So you’ve decided to try quinoa. What can you do with it? A better question might be—what can’t you do with it?! Quinoa is a versatile grain-like “seed” that cooks up light and fluffy, with a slightly nutty, mild flavor. It can be used just like rice, as a side dish or combined with other ingredients to create a pilaf or even a main course. I like to make a couple of cups at a time and use my cooked quinoa in various recipes throughout the week. Here are a few of my favorites.
Didn’t finish those mashed potatoes at dinner yesterday? Making tonight’s meal will be a breeze! Use your leftover spuds to make a dish that’s been satisfying hungry families for centuries: shepherd’s pie. Once known as “cottage pie” (because of its popularity in rural areas), shepherd’s pie is a layered casserole that typically includes mashed potatoes, ground beef, carrots and peas. With this recipe, you can make your pie with or without meat and include whatever veggies you have on hand.
Vegan baked goods often have a bad rap—turn out one “off” batch and no one will want to touch your “crumbly and dry” dairy-free desserts again. When it comes to cornbread—which can bake up dry even with dairy in the mix—making a moist, cake-like confection is tricky. I played around with a basic recipe to find the perfect blend of ingredients, which includes homemade flax “eggs,” rich coconut oil and your choice of maple syrup or agave.
Moist, rich chocolate cake sandwiching a layer of sweet, fluffy filling—what’s not to love about good, old-fashioned whoopie pies? These oversized soft cookies get their fun name from the shout-out Amish farmers would hoot after finding one tucked into their lunch pail (“Whoopie!”). I worked with my mother’s classic recipe to create a vegan version that’s just as delightful but can be enjoyed by anyone, even those who don’t eat dairy foods.
Craving something crunchy? Put down that bag of chips and make yourself one of these crispy, nutritious “cakes” instead. Homemade cashew cheese is spread over a brown rice cake, then topped with rich sundried tomatoes, tasty capers and a sprinkling of hemp seeds. A quick toast in the oven and you’ve got a satisfying snack that’s actually good for you!
School’s almost out, which means end-of-year celebration notices are flying home in the kids’ folders. Sports awards ceremonies, classroom parties, graduation get togethers—whatever the occasion, chances are you’ll be invited to least one potluck, which means you get to pick a dish, any dish, to share with your kids’ friends and their families. Rather than bringing in yet another iceberg lettuce salad or box of processed supermarket cookies, why not impress the crowd with something creative?
Only 38 days remain until summer officially begins (not that I’m counting). Have you started your garden yet? No matter where you live, you can grow a garden. Most herbs (and some veggies) require little more than a container, a sunny ledge, a sprinkling of water and a little bit of attention. They’re easy to start from seeds, and when it’s eventually time to harvest, you’ll have aromatic, delicious and nutritious ingredients to cook with—no trip to the supermarket required! Read more →
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