ¬†So I am not going to share my crust recipe with you yet. ¬†But these photos just make me so happy. ¬†So this post is mainly for happiness.

My strawberry rhubarb pie is a pound of each.  Sliced strawberries, and I cut my rhubarb just like celery.

my current desktop picture  :)

I mix them together in a bowl with about 1/4 cup tapioca and 1 1/4 cup sugar.  They stew together while I make my crust.

My favorite trick to an easy crust… Form it into a ball (one per bottom/top), flatten to about 1/2″ thick & refrigerate your crust for about 30 minutes. ¬†Then place the round between two sheets of floured parchment paper to roll it out. ¬†This makes it incredibly easy to roll, and place in the pie plate.

Don’t want a soggy bottom pie? ¬†Sprinkle your bottom crust with a bit more tapioca to help soak up extra juices.

See what I mean about the parchment paper helping to place the crust??

I start my pie at 450F for 15 minutes, then drop it to 375 for about 30 more minutes.

See what I mean about such a happy post?! ¬†Since I am on a mission for the perfect pie crust (this summer will probably be filled with pies to test…) Can you share yours or a link to your favorite crust? ¬†Thanks!

::sweetness:: Lemon Melt-aways

This cookies started the birthday week shenanigans. ¬†PTB wasn’t crazy about them at first, but admitted a couple days later that they were “sooooo much better after a few days.” ¬†I think it was just that he was hoping they would be more like the Lemon Zucchini cookies. ¬†What’s up with us and lemon cookies lately? ¬†We are chocolate people! ¬†I think it may be the melt-away concept though – he wan’t crazy about the time I made chocolate chip melta-ways either…Anyway… ¬†these were quick and easy and gave me a great excuse to use my mechanical pastry “bag”.

Step One

2 sticks of butter, softened to room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
zest from a large lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Step Two
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

In a stand mixer, beat all step one ingredients on medium-high for 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour and salt.

Once all combined, return the mixer to medium-high, and cream for another 5 minutes.

This is the fun part! ¬†One two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, place your cookies about 1-2″ apart. ¬†I used a pastry bag to form spirals about 1.5″ in diameter, giving each cookie a nice little point.

Bake in a 350 F oven for ~12 minutes until dry to the touch. ¬†Allow to cool on the cookie sheet and EAT ¬†ūüôā

Yields: ~3 Dozen Cookies