MARSALA MUSHROOM QUINOA

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Settling in our new home, cooking has become my ultimate go-to stress reliever. I’ve always loved cooking, but having our own place and cooking for the person I love makes it feel much more special and rewarding. But coming home and looking a gourmet meal every night is not realistic. Sometimes quick and easy is the way to go…but that does not mean that it can not be delicious. This Marsala Mushroom Quinoa dish is perfect for a healthy side for Thanksgiving or just a quick light dinner.

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What you’ll need:

1 1/2 cup of Quinoa
3 Cups Chicken Broth (Light)
1 8 oz package of Mushrooms
1/2 Green Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasonings
1/4 Cup of Marsala cooking Wine
Black Ground Pepper (to taste)

Directions: 

  1. Follow the Quinoa directions. Depending on the Quinoa you purchased you may have to rinse the quinoa before cooking. Once ready, in a medium sized pot cook your quinoa in the chicken broth. (**Cooking your Quinoa in chicken broth gives the quinoa tons more flavoring.) Make sure to cook Quinoa until all liquid has dissolved in pot.
  2. While your Quinoa is cooking, slice your mushrooms and dice your red onion, green pepper and garlic cloves.
  3. In a medium hot pan, place vegetables into pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  4.  Saute vegetables for 3-4 minutes then add Marsala Cooking Wine and Italian Seasonings. Cook until wine is completely dissolved.
  5. Finish by adding all ingredients in the pot with your Quinoa. Mix thoroughly and top off with Fresh Ground Pepper. Enjoy.

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Pepitas

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Pepitas, the Spanish term for pumpkin seeds.
While browsing a cookbook the other day I came across a recipe for pumpkin seeds otherwise known as “pepitas.” Growing up, I was obsessed with pumpkin seeds. It was so bad at one point that i was banned from eating them in the house because I would spill the shells everywhere. And mom was not a fan of that. After seeing the one recipe in the cookbook, I began searching for¬†more¬†pumpkin seed recipes,¬†pepitas in particular, where I found multiple different variations of¬†pepitas. Experimenting int he¬†kitchen and trying to find my perfect pepita recipe, I think I finally nailed it. A¬†combination of a few recipes I found online along with a little of my own doing, here is my spicy pepitas recipe. enjoy.

Ingredients:

16 oz of Pumpkin Seeds (unsalted)
1 tablespoon of fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
3  guajillo chili peppers
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 lime
Salt to taste

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First. Deseed and finely chop your guajillo chili peppers. In a food processor add chili peppers olive oil and water. Process until peppers and liquor ingredients are completely combined and the sauce becomes a bright orange color.


Second. 
Add your seeds to a medium hot pan and continuously stir to make sure they do not burn. Stir until seeds are warm.

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Third. Mix all dry ingredients to your pumpkin seeds. Continue to constantly stir. Do not leave seeds to sit for too long because they will quickly burn.

Fourth.  After mixing all the dry ingredients, with a teaspoon add your guajillo chili pepper sauce. Add as much or little as you would like, I added three teaspoons. Add a teaspoon, then mix well and taste to see if you should add more.

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Fifth. Once adding all dry and liquid ingredients, constantly stir for another 5 minutes. Then plate pepitas and squeeze lime juice onto pepitas then your ready to serve!

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VEGTABLES KABOBS

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Grilled or roasted, veggie kabobs are always the perfect side to any dish, especially at a barbecue. I’ve always been a huge veggie lover and¬†this is one of my favorite ways to cook them. Eat these veggie kabobs for a light lunch, put them on top of a bead of lettuce for a salad, pull off the kabob and make veggie tacos, or just eat them as a side. The ways to eat these vegetable kabobs are endless.

Kabob Ingredients: Makes 7 Kabobs
2 Zucchinis
1 8oz package of Portobello Mushrooms
1 Medium Yellow Pepper
1 Medium Red Onion

Sauce Ingredients: 
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
3 Tablespoon Lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 diced clove of Garlic
1 one inch piece of Red Onion (use a piece that you cut up for your kabob)
A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

**You will also need skewers for the kabobs, I personally prefer metal.  If you prefer wooden sticks, make sure to soak them in water before using so that they do not burn.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven on top broil.
2. Cut Zucchinis, Mushrooms, Bell Pepper, and Onion in about one inch slices.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Let sauce rest.
4.  Thread Zucchinis, Mushrooms, Bell Pepper, and Onion onto metal kabob skewers.
5. Rest kabobs on top of a small shallow pan (allowing the metal kabob sticks to be the only thing actually touching the pan.)
6. Brush sauce mixture onto kabobs.
7. Place in oven for 10 minutes or until slightly charred. ( leave oven cracked open since it is on broil setting.)
Serve & enjoy. 

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Red Chile Roasted Cauliflower

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 I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has without a doubt become one of my favorite side dishes. With just enough flavor to satisfy my love for spicy food but still edible for the rest of the family, this is a healthy flavorful dish for everyone. Yes, it may take a while but the slow roasting  process allows the cauliflower to absorb all of the seasonings, so basically it is the most delicious cauliflower you will ever eat.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head Cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Red New Mexico Chile Powder (substitute Ancho Chile Powder if you don‚Äôt have Red New Mexico)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried Red Chile
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds toasted and ground
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • Salt to taste

Recipe here

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Kale, Avocado , Red Onion Salad

Whenever I go to Whole Foods, I always gravitate towards their prepared salads and cold pasta¬†salads.¬†They have some healthy options and it is an easy grab-and-go for those days when you simply don’t have time to make lunch. One of the salads I always grab is the Kale and Avocado salad.¬†That and a protein shake is my ideal after workout meal.¬†So I decided to get in the kitchen and try my own Baby Kale and Avocado Salad. Enjoy.

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Ingredients: 5 oz bag of Baby Kale, 1/2 red onion, 1 large lemon, 2 Avocados, Cracked Black Pepper 

1. Wash and dry Baby Kale and place into a large bowl.

2. Roughly chop 1 avocado, 1/2 red onion and place top Baby Kale.

3. With the other avocado, finely chop and mix into Baby Kale, avocado and red onion salad. (Chopping the second avocado finely will create a dressing like texture.)

4.Cut melon in half and squeeze lemon juice over salad. Add cracked black pepper to liking. Enjoy.