Friday, March 30, 2012

Zesty Red Quinoa Salad with Mango and Cucumber

Oh, this friday is a treat for all things delicious. Seriously, this salad is so yummy.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Looking forward to church this evening. Then a fun party with Aunt Michele tomorrow followed by a restful Sunday. Just what the doctor ordered! Also... she ordered this. ;)

Limes by Mary Banducci There is this great restaurant in Coeur d'Alene called Cafe Carambola. It has delicious south of the equator-inspired food. The family that owns it is so sweet!

Zesty Red Quinoa Salad with Mango and Cucumber by Mary Banducci 4 Zesty Red Quinoa Salad with Mango and Cucumber by Mary Banducci 5 They have some delicious salads there. I wanted to create a salad that embodied their atmosphere, their vitality.

Red Quinoa (like it's beautiful, paler counterpart) is a complete protein and essential to vegetarian or vegan diets. It's also quite a stunning grain.

Zesty Red Quinoa Salad with Mango and Cucumber by Mary Banducci Ingredients
1 c red quinoa
Pinch of Salt
1 large handful dried mango (look for pineapple juice coated vs. the super sweet sugar coated)
1 cucumber
Bunch of cilantro
Pinch of Turmeric
Juice of 1 and 1/2 lime
1/4 c olive oil
(optional additions - macadamia nuts, avocado)

1. Soak red quinoa and dried mango seperately for at least an hour.
2. Drain mango water into measuring cup (add water until 2 cups full). Add water to small saucepan. Boil.
3. Drain and rinse quinoa. Add to boiling water. Let bowl 15 minutes.
4. Slice mango into 1/4 inch thick slivers.
5. Dice cucumber and cilantro.
6. Add all ingredients together and stir.


This salad is great to make the day before as the flavor only intensifies! Zesty Red Quinoa Salad with Mango and Cucumber by Mary Banducci 2

Vegan, Gluten-free Namaste "Cheesy" Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Gluten Free Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by Mary Banducci 4
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I photographed some Namaste products that won't be out until June (will share with you then) but I've always loved their perfect flour blend.

These has been a great snack for my little one year old. Great finger food and healthy protein and fats in the hummus. Mixed with olives and apple and you've got a great go-to, allergen-free snack.

These products are allergen free and created in a warehouse completely devoted to allergen-free. No need to worry about cross-contamination.

Gluten Free Crackers by Mary Banducci There was a recipe in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food that used smoked paprika and your choice of gluten free flour to create delicious crackers. I refined them and also made them cheesy (using Namaste say cheez seasoning!). I'm very excited to share this recipe with you!

Seriously, these crackers are super easy! Who knew making crackers could be?

Gluten Free Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by Mary Banducci Also if you prefer making these without the faux cheese, try smoked paprika and garlic powder or garlic powder and rosemary for a completely different flavor.
Gluten Free Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by Mary Banducci 2
1 cup Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
3 T Namaste Say Cheez Seasoning
1.2 ts Smoked Paprika
1 T oil
1/4 - 1/3 cup water
Course Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.Mix dry ingredients plus a pinch of sea salt in bowl.
3. Add in wet ingredients and stir until ball of dough forms.
4. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick.
5. Remove top parchment paper and sprinkle with water and course sea salt.
6. Slice into 1 inch squares with knife.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until crisp.

Enjoy with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (recipe below).

1 c dry garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)
1 Red Bell Pepper, roasted
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 T sesame seeds
Pinch of Salt
1 ts garlic powder
3 T olive oil

1. Boil garbanzo beans until cooked.
2. Blend all ingredients in food processor or with hand blender in bowl.
3. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies (Nut-free, GF, DF) and a Contest

I made these a while back and have yet to post them. They were a small snack I could tote around for Amaressa to munch on. They were also delicious with warm milk. Keep them in a sealed container or they get too dry.

I was asked by a reader to create nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free cookies and here is one to try. Sorry Rebecca this has taken so long to put up. I have a couple more in the works and am excited to share them with you.

GF DF Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Mary Banducci 3 Also I love cinnamon but if it's not your cup of tea, feel free to omit it or lessen to 1/2 teaspoon. You could also substitute nutmeg (only use 1/4 to 1/2 though).

GF DF Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Mary Banducci 2 Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance)
2/3 cup rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 ts cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 c applesauce (if you don't have applesauce, feel free to sub more oil)
1/4 c coconut oil, softened
1/2 c maple syrup'
1/3 c craisins (or other dried fruit)
1/4 c chopped chocolate
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients in seperate bowl.
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Add craisins and chocolate.
5. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
6. Bake 12-16 minutes or until golden. GF DF Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Mary Banducci

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brownie Bites with Mint Whipped Cream GF, DF

Happy Saint Paddy's Day to you!

Happy Saint Paddy's Day Here is a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free brownie bites.

Chocolate Cupcakes GF DF by Mary Banducci Ingredients:
1/3 c rice flour
2 tb arrowroot powder
1/3 c cocoa powder plus 2 tb
2/3 c sugar
1/4 ts salt
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c applesauce
2 ts vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tb chia seeds + 2 tb boiling water (combined)

For whipped cream:
1 can of coconut milk (that's set in fridge for 30 min)
Peppermint extract ( I used two drops of essential oil)
Matcha Green Tea (optional for natural food coloring)
2 tb powdered sugar

Brownie Bites by Mary Banducci GF DF 2 Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients in seperate bowl and mix well.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix.
4. Spoon into muffin pan and bake 15-20 minutes.
5. While baking, seperate all the cream from the coconut can. Whip until soft peaks form. Add sugar,  matcha tea, and extract.
6. When brownies are cool, dollop whip cream and enjoy!

Brownie Bites by Mary Banducci GF DF

Here are a few pictures of my sweet girl today. She is almost 17 months! turning 12 years! lol
How we love her!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Egg in a Clover

One of my favorite memories growing up were Egg in a Basket. My Dad would cook those up for us in either english muffin bread or sourdough bread. They always hit the spot with the crunchy toast, the buttery flavor and the warm egg running through. I loved it. Just talking about it makes me want to cook up some gluten free bread so I can have that for breakfast. Egg in a Bell Pepper Clover by Mary Banducci 3
This gave me an idea. Have you noticed when you cut a bell pepper across in slices, it looks like a four-leaf clover? Amazing! Isn't it? What wonderful things God blesses us with. Egg in a Bell Pepper Clover by Mary Banducci 2
A lot of the recipes I post are more adult-oriented. Today I wanted to create a post that was more kid-friendly but that was also healthy. I've seen a lot of recipes that are laden with sugar and green food coloring. Celebrate what's naturally green this Saint Patrick's Day! This is a great breakfast idea for the morning of Saint Patrick's Day...

Green Bell Pepper
1 ts Coconut Oil (or oil of your choice)

1. Cut out top core of bell pepper. Slice into 1/3 in segments.
2. Melt coconut oil in a skillet on medium.
3. Lay slices of bell pepper in skillet. Crack egg into each slice. Cover until well cooked.
4. Top with diced tomatoes, pepper and salt or seasoning of your choice. This is an easy and healthy way to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day!
Aren't these yolks so vibrant? They come from my Mom's chicken. I so enjoy it when she brings me a dozen of fresh eggs. I feed Amaressa eggs almost every day so we go through quite a few eggs. Thanks Momma!Egg in a Bell Pepper Clover by Mary Banducci

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick Roasted Baby Kale Salad with Coconut, Pecans and Toasted Sesame Oil

Have you been following Alisa's Garden? She's had some great recipes showcasing this week. Photographs by moi.
Zucchini Pesto Lasagna (gluten and grain free, dairy optional)
Roasted Asparagus and Leeks

Roasted Kale Salad with Pecans by Mary BanducciMy Mom has made a delicious roasted kale salad (with the larger leafed kale). It's just so delicious. I wanted to make something similar but that took barely any prep time (you don't have to "debone" the kale or chop it unless you don't use baby kale) and had similar flavors.

I'm also trying to diligently use up what is available at my home. I have plenty of limes (no lemon to be found) and I had some white beans I had just cooked so I knew I was going to throw those in. I really liked the shredded coconut my Mom had used in her recipe so that was go. I've also been craving toasted sesame oil (which I bought through Azure Standard) but one has to be careful with this rich oil so that it doesn't overpower the other flavors. It needs something to stand up to it and help smooth out its rich tones.

Roasted Kale Sale by Mary Banducci This was a protein rich meal with the beans and pecans. However if you are making it a side dish, feel free to skip the white beans. I ate it that way as a side tonight with deer steak (my husband hunted and grilled - gotta love that guy).

Roasted Kale Salad with Pecans and Sesame Oil by Mary Banducci Quick Roasted Baby Kale Salad with Coconut, Pecans, and Toasted Sesame Oil
2 c packed baby kale
1/3 c chopped pecans
1/3 c white beans
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tb coconut oil
1 tb shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Toasted Sesame Oil to drizzle

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Toss all ingredients except sesame oil.
3. Roast 10 minutes, tossing leaves halfway. Some leaves will be crunchy, some will just be perfectly warm.
4. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and enjoy!

This serves one. Roasted Kale Salad with Pecans Lime and Sesame Oil

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Meaning of a Four Leaf Clover

I don't believe in luck.

"Good luck" is actually a blessing while "bad luck" is a opportunity for growth.

And boy, do I have a ton of those!

However I love the symbolism of a four-leaf clover. Did you know there is only four-leaf clover for every 10,000 three-leaf clover? How's that for being different!

A four-leaf clover is a symbol of uniqueness, rarity. They are treasures to be cherished. Where are the four-leaf clovers in your life? Where are your treasures? Are you nurturing them? Are you allowing them to grow?

I pray that you are blessed this Saint Paddy's Day with Faith, Hope, Love, and Joy...

There is no luck to be had... only growth.

Here are two St Paddy's Day Cards. Simply print on cardstock, cut, put in envelope, and hand out!
(Do not redistribute these or repackage them and sell them on your blog).
Growth Clover Card
Four-Leaf Blessing

I'm very excited to announce that I've teamed up this week with Alisa Lewis from Alisa's Garden. We are going to be showcasing green recipes the rest of the week so make sure to come back and indulge in green goodness. Alisa's Zucchini Pesto Lasagna Photo by Mary Banducci 4

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jasmine Pearl Infused Coconut Chia Pudding with raspberries

Jasmine Infused Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries
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Chia  or Salba is the new super seed... or really, it's one of the oldest super seeds. They are more rich in Omegas than flaxseed and because of their high antioxidants, they don't need to be refridgerated - without it, they can stay fresh for up to two years. They also don't need to be ground, unlike flaxseeds, for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Chia Seeds by Mary Banducci 3 Chia Seeds by Mary Banducci 2 These babies have more calcium ounce per ounce than milk. They are a good source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Chia seeds are also a complete protein. One tablespoon contains 2 grams of protein, nine percent of your daily calcium and seven percent of your daily iron (this is based on a 2,000 calorie diet).
How exactly do chia seeds turn into this delicious tapioca-like pudding? They absorb the milk (or juice), creating a fun, seedy delicious goo. In Central America, they add chia seeds and lemon or lime juice with a little sugar (certainly optional) to water to create "chia fresca." I'm definitely going to be trying this instead of purchasing more fiber products.
Jasmine Infused Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries 2
Chia seeds can be found at your local health food store or online. Amazon has several brands as well as vitacost. I bought mine through Azure. They had the best price $5.65 for one pound.

So on to our recipe...
Jasmine Infused Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries 5
I chose jasmine pearl green tea to infuse the coconut milk. Jasmine has a lovely, subtle scent. It pairs well with fruits, peaches, raspberries, and plum in particular. And coconut milk adds a fun tropical flavor. I resteeped this tea for a refreshing cup after and it was delicious with the hint of coconut milk still present. I used frozen raspberries that I had picked last summer since raspberries aren't in season and I wanted to use what I had on hand. Feel free to use a different berry if you like.

Jasmine Infused Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries 3 Jasmine Pearl Infused Coconut Chia Pudding with Raspberries

1 tbls Jasmine Pearl Green Tea (I used Rishi Tea Organic Jasmine Pearl Loose Leaf Tea )
1 1/2 c coconut milk
1/4 c chia seeds (whole)
1 cup raspberries
Optional 1 ts agave nectar

1. Heat the coconut milk until gently boiling.
2. Remove from stove. Add jasmine green tea. Let steep for ten minutes.
3. Add chia seeds once milk is cool.
4. Let sit thirty minutes to overnight in fridge. (I put them in glass yogurt containers)
5. Top with fresh or thawed raspberries. ENJOY!

This recipe is ch..chia-rrific!
Jasmine Infused Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries 6
This is a good, short article from Dr. Weil about chia seeds.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We had such a lovely time with Amaressa taking her downtown. _DSC0528
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