Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins

Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of always having some cooked quinoa in the fridge because I’m never more than a few minutes away from a healthy meal.  For example, in the time it took to saute vegetables, I had this nice Confetti Quinoa ready.

In addition, there are so many unexpected ways to use it, like in the salmon burgers I made last night, and in the blueberry quinoa muffins below.  A friend emailed me for a blueberry muffin recipe and since I happened to have quinoa in the fridge, I was able to whip these up in no time.

By using a combination of whole grain spelt and buckwheat flours in this recipe, you’ll be reducing the gluten.  The quinoa will add protein and fiber, making them more filling, and you'll barely know it’s there…

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins

Dry ingredients:
1 ¼ cup whole grain spelt flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ c sugar like sucanat or turbinado sugar
1 ½ t baking powder
1 t  sea or Himalayan salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t cardamom

Wet ingredients:
¼ c coconut oil or butter, melted
1 large egg
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1 t vanilla
2 c cooked quinoa, cooled

1 c fresh blueberries
½  c chopped walnuts, optional

1.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk. 

2.  In a separate larger bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well. 

3.  Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until they are incorporated.  Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.

4.  Fill lightly greased muffin tins ¾ full with batter.  Bake at 350°F for ~20 min, or until cooked through.   Let cool slightly before removing from the pan. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Confetti Quinoa

Having color on your plate is more than visually appealing.   It’s one of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re getting a variety of phytonutrients from your food, provided that the color is found naturally in fruits and vegetables.   In this article, I explain the benefits of phytonutrients and break it down by color.   And in this recipe, I’ve combined several colorful and flavorful vegetables with quinoa for a healthy lunch or side dish for dinner.

Confetti Quinoa

To make this simple, colorful dish, begin by sautéing chopped vegetables, like the ones below, then add cooked quinoa and spices. 

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet potato or yam, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped or shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful kale, chopped
sea salt
ground pepper
curry powder
tumeric (optional)

Begin by heating a pan and adding one teaspoon of oil.  Sautee the onion and red pepper until the onion is translucent, then add the sweet potato and one tablespoon of water and cover for a few minutes to let the sweet potato soften.  Add the zucchini, garlic, and kale and cover briefly again until the kale wilts.  Add cooked quinoa and spices or seasonings and mix well.  Can be served warm or as a cold salad.