Green Chili Polenta with Black Beans

ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Mexican stye cheese, finely grated

 

  • 1 7-ounce can whole green chilies, drained
  • 1 can cooked, black beans, drained
  • 1 cup drained canned corn
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack/Cheddar mix cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Mix first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until polenta is tender and thickens, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and green chilis.

Pour half of polenta into prepared dish. Cover with  half of corn and black beans. Sprinkle with half of cilantro and 1 cup Jack cheese. Spread a thin layer of prepared or homemade salsa on top.  Spoon remaining polenta over. Cover with remaining chilies, corn, cilantro and cheese. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.) Bake until polenta puffs and cheese begins to brown.Top with remaining salsa

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The Benefits of Quinoa

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, then it’s a perfect protein to start incorporating into your diet. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and is a good source of manganese as well as folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. In addition, it’s a great source of the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because it’s such a complete protein with such a well-balanced amino acid profile, it’s a perfect alternative for vegetarians because it’s one of the few (non-meat) foods that provide all the essential amino acids that our bodies need.

Quinoa has a light and fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavor when cooked. And it’s extremely versatile. It’s perfect in savory dishes or here, in my quinoa breakfast bowl. For this recipe, you can add just about anything you like to it such as cranberries, raisins, fresh fruit or even shredded coconut all work well with the recipe. And you can also substitute the honey with either agave nectar or maple syrup if you prefer. But here’s my favorite way to enjoy it:

quinoa breakfast bowl               serves 1

If you’re looking for an alternative to a hearty bowl of oatmeal that’s still nutritious, then this recipe is a great option. Quinoa, which is packed with protein, is a great substitute for the more traditional bowl of breakfast oatmeal. I make my version using a combination of both milk and water to cook the quinoa because I love the creaminess the milk gives the quinoa but you can simply use all water if you prefer. Serve it plain, with yogurt and toasted almonds or with your favorite dried or fresh fruit.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted almonds

1. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, 1/2 cup milk and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Grains will be translucent and germ ring will be visible when done.
2. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, honey and remaining 1 teaspoon milk.
3. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl and top with yogurt and almonds and serve warm. Image

The Whole Truth about Whole Grains

THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT WHOLE GRAINS

It’s amazing to think that something as simple as a whole grain can pack so much energy and vitality. Sure, they may look innocent enough from the outside, but the real magic lies within. Which leads us to one of the most common questions we get asked, ‘What’s the difference between a whole grain and a processed grain?’ To put it simply, a processed grain is missing some of its most nutritious parts, whereas a whole grain contains all of its nutritional health benefits.

Here’s how it works.
The edible part of every whole grain is known as the kernel and is made up of three major parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Processed grains lack the bran and germ, which are removed during the milling process. The remaining endosperm is what creates a flour’s smooth texture and longer shelf life. Without the bran and germ, the flour is void of the dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins.

Whole grains, on the other hand, include all three parts of the kernel and provide the body with nutrients like fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. Now that you know the difference, it’s easy to see why I only use whole grains.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh

“Quinoa, once a staple grain of ancient Incas, is tossed with lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, green onions and parsley. Serve with pita bread.”

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1 pinch salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, diced

2 bunches green onions, diced

2 carrots, grated

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots and parsley. Stir in cooled quinoa.

 

Quinoa Muffins with Parmesan and pinenuts

Makes 12 muffins

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Quinoa

1 TBSP baking powder

1/8 tsp Salt

3/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 Cup pine nuts

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

6 TBSP butter, softened

 

Topping:

4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners
  • For the topping, combine parmesan and pine nuts and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, quinoa flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk
  • Stir in the parmesan and pine nuts
  • In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then beat in the buttermilk and oil
  • In the large bowl with the flour, make a well in the center and pour in the liquid mixture
  • Stir gently until just combined. Do not to over mix
  • Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle topping over the batter
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown
  • Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes.