Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mother of all grains

Don't you sometimes get bored with the good old recipes you've been making all this time and are looking for something new, yet simple? Look no further than your can of coconut milk or package of quinoa. As much as I always used to think those recipes were just to fill the empty space on the packaging, after trying several, I now am convinced that most of them are actually pretty tasty! Here is the newest addition to my cookbook, a recipe from an Archer Farms' quinoa packaging, simply called:
Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn. The main ingredient is a grain that is becoming increasingly popular in the US, but has been known for ages in South America, especially by the Incas, who called it the "Mother of all grains".
Cook 1 cup of grains according to the packaging instructions. Add 1 can of black beans, 1 can of sweet corn, 1 diced red pepper, 1/4 c chopped cilantro (although I used wayyyy more, as I love this wonderful herb), 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of cumin. Mix all together. You can of course make variations of this recipe, adding different vegetables, depending on what you like; as you may notice I added fresh mushrooms. This dish can be used as a side salad, taco filling, or you can follow my idea and make lettuce wraps, which make a light, yet filling summer meal. Meat lovers - add some andouille sausage and let me know how it turns out!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cool it

Last days of summer. There, I said it. I am dreading fall and winter and hanging on to the nice weather as long as I can. If you see a girl in a coat and scarf drinking her morning coffee on the porch in October just because it is sunny - yes, that would be me.
But I am getting ahead of myself. After all, we still have over a month of a calendar summer left. So here's a recipe for either a great appetizer or a dessert soup. Inspired by my lunch at the Dakota Harvest, I just had to know how to make this wonderful cold concoction and here is the result of gathering and tweaking a few recipes. Now, this is one of those recipes where you're the boss and you decide how you want it done!
In a food processor chop up about half a watermelon. Use the other half to munch on during your hard work of cooking or mixing ingredients, rather. Pour into a container, in which you will store it. Warm up about half a cup of water and add couple of tablespoons of honey, just so it dissolves. Don't heat the water too hot as it will kill the important nutrients in the honey (a gross fun fact about honey to follow below, those with a weak stomach - please don't read). Chop up several leafs of fresh mint and add into the pot/container. Add juice of half a lime. You may add some fresh ginger if you'd like, really, sky's the limit! Enjoy on the porch or, as a friend rightfully suggested, you may use it as an alcoholic beverage mix!
PS. Gross fun fact - if you love honey you basically enjoy eating bees' puke, as nectar is turned into honey by the process of regurgitation. Good news is that some cultures consider it an elixir of immortality, so eat up!