Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

On May 16, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If I’m being honest, this recipe is a bit “kitchen sink.” Meaning, I looked into the refrigerator wondering what to make with all the various vegetables I had after a stop this weekend at the La Canada Farmers Market and Whole Foods.

I then took a look at my pantry to figure out which grain or bean to use. After some back and forth with a bag of tri-color couscous and rainbow quinoa, I went quinoa. The choice was simple, since I barely had any couscous left.

What I like about this recipe is it’s flexibility. If you don’t have parsnips, use some peapods or maybe a potato. Just play around with it and experiment on your own.  You can even add some dried cranberries or almond slices.

Create away! Or not and follow the recipe below exactly as I have it.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa
Serves 2-3

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
pinch of saffron
salt

2 cups chopped kale
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, sliced 1/2-inch
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons cumin
pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Add carrots, parsnip and red onion to a baking tray lined with foil. Toss together with 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon, ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add salt and pepper. Heat for 30 minutes in the oven. Turning every 10 minutes so the vegetables don’t stick or burn to the foil.

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Heat quinoa and water adding saffron and salt to a small pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at boil, reduce to a simmer and keep covered cooking for 15 minutes until the water is all absorbed. Turn off heat and set aside keeping covered to stay warm.

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Once the quinoa is done, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan and add celery and kale along with remaining teaspoon of turmeric, cardamom and cumin.  Toss and saute for 2 minutes. Don’t let the kale get wilted, keep it cooked but still firm. Remove from heat and set aside.

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Assemble dished with a small mound of quinoa and then place kale and celery mixture on quinoa.  Finally, add the roasted vegetables to complete. Optionally, you can add some chopped green onions or scallions.

Enjoy!

 

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Crockpot Apple Cider Beef Stew

On October 13, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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With temperatures staying in the 90s, and mostly high 90s, this October it really isn’t feeling like Fall yet.  So, I’ve decided to have Pinterest bring Fall to me. I bought some fresh squeezed apple cider from Whole Foods last Sunday and wanted to use it in a rich, flavorful stew.

After a few searches, I came across this recipe from The Tasty Kitchen. This Apple Cider Stew had everything I was looking for except it didn’t use a crockpot and I wanted to have it cook all day while I was at work.  With some minor tweaks, I made the recipe work for my crockpot. If you want the original recipe, check it out here.

Crockpot Apple Cider Beef Stew
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt & pepper
3 white or yukon gold potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4″ slices
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the hot oil pan.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side to brown pieces. Do not crowd the pan.  Once done remove from heat.  Take a gallon size ziploc bag and add the flour, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Add the cooked stew beef to the bag and lock then shake to coat the beef.

Add the potatoes, carrots and onions to the crockpot.  Pour the floured beef out of the bag and into the crockpot.  Add the liquids and some additional salt and pepper.

Cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 5 hours in the crockpot.  When done, if sauce is not as thick as you’d like do the following: Combine 2 tablespoon of cornstarch and 4 tablespoons of water then pour and stir into crockpot mixture and let it cook for another 10 minutes, it doesn’t matter if it’s on high or low heat.

Serve with a hearty bread.

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Simple and Lighter Chicken with Biscuits (really)

On September 14, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love it when I get an email in the middle of my work day saying, “Can you make this?” Stephanie occasionally will find a recipe she would like to try and knows I love a challenge. This recipe wasn’t much of a challenge, though. In fact, it ended up being a pleasantly simple recipe that only took 20 minutes to make.

I used frozen biscuits from Trader Joe’s to accompany the chicken dish; instead, of doing homemade biscuits. Note: you can find the full recipe with homemade biscuits here at Martha Stewart’s website.

Lighter Chicken and Biscuits
Serves 4

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 carrots, thinly sliced
5 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 box (10 ounces) frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

Prepare frozen biscuits according to package instructions or have fresh biscuits ready.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle vegetables with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; stir in the milk, water, and thyme. Simmer until liquid is thickened, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken; simmer until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve chicken stew with biscuits.

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Lentil Salad

On June 9, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If you are looking for a simple vegan salad to take to the beach or enjoy for lunch, this simple salad is sure to please.  It takes only about 20 minutes to make, most of the time is waiting for the lentils to cook.  It’s easy and full of flavor with the maple syrup that is the hidden secret in the dressing. You can also play with the ingredients if you don’t have cherries or wish to use dried instead.  Don’t worry about it. Just use what you have and enjoy!

Lentil Salad
Serves 2

1 cup green lentils, uncooked
4 cups water

1 bunch purple kale, rough chop
10 cherries, pitted and halved
10 dried apricots, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Dressing
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils and water together by bringing to a boil and then reducing heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and drain any excess liquid. You want the lentils to be firm, not soft or hard.

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While the lentils simmer, heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add kale and cook for 2 minutes until soft. Then add the cherries, apricots, and carrots to the pan with the kale and cook for 3 minutes. Set vegetables aside if lentils are still cooking.

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Add cooked lentils and vegetables in a bowl. Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you add it so it combines perfectly. Pour the dressing into the lentil and vegetables and stir.

Serve with bread.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast

On December 31, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Christmas Day is a perfect day for a pot roast and especially one I have had on my short list for most of 2014. I loved the simplicity of The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast recipe I had ran across searching Pinterest one day. I added some potatoes to it since I like a little more than just carrots and onions. I simply cook potatoes in a small saucepan for 10 minutes in boiling water and add it to the dutch oven in the last 30 minutes before the recipe is done.

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I followed the rest of the recipe as stated on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. You definitely want to use fresh herbs for this one, so don’t forget to pick some up at the market.

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The combination of red wine and beef stock makes a beautiful gravy. This is a perfect pot roast and pretty hard to screw up. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Full Recipe: [Perfect Pot Roast]

 

 

 

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Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

On June 8, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Lentil soups are very hit or miss in my experience.  They are often too watery, lack flavor, or get too complex where the soup has too much going on to enjoy it.  Fortunately, this evening was a hit or as my wife said “this one’s a keeper.”

I love coconut milk based curry and with this recipe you could go 5 cups vegetable broth to 1 cup coconut milk, just make sure you eliminate the tomatoes.

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The richness of flavor starts early. Using coconut oil the onion, garlic and ginger are cooked for a few minutes to give the soup a strong, flavorful base. Combining the curry powder, tomato paste for some additional time before adding the liquid helps make this soup deep in its flavor profile.  I only added 1 tablespoon of curry powder, the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons. I also used a yellow curry powder that is of medium spice.

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The lentils are added with the carrots.  Everything cooks for only 20 minutes once all is combined. This time is recommended as you do not want the lentils to get too mushy.  Plus the flavors combine plenty in this short simmer.  I added some cilantro near the end and then topped each bowl with bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.

Full Recipe: [Coconut Curry Lentil Soup]

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Brown Rice, Broccoli and Cheese Bake

On May 23, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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While not the most appetizing looking dish, this bake had a wonderful flavor and made for a great weekday evening vegetarian main course.

The secret is to cook the brown rice the day before.  I use a rice cooker and brown rice take about a hour or so to cook. Fortunately it keeps well in the fridge for when you are ready to make this dish. There are some steamed carrots and broccoli too. The cheese sauce is quite simply to make with a couple cups of milk and some cheddar cheese and parmesan.

The dish finishes the last few minutes in the broiler where the top gets nice and crispy. It’s not a necessary step, but nice if you have the time. Our stove is an older turn of the century stove and has a small oven and small broiler next to it.  So this is fairly easy in our house. The crispy top is a nice touch to add some more texture to the dish.

Full Recipe: [Broccoli Cheddar Brown Rice Casserole from Oh My Veggies]

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Abundance Bowl

On April 28, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We often take a long drive out to Ojai on Sundays to get out of the city and to experience one of our favorite Farmers’ Markets. There is a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables plus some great cheese vendors, but it’s more about the experience.  An experience of driving through the hills to eventually spend an afternoon enjoying the market and park in the center of town.

Our other stop is a great vegan restaurant called Hip Vegan, of course. Dumb name aside it really is a wonderful place to have lunch. One of our favorite options is choosing from some of the abundance bowls they serve.

What’s an abundance bowl?

It’s basically a bowl full of various vegetables along with some grains or beans and a dressing. I had been wanting to try a version at home since we only get out to Ojai maybe once every couple months. Thanks to Pinterest I found a pretty solid Abundance Bowl recipe.

The Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce in this recipe from the blog My New Roots is a bit of a different take than what we get in Ojai at Hip Vegan.  However, it’s even a better take. You’ll love the dressing here and it does keep for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [My New Roots Winter Abundance Bowl]

 

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A Simple Pot Roast on Christmas Day

On December 30, 2013, in Family, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Slow cooking is one of the best ways to enjoy a home cooked after a busy day.  This busy day was Christmas here in Los Angeles where it was a crisp 80 degrees outside.  So we needed something comforting and cozy after opening gifts and sledding.

Sledding?

Yes, sledding. See we decided to get into the Christmas spirit by driving to Zuma Beach where we noticed they had large hills of sand.  We packed the station wagon with the proper winter cargo:  beach blankets and a snow sled.

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Apparently we were not the only people in Southern California who realized Christmas Day 2013 was a perfect day for the beach. All along the coastline we saw cars parked and people playing on the beach as if it were mid-July.  We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway through Santa Monica and Malibu eventually arriving at Zuma Beach.  There were probably ten other families laying out enjoying the warm December sunshine.

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We climbed up the sandhill with our sled and proceeded to cruise down the bumpy hill. After a few slides down, the sand became smooth as some other kids joined our boys to try it out.  We quickly found out that four kids on the sled really made it a fun, quick ride.

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Eventually, our time sledding Zuma Beach came to an end and we hopped back into the car to head home.  The whole time, the pot roast was cooking slowly in the crockpot waiting for when we were ready for it; instead, of most meals that are ready when it’s ready.

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I used the following recipe but instead of using a Dutch oven to slow cook the roast, I simply did steps 1-6 in a Dutch Oven and then transferred everything to a crockpot putting  it on low temperature for 8-10 hours. Just make sure you get all of the goodness of the pan when deglazing before transferring to a crockpot.

Full Recipe: Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast.

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Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole #SundaySupper

On January 15, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is what I was going to make for last week’s #SundaySupper theme celebrating the One Year Anniversary of what “Family Foodie” Isabel started out as a friendly twitter conversation talking about what people were cooking on Sunday evenings.

I loved the early chats, since Sunday was a guaranteed day I’d be in the kitchen when the weekend came to a close. See our family eats mostly home cooked meals. We don’t do a lot of dining out. Mostly because we like to choose where are food is from, plus it helps I’m not a bad cook. So a lot of what I make is similar or better than what we get at most restaurants. Of course, it is also a great way to reduce our monthly costs even if do buy mostly local and organic. That’s still cheaper than dining out.

The Sunday Supper crowd grew from a few of tweeting our cooking accomplishments to now being a group of over 100 bloggers who contribute a post for each week’s Sunday Supper theme.  Last week everyone chose a recipe from a past Sunday Supper theme.  Sadly I came down with the flu on Friday and had my worst day on Saturday. I was all set to make my recipe and write a blog post, but my wife looked at me and told me ‘no, you’re not cooking tonight.’  So she made spaghetti and I went back to the living room to rest.

It’s Tuesday night and with all the ingredients still fresh and ready for me to make, I knew tonight would be the night I’d finally have a chance to try this casserole out. I had eyed it back in November when Katy from Happy Baking Days shared this amazing looking dish with the Sunday Supper group. Glad I did. It is an amazing dish, sort of a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe since I forgot I had spilled my bag of dried lentils the week before, I went with canned. Also, I had a small amount of tomato past to make the base a little richer. The original recipe is great too so don’t feel you need to adjust, unless you too spill lentils all over your kitchen floor and forget to restock.

Original Recipe: [Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole for #SundaySupper]

Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole
Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 carrots, thick bite-size chop
2 parsnips, thick cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 15-oz can lentils, drain
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, do not drain
1 tsp concentrated tomato paste
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ginger
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 white potatoes, peeled
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
Grated cheese, I used raw cheddar

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Heat a pan on medium-high heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 4 minutes or until translucent, not burnt. Then add the parsnips, carrots and salt and pepper to taste. Let that cook in the pan for about 3 minutes and then add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, lentils, kidney beans and spices and cook for 10 minutes at a slightly bubbling simmer.

While the vegetables are simmering, cook the the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and add milk and butter and mash potatoes. Set aside.

Pour the vegetable mixture into a casserole dish. Flatten and then add several mounds of mashed potatoes.  Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle mounds of potatoes with cheese and increase oven to 400 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops of potatoes brown.

Remove from oven and serve.

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Here are the other recipes from last week’s bloggers celebrating the One Year Anniversary of SundaySupper. Congrats again Isabel!

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 

Sunday Supper Veggies: 

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 

 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog