Low Carb Tacos

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Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients

600 grams organic chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomato’s, chopped into cubes
1 small cos lettuce, leaves removed
2 avocados, halved, pip removed and sliced horizontal into strips.
1/3 cucumber, cut into small cubes
Juice of lime or lemons
Pepper

Method

1. Place the quinoa along with 2 1/2 cups of water into a pot and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside in a bowl.
2. Heat a pan over medium heat, add a dash of oil and simmer the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken, paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Take off the stove and add to the bowl of quinoa, mix well.
3. Place  a large spoonful of the chicken and quinoa mixture into each lettuce cup.  Sprinkle cucumber and tomato over along with the avocado.  Drizzle with lime or lemon juice and garnish with cracked pepper.

Enjoy. J&L x

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Mexican Rice Quinoa Bowl

Mexican Rice Quinoa Bowl

One of my favourite cuisines is Mexican food. This recipe is inspired by the spanish rice you get at Mexican restaurants. This is such an easy recipe to make and it is also inexpensive. It is a great warming winter meal that tastes so fresh with the lime juice and coriander.

This meal takes minimal effort to put together and its packed with heaps of protein from the quinoa and beans. You can add chicken to this recipe it if you didn’t want the vegetarian option. This meal can also be served with tacos or burritos.

Ingredients 

1 cup of brown rice
1 cup of quinoa
1 can of kidney beans
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
1 handful of coriander
Olive oil or hemp seed oil
1 lemon or lime
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Add two cups of water to a medium sized pot. Add a pinch of salt and add the brown rice, bring to boil. Stir the brown rice and add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to a medium low.
The brown rice and quinoa should take around 20 minutes to cook. I add the quinoa to the rice five minutes later. Check packaging of the brown rice and quinoa for cooking times so both are cooked around the same time. Once the brown rice and quinoa is cooked take off the stove and let them cool down.

2. Place the kidney beans in a fry pan and simmer on a low heat for 7 minutes. Dice up the tomato, coriander and avocado.

3. Place some brown rice and quinoa mix into a bowl, add some kidney beans. Pile the rest of the ingredients on top and drizzle with oil and squeeze lemon or lime on top. Add some salt and pepper. Enjoy.

L x

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San Choy Bow

San Choy Bow originated from China – traditionally made with pork mince Dr Libby has added this dish to her new cook book but taken out the meat and replaced it with protein rich quinoa and chickpeas.  I made this last night for dinner and it was enough to have as a main dish.  The quinoa and chickpeas are so filling! This is a beautiful meal, so many flavors and so fresh… with the added bonus of no MSG as it’s home made.

I love how this dish is cooked using macadamia nut oil.  Macadamia oil is one of the healthiest edible oils and is higher in monounsaturates, the goods fats, when compared to Extra Virgin Olive oil.  The oil can be cooked at very high temperatures 210°C /410°F so doesn’t burn food.



Ingredients:

1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
2 medium organic chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Filtered water
1 1/2 cups white quinoa, cooked (I used a mixture of red and white)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Iceberg lettuce cups
Raw macadamia nuts of garnish, optional (I didn’t have any macadamia nuts so used green capsicum as a garnish)

Method:

  1. Heat the macadamia oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat.  Do not let the oil smoke.
  2. Stir fry the mushrooms, chili, ginger and kaffir leaves until the fragrance develops, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tamari, maple syrup, sesame oil and about 1/4 cup filtered water.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa and the chickpeas and keep stirring.
  5. Finish with the fresh coriander and lime juice.  Spoon the vegetable mixture into each of the lettuce cups and garnish with chopped macadamia nuts, if desired.

Julia x

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My 15 minute Quinoa dinner

Mum and Dad were having left overs and my boyfriend was trying out his new Organic sausages so I scrounged around in the fridge for some vegetables and cooked up ye’ old faithful Quinoa.

Treat this dish as if it’s a salad and the Quinoa is the lettuce. There is no right or wrong amount of vegetables you should add in, just whatever your heart desires.

From start to finish this took me 15 minutes to make – so easy!

This is what I used:

1x cup quinoa
Avocado
Feta
Capsicum
Baby Spinach leaves
Cucumber

for the dressing:
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Lemon Juice
Coriander
Garlic
Fresh Chilli

  1. Cook Quinoa – 1x cup of Quinoa and 2x cups of water.  Make sure that you rinse the Quinoa before cooking.
  2. For the dressing firstly flash fry garlic (one clove is enough) and fresh chilli.  Add to the sweet chilli sauce, lemon juice and chopped coriander.  Mix together.
  3. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and stir through.
  4. Add in the cucumber, feta, capsicum, avocado and baby spinach leaves.

Julia x

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Magical Quinoa

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a love for Quinoa.  Quinoa… what is Quinoa?

Pronounced ‘Keen-Wa’, it is a super food that originates from South America.  It has been around for 5000 years and was a staple food of the Inca people.  Quinoa is a gluten-free grain like seed from a vegetable and is related to spinach, tumbleweed and swiss chard.

Raw Quinoa:

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Cooked Red Quinoa:

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Quinoa is very easy to cook. It’s important to rinse the seeds well, because they are naturally coated with a bitter substance that protects them against birds and other predators. Most packaged quinoa has already been cleaned, but I always give it another rinse before cooking. Quinoa cooks in 15 minutes, and it’s easy to tell when it’s done because the seeds display a little white thread that curls around them (refer to the pic above).  It is the healthy alternative to white rice or pasta which I like to steer clear of when I can.

There are so many health benefits from eating this amazing ‘Superfood’

  • Complete protein: Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.  It has more than double the protein of rice!
  • Magnesium: helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber: Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper: Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.
  • Smart carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar (great for Diabetics)

Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Now can you see why I love it? If you haven’t tried Quinoa you are missing out!
Most supermarkets should stock Quinoa.  If you are in Auckland you can also buy from Nosh, Farro Fresh, Harvest Wholefoods and Huckleberry Farms.

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Below is a recipe for Mushroom Quinoa Salad:

Serves 2. 

1 cup Quinoa
200ml water or vegetable stock
1tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 garlic clove, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Feta
1 lemon
Sweet chili sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh parsley and coriander
1. Rinse the quinoa in plenty of cold water and place in a medium saucepan. Add boiling vegetable stock or water and bring back to the boil. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
2. While the quinoa is cooking heat oil in a frying pan and saute onion for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic a fry for another minute. Add sliced mushrooms and stir fry these for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
3. In a small bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with mushrooms, tomatoes, feta and parsley.
4. In another bowl mix lemon juice, sweet chili sauce, salt, pepper and chopped coriander.  Pour on top of the quinoa mixture and mix through.
Enjoy
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