Monday, October 25, 2010

Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free Quinoa Crac' an Cheese

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to eat quinoa.
Yes, it is very healthy for you. Yes, it's a power grain from the Aztecs. And yes, it has a ton of protein. But, at the same time, you can only eat it dry so many times. This delicious recipe came about through a cooking mistake.

I was making a batch of quinoa one day, and I accidentally put to much water in the pan. This caused the quinoa to be overcooked, and completely mushy. I didn't want to throw it out. After all quinoa is kind of expensive.
So I was sitting there with a pot of mushed quinoa, and then poof! Light bulb! Grits! Well  . . . quinoa grits.

Okay so I added salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese. They where amazing!

As soon as my sister tried them she said, "OMG. These taste like mac' and cheese. Or like Crack and cheese! They are soooo good."
So, I decided to call this recipe Quinoa Crac'an cheese.

These would be great as a side to pork chops, steak, or breaded baked chicken. Plus, in comparison WAY lower in calories then any kind of macaroni and cheese I've ever seen. You also receive all the health  benefits of quinoa.

Quinoa Crac an Cheese

2 1/2 C. Water
1 C. Quinoa
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
2 C. Cheddar Cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 C. Cooked crumbled Bacon, optional

1. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.
2. Add 1/4 tsp salt and quinoa. Cover, and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until most of the moisture is gone and quinoa is completely broken down.
3. Remove from heat and add rest of salt, pepper, cheeses, and if using, bacon.
4. Stir until completely combined, and all cheese is melted.
5. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve warm. The Crac' an Cheese refrigerates and reheats well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gluten, Corn, Soy Free Paillard Eggplant

Okay, before I talk about what I want to talk about today, I have a story I want to tell you all.
I was at the store last night, and as usual my cart was full of a ton of vegetables. Beets, fennel, turnips, lemons, apples, eggplant, and broccoli slaw to name a few. So I get up to the check out counter and the women ringing me up gets to the turnip and says
"What is this?"
I reply, "Oh, It's a turnip."
"Really? How weird."
And the bagger girl who is probably about my age, says "I thought beets were that shape. I don't know. I don't eat them."

So what is the moral of this story? People, take a stroll through the produce department sometime. Pick things up, smell things. You might find something delicious and learn a thing or two.

So now . . .


Wait. Didn't I just give you a recipe using eggplant?!
That's true. I did.
But in my defense I do love eggplant and they are on sale at most stores right now. So technically, I am not being repetitive. I'm being current.

So, Eggplant.

Many people don't think much of eggplant. Most people don't give a fig about it's high fiber content. Or it's phytonutrient content. Or it's potassium, folate, or magnesium.

All they care about is if it is delicious. Fortunately this recipe is.

I call it Paillard Eggplant. You will see why

Paillard Eggplant

1/2 Aubergine Eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch
1/3 cup GCSD-free Mayonnaise, I use my own
2 cups Bread crumbs
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan, optional
1 1/2 Tbs Organic No Salt seasoning, this is kinda like Mrs. Dash
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Cover baking sheet with parchment.

3. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, No salt seasoning, and kosher salt in a large baggie. Pour out onto a plate.

4. Spread a piece of eggplant with a thin layer of mayo, then press into the bread crumb mixture coating both sides. Place on baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the eggplant.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, flip over, Bake for about 6-10 more minutes.

I love these by themselves, but they would taste delicious dipped marinara sauce. Sort of like a deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan.
Keep the Integrity of the Bean, 2009-present. Unauthorized use of this material without permission is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that credit is given to "Keep the Integrity of the Bean" with appropriate direction to the original content.