muddy footsteps

Simple Summer Side Salad

Posted in Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on May 30, 2014

ImageWoa, that was a mouthful.

After whipping this recipe up, you’ll want a mouthful as well. In our household, we like to keep our dishes simple, easy to make, and of course keep it healthy. This salad was something I just came up with while looking through my refridgerator. I wanted a salad that had protein, was flavorful, and could be used as a delicious side to any meal or even by itself. The ingredients are easy to come by and I’ll guess that you have a majority of them already in your kitchen. Many of the ingredients can be replaced with similar ones for your preference and convenience. Try using parsley instead of cilantro, or perhaps use a blend of fresh herbs. Mix in fresh or sun-dried tomatoes to intensify the flavor of this salad. You can even make this a non-vegetarian dish but adding grilled chicken or roasted fish. There are so many ways to personalize this salad! Try this recipe out for tonight’s dinner or bring as a side to your next party.

 

ImageIngredients:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper; chopped
  • 1 cup roasted corn; (I use the frozen bags from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 can (8oz) of black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large cucumber; peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion; chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese; crumbled
  • 10 kalamata olives; chopped
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced and zested
  • handful of cilantro; chopped
  • 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Annies Organic Goddess Dressing (can be omited, but is a great addition!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

 

As far as directions, just combine everything. I told you it was simple.

Enjoy!

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Veggie tacos with black bean and corn salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 17, 2012

This past weekend my aunt whipped together this incredible dinner that had me going back for seconds. It was simple, easy, and delicious. The plan was to originally have fish tacos, but after cooking the fish we decided to toss it out. I don’t think it was the freshest batch at the store. So instead of fish, she grilled up zucchini, sauteed some onions, and sliced up avocado and tomatoes. The tortillas were an artisan brand that were handmade by a lady from the store. You can taste the difference, it was so much better. I topped my tacos off with some salsa and tapatio to give it a spicy kick. Along side was the famous black bean and corn salad. You would think it’s just a plain jane side salad, but it actually had a ton of flavor and the lime dressing with cayenne and garlic gave it a freshness with a kick.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • hot sauce (add to your liking)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 avocados- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed. In a salad bowl combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onions, mangoes, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetable and beans with dressing, and serve.

*I got this recipe from my aunt who found it on the internet, so this is not my own creation. Also, the recipe yields a very large portion. I would half or even quarter the recipe if you are making this for one-two people.

Salted Peanut Chocolate Protein Pudding

Posted in Dessert, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on July 10, 2012

 

Well that was a mouthful. I’ve been hooked on this pudding the past month and have been playing around with ingredients to completely change the flavor of the pudding. I’ve tried espresso, chocolate cherry, and salted pecan. The basic recipe is very simple and it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with new flavors. I’ve also been rearranging the sweeter ingredients so that I can have it anytime of the day without feeling a little guilty. If you crave some rich chocolate dessert near the end of the night, try omitting the chocolate chips and add more protein powder and cocoa.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  soy/almond/coconut milk
  • 16oz. firm tofu (drained)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Rainbow Light)
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all of the ingredients (except the peanuts) in a food processor. Fold in the peanuts after the mixture has been thoroughly combined. Pour into a mug, mason jar or any type of ceramic bowl and refrigerate. You can eat the pudding right away but I recommend waiting at least a few hours for the pudding to thicken up. It’s best eaten the next day!

Spicy Quinoa Cakes with a Sweet Mustard Sauce

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition by nicolejanaye on July 18, 2011

As easy as it sounds, it’s hard for me to have days where I do absolutely nothing. I feel as if a precious day has gone by wasted, floating in the sky in a numerical assortment. I have this sense that life is so short and that I need to spend every waking second doing something I can take mental photographs of. As much as this is true, sometimes you just need a day off.

Today was that day and I did it well. Some movie watching was in order, along with remaining in my pajamas to wee hours of the evening. I did manage to make it to the gym and sweat a gallon or two. Not only was that a successful act but I created a new recipe. Something that I’ve been testing out and trying to perfect.

It’s delicious. It’s high in protein, satisfies hungry bellies and kitchen cravings, has a spicy kick and is enjoyable to any vegan, vegetarian or meat lover alike.

For me, quinoa has somewhat of a mute flavor. I prefer a nutty wild rice but the benefits of quinoa outshine any type of grain on the market. This godly grain contains all essential amino acids and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. I’ve found a recipe that embraces the wonderful flavors that quinoa provides. The combination of ingredients and the cooking method gives these cakes the most desirable flavor.

I failed to mention earlier that these lovely quinoa cakes are not only packed with flavor and nutrition but they are gluten-free as well. By making homemade bread crumbs with gluten-free bread you are saving money and making the cakes easier to digest for those who are intolerant. One important thing to mention is the process of soaking the quinoa prior to cooking it. Soaking grains, nuts, and legumes not only removes the bitter flavor but it allows the body to digest the food and absorb the minerals more easily. Many grains, dried beans, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid. This acid, also known as the ‘anti-nutrient’ bonds to certain minerals and blocks their absorption in the small intestine. Which means, all of the nutrients that you think you are getting, you are getting less of if not none at all. However, the good news is that soaking helps remove the phytic acid and increases the bioavailability of the minerals they contain. It’s best to soak your nuts/beans/grains for 12-24 hours, but 30 minutes will work if you’re in a time crunch. I prefer to soak overnight so that I can wake up and begin cooking right away.

Ingredients:

Cakes:

  • 1 cup of quinoa; soaked (I prefer red but white will work or a combination of the two)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs *
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 0z. diced jalapeno
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. After your quinoa has been soaking,you want to rinse thoroughly through a small strainer. If you don’t have a strainer with small enough holes, lay a cheese cloth on top of the strainer and rinse through that.
  2. I like to cook my quinoa with a 1:1 1/2 ratio. Some recipes call for more or less water at a desired time, but I find that this gives the grain a perfect consistency. Depending on how long you soaked your quinoa for, your measurement will be different because of the absorption of water. If you soak your grains overnight, you will have a larger measurement. I ended up with 2 cups of soaked quinoa. Combine your quinoa with water, according to the ratio 1 quinoa: 1 1/2 water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Combine quinoa and eggs and mix thoroughly in a large bowl.
  4. Add bread crumbs to the mixture and toss lightly.
  5. Next, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Make 2 inch cakes and cook on a frying pan for 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden.
  7. For the sauce, simply combine all of the ingredients and whisk together.
  8. Drizzle the sauce on top of your cakes and dig in!

*To make your own gluten-free bread crumbs combine 8 slices of gf bread and bake in your oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then process in a food processor. I like to use the ends of the bread because I think it gives a better texture but any slices will do.

Serving size: 2 inch cakes

Servings: 52

 These cakes are everything delicious. The sweet and tangy mustard sauce pairs perfectly with the spicy kick to the cakes. It’s just the right amount of heat that keeps your mouth tingling. Don’t be frightened by the list of ingredients. It’s mostly spices that can be altered to what you have in your kitchen. Quinoa is fairly inexpensive and goes a long way. Use this recipe as a start and experiment with different flavor combinations. Try cooking these up and sandwiching them in between a rustic bread for an interesting twist to a veggie burger. Or simply slice up a thick beefsteak tomato and stack on top of the cake with a drizzle of the sweet mustard sauce

Cheers!