Archive | March, 2013

Quinoa Peanut Soup

10 Mar

Eating Well magazine had some recipes for quinoa in their latest addition (here’s a link to the original The one recipe I have tried is so good that I’ve made it twice in a week. I believe it’s based on a South American recipe, but the flavors to me are reminiscent of Indonesian cooking so I amped up a few of the ingredients this time to give it a bit more of that flavor. I added a bit of lime to my bowl as well, and I liked the way it brightened it up, although without it it is rich and earthy. I make my recipes without cooking oil as much as possible, but if you’d prefer to sauté the onions and garlic in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, go for it.

peanut butter and pepper

2 small onions, chopped (about a cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 cups sliced carrots

1.5 cups diced potato

1/2 c quinoa

6 – 8 c vegetable or chicken broth (or combo of broth and water)

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1/4 – 1/3 c natural peanut butter (I went with 1/3 this time, and liked the extra peanut flavor)

1 – 2 T sambal olek (or more if you want it spicy)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat soup pot and add onions. Saute for a few minutes until tender, adding water or chicken broth a tablespoon at a time to prevent sticking. Add garlic and saute for a minute, then add carrot, potato, quinoa and broth. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, and add red bell pepper. Simmer an additional couple of minutes, and add peanut butter and sambal olek. Take off heat and add black pepper. When serving sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. Add a squeeze of lime if desired.

quinoa peanut butter soup


A Little Cookin’….

9 Mar

So, not much to report in these here parts. Looking for work, bumbling around, experiencing warmer temps and lighter days, and….cooking.

Recently I’ve made two recipes that I think people who read this will enjoy. The first is a muffin recipe that I adapted from this website: These muffins are pretty good as is, although I used a different egg replacer and also used all whole wheat pastry flour, no all purpose. However, because I had some rapidly black-turning bananas on hand, I decided to make some banana muffins. And because I’m trying to move away from using only wheat flour in baking, I decided to experiment with another flour – teff. These turned out great – and except for the add-ins of nuts and chocolate chips are fat free and dairy free.

Teff grain is most popular in Ethiopia where they use it to make their staple bread, injera. I love injera – it’s fermented so slightly sour, yet a bit sweet, and spongy. Great for soaking up some chicken wat! I never really thought of using it in regular baking, but recently read an article about it that showed how healthy it was in comparison to regular whole wheat. It has a ton of calcium, vitamin C and resistant starch. For people that are concerned with gluten it is also gluten-free. I’ve only used it in this one recipe so I have no idea how it does in other recipes, but I think it would be great in pancakes as well. The muffins have a dense and slightly grainy texture, but not too heavy, which I think is great for quick breads. They also stay very moist – I just had one three days post baking and it still was delicious!

Banana-Nut Teff Muffins

1 c teff flour

3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour

scant 1/2 c coconut sugar, or sucanat or brown sugar (1/3 c might be fine, depending on how sweet you like them)

2 t cinnamon

1  to 1 1/2 t nutmeg (I love nutmeg so go a bit heavy on it)

pinch of ground cloves

1 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/4 c dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

1/2 T vanilla

1 c mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4 c molasses

1/4 c almond milk or other plant-based milk

1 T Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer + 3 T water (or flax or chia seed as egg replacer)

Heat oven to 375 and use silicone muffin pan or paper muffin liners in a regular muffin pan. Mix all dry ingredients, and add nuts and chocolate chips if using. Mix all wet ingredients, and incorporate into dry ingredients until just combined. Divide into 12 muffins and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tomorrow I’ll post my quinoa/potato/peanut butter soup. That stuff is GOOD.


5 Mar

Well, I didn’t realize it had been nearly two months since writing in here. I doubt anyone will check that I still am updating at this point! Nevertheless, I did get to watch the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun. I took a few crappy pictures on my iPhone, though next year will bring a proper camera. There are some great photo ops!

iditarod 2

Iditarod 1

While the actual race starts in Willow (north of Anchorage), all the competitors participate in the ceremonial start in Anchorage the day before the official start. It runs from downtown to Campbell Airstrip which is on the eastern side of the city. The actual starting area on 4th Ave is a good place to hang out, as there is an announcer who gives the background of the musher, and a countdown to their start. During my short time at the starting area there were mushers from New Zealand, Canada, Brazil and of course the States.

I was hoping to upload a short video clip, but with my (lack of) technological capabilities I’m a bit challenged in that regards at the moment. So will try to edit later.

In the meantime, if you feel like reading up on the history of the 1,000 mile race, be sure to check out the official Iditarod website.