Before we get to today’s recipe, please take a moment to visit with me and my lovely friend Lisa Kessler, who will be dropping by tomorrow! I am guest blogging at Lisa’s about THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE and my desire to help out those in need along the Jersey Shore.
But now for today’s recipe! I’m committed to a healthier lifestyle this year and a big part of that change was watching my carbs. I am a carboholic, no doubt about that and despite exercising, etc. I found myself unable to get to a healthier weight. These past two weeks, I’ve cut out a lot of my breads and pastas and voila, I’ve lost 7 pounds! SEVEN!
But it’s tough for me not to have a “starchy” something as a side dish along with my protein, vegetables and salad. So what to do? Mashed cauliflower is an excellent choice. You save about 100 calories per serving by using this vegetable instead of a potato. That’s a 90% reduction give or take.
What about rice? Well, there are some substitutes and one of them is quinoa (pronounced keenwa), a pseudocereal that was first cultivated by the Quecha in the Andean regions of the countries we now know as Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. You can get some more useful information on quinoa by clicking here.
You may remember the Quecha from my SIN HUNTERS series. Their language and some customs, along with Mayan customs, inspired the ancient race known as the Hunters! Look for THE SHATTERED, the next book in the series, in late summer 2013.
But back to quinoa. After a few hit-or-miss attempts, I tried this recipe last night and it was tasty. Even hubby, who detests the stuff, went back for a second helping. So here goes with the recipe! As for purchasing quinoa, it can be pricey, but Costco has a nice-sized bag at a reasonable price.
Quinoa with Nuts and Craisins
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts or a mix of all three!)
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/4 cup Craisins (or other dried fruit for that matter)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
You will need a 2 quart pot and it’s okay to make it all in one dish. The recipe says two different pots, but who has time to clean twice when you can avoid it!
Toast the nuts in the butter until they are just getting brown and then add the quinoa. Toast it as well until the quinoa is a golden brown.
Add the chicken broth, bay leaf and Craisins and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!
This recipe makes about 4 cups of quinoa. We had leftovers so I am going to chop up some onion, cucumbers and tomatoes to make a tabouleh-like salad for lunch.
Photo Credit: firstname.lastname@example.org