Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

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My Mother brought me several bell peppers out of her garden. I’ve been trying to find a way to use them all while they are still nice and ripe. I found this recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Peppers on the blog Barbells and Bellinis. This recipe is husband approved. I love that you add a cup of Quinoa to the mix. It’s protein rich, and you never even know it’s there. I easily cut the recipe in half, and we still had leftovers. Also, I browsed the rest of her blog, and it’s one I plan on visiting more often. Her recipes and pictures look amazing.

The Best Brownies

ImageHere’s my take on Pinterest recipes. Half the time they work, half the time they don’t. These brownies stood out to me on Pinterest because they are called, “Nutella Brownies.” And who doesn’t love a recipe with Nutella involved?!? I followed the recipe exactly except for replacing the flour with Cup4Cup gluten free flour. We had just finished dinner, and I place them in the oven for about 35 minutes. After letting them cool for about 25 minutes, we enjoyed the brownies with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. They were perfectly warm, chocolate, and lots of ooey gooey happiness. You can find this wonderful recipe here, and while you’re at it, check out my recipe board on Pinterest.

Goat Cheese Biscuits

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I’m enjoying reading, “Bread & Wine, a love letter to life around the table with recipes,” by Shauna Niequist. I’m almost finished reading the book, but I really wish I had saved this one for a book club. Reading this book makes me feel like I’m sitting at a local coffee-house, sipping on a latte, and talking to a dear, dear friend. I have laughed, and I have cried. I was only a couple of chapters in when I stopped, logged onto Amazon and ordered another one for my best friend.

So, Niequist shares many recipes throughout her book. There are several that I will try, but up first I tried the Goat Cheese Biscuits. I substituted gluten-free flour for the regular flour. We have been searching for a great gluten-free biscuit for sometime now. This is it!! It is perfectly buttery and crunchy and delicious. I can barely taste the goat cheese, but it’s nice. Also, I think it’s very important that you use the cast iron skillet as she recommends.  If you are serving more than 3-4, you should double the recipe.

Goat Cheese Biscuits *Adapted from a recipe created by Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend)

3 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons salt

1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)

6 tablespoons cold butter, divided

4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

Extra butter to grease pan and top biscuits

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven while it’s preheating.

Pour flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and add to the bowl with goat cheese and the yogurt. Stir until the mix is moistened, adding an extra tablespoon of yogurt if needed.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it. When the butter has melted, divide the batter into 12 biscuits (about golf ball size) and drop them into the pan.

Brush the biscuits with one tablespoon of melted butter, then bake for 14-16 minutes. (I had to bake mine for about 20 minutes on the top rack). Remove from oven and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

Quinoa

Wikipedia says this about quinoa, “Quinoa (pron.: /ˈknwɑː/ or /kɨˈn.ə/Spanishquinua, from Quechuakinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetsspinach and tumbleweeds.”

Well, I don’t know much about goosefoot, but I do know we have been on a quinoa kick. I have been very attracted to it recently mostly because of its gluten-free and protein rich qualities. It is a superfood. I’ve been sneaking it into our meals every chance I get. When David first went gluten-free, I immediately started looking for a good pasta substitute. I think we have tried every gluten-free pasta variety. We have mutually agreed that quinoa pasta is the best. In fact, I like it so much, I would still buy it even if David weren’t on a gluten-free diet. Our favorite quinoa pasta brand is Ancient Quinoa Harvest. Their website boasts that Prevention magazine voted them the 2013 Best Packaged Foods. Yeah! All the more reason to try it! We order ours in bulk from Amazon (yeah, Amazon Prime!).

So after eating quinoa pasta for a couple of years now, I finally decided to venture out and try traditional quinoa. I purchased the same brand, Ancient Quinoa Harvest. It’s organic, 100% whole grain, and it’s pre washed , so there is no rinsing involved. I mostly prepare it as a side dish to our meals. I keep reading a lot of quinoa salad recipes, but I haven’t tried this yet. We have only eaten it hot. My absolute favorite way to prepare it is combined with oatmeal. If you love oatmeal, you will really, really love quinoa & oatmeal. It is so hearty, and the nutty flavor from the quinoa is just divine. I found a recipe for this combination on pinterest. It directed me to a really cool blog called Camille Styles. You can get to the recipe here. She calls it, Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bowl. While you are there, check out her blog. I’ve been back to her site several times just to read her new entries.

I didn’t take any pictures when I made this quinoa oatmeal recipe. I had no idea I would like it this much! I will take a picture the next time I make it & update the post. Sorry!

It’s All Good. Yes, it really is.

I was searching for Children’s books on Amazon when I noticed the books at the bottom of the page that were recommended just for me. That is where I first saw, It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow. The subheading on the book reads, “Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great.” I’ll be honest, “Easy” is what did it for me. Of course, with Amazon Prime and free shipping, I ordered this cookbook right up!

Fast forward two days later. I pored myself over the pages of this cookbook and discovered a pleasant little surprise in store for me. Gwyneth Paltrow cooks gluten free. I did not know this when I purchased the book. David is gluten free, and I feel like I constantly struggle finding good gluten free recipes that are good not only for him, but for all of us. I could not put this book down. I have had the book for less than a week, and I have made Teriyaki Chicken, Fish Tacos, Quinoa, Banana Ice Cream, and Crust for Cheesecake. Each of these recipes is great.

I must note that most of the recipes are sugar free and dairy free as well. These really are recipes you can feel good about feeding to your family. I don’t feel strongly about being dairy free, so I’ll probably substitute cow’s milk where she uses coconut milk or almond milk.

Also, this cookbook introduced me to coconut sugar. I have never even heard of this. I went to Earthfare, and they had several brands right there on the shelf next to regular sugar. How have I missed that? It looks like dark brown sugar to me, but with a finer consistency. It’s really very good. We had it on our quinoa oatmeal this weekend. I didn’t tell David that it was coconut sugar. He devoured it and never said a word, so I’m guessing he thought is was brown sugar.

I don’t think this cookbook is for everyone. Food Allergies? Yes, this cookbook is for you. Looking for healthy, clean food options for your family? Yes, you’ll find that too. The next recipes on my list to try from this book are Spicy Sweet Potato Soup, salad dressings, and Kale Chips. I can’t wait.