On Friday I had my second meeting with the wonderful new nutritionist we have found to help our family with finding food solutions that will work for all of us: one vegetarian, one semi-vegetarian, 2 sugarholics, 2 protein-crazed body-builders, and one gluten-intolerant (yet pizza-loving) teen. Lisa (http://www.lisagroves.com) is that rare wellness expert who refrains from judgement and teaches with humor, samples, simple recipes, and viable suggestions. I am so excited to have the summer descending and the chance to experiment with new foods!
One thing that I've realized is that changing our shopping, cooking, and eating habits is a PROCESS. So far I have been successful with turning my family on to roasted root vegetables, and sweet potato fries. My double recipe of chili, though delicious, was deadly to olfactory senses Denver-wide. Now I know to rinse the beans after soaking, wait to add salt til the end (and cumin or fennel help too). Or try adding kombu or kelp seaweed... just be sure to take it out before serving or you'll scare off the entire family!
So, now I know, and will be cooking up a new batch of chili this week; but, having been brought up by depression-era parents, I can't bear the thought of just tossing the 3 huge rubbermaid containers of the first delicious, but dangerous, chili in my freezer. Perhaps I should drop-ship to Iraq as our own American-made WMD...or maybe one of you has a big gathering of in-laws coming up?
This weekend I tried out my new rice cooker for Lisa's yummy Quinoa & Pecan Salad with Dried Cranberries. How did I go through 21 years of cooking for kids without one? (Granted, we only had rice every other Thursday night as knew if the cleaning lady was not coming the next day, I would be screwed). Anyway, I share this delish summer recipe here. Quinoa is high in protein, expands when cooked and makes a great substitute for rice or couscous.
3 and a half cups water/ one and a half cups quinoa/1 bunch green onions-finely sliced/1/2 cup dried cranberries-diced/ one-third cup cilantro-finely chopped/three-quarters a cup celery-finely diced, three-quarters cup chopped pecans/1 T extra-virgin olive oil/2 T lemon juice/1 T rice wine vinegar/half T sesame oil/one-quarter t Celtic salt/one-eighth t ground pepper/pinch of cayenne.
Cook quinoa. Combine onions, cranberries, cilantro and celery in large salad bowl. Toast and add pecans. Add oil, juice, vinegar, sesame oil, s&p. Stir then add slightly cooled quinoa and set aside for an hour or more. Serve at room temp.
This hearty recipe makes 10 servings and has a zesty combination of textures and flavors. Plus it's loaded with fiber and nutrients. And get this, it's gluten-free, vegetarian, full of protein, and has sweet flavor from the cranberries. Something all 5 kids will eat! That is a miracle in itself. The perfect dish for a Memorial Day weekend picnic- and some leftovers for tomorrow... Hurray and many thanks to Lisa from the whole fam!
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