Quinoa – My Attempt At a “Hearty Hippie Meal”.

Quinoa has been blasted into my vocabulary lately.
I’d tried it in the past, or so I’d thought since either my taste buds have changed or it wasn’t really quinoa I’m remembering.
This stuff is good. I have to say it’s a pretty good addiction to have as quinoa has the highest levels of protein of any other grain plus, it’s delicious, chewy, a bit nutty – it’s like the caviar of the vegan world.


1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Filtered Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Garbanzo Beans
1/3 Cup Red Onion, Chopped)
3- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced (1 Tablespoon)
1 Cup Fresh Asparagus
1/2 Ear of Corn, cob removed


1 Tablespoon White Miso
1/2 teaspoon Ginger, minced
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Scallions, finely minced
1/3 Cup Filtered Water

Place the quinoa into a mesh colander, submerge and agitate it for 3 minutes to be sure it is rinsed very well. Drain.
In a sauce pan, add the water, quinoa and salt. Once the water begins boiling, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook the quinoa for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the water has absorbed. Stir and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, cut the corn from the cob; snap and trim the asparagus to 1″ lengths.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan.
Drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the oil to brown slightly.
Add the onion and garlic to soften.
Add the asparagus and corn kernels. Sauté until the asparagus is just tender.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth.
Set aside.
Mix the vegetables and beans with the quinoa.
Drizzle over the dressing.
Garnish with hemp, sunflower, or toasted pumpkin seeds if desired.

Should serve 4… unless you’re super hungry.

Organic Box Mystery

Flickr photo by Genista

One of the most wonderful things about receiving an organic delivery of food once a week is the surprise. Food is chosen by locality and freshness of the season so the contents are sure to vary. There have been quite a few things that I would have normally walked right by in a grocery store, of just not recognized at all.

I find that early season brings a few of the more unfamiliar food types, so figuring out what to do with them, and getting a preschooler to eat them can be a bit of a challenge.

This week had it’s staples, sweet potatoes, apples, broccoli, but it also came with red chard. Red chard is one of those things cruised by in the past. I know it’s good for you, really it is, but that’s probably the reason why I couldn’t imagine steaming it and putting in front of a 4 year old.

But voila:


Prep time about 20 minutes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 bunch of red chard
1 Cup water
1 16oz can mixed beans (or just red or white kidney, pinto or black would do too)
1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (soy)
2 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp corriander
dash cayanne
8 whole wheat 6″ flat bread
sour cream (tofuti – optional)


Heat a large sauté/frying pan to a medium temperature, dice the onion and begin to sauté as it softens, (about 2 minutes) then add the minced garlic, watching carefully not to allow it to burn.

Rinse the chard well and trim ends and remove stems. Finely chop the stems and add them to the onions. Add 1/2 cup of the water to help to steam it. (Add more if it evaporates, making sure the stems just stay moist.)

While the stems are becoming tender, rinse the beans and add to the pan. Chiffonade the chard leaves and sprinkle over the salt and spices. Toss in the chard leaves, adding the remaining water, keeping the mixture just moist.

Taste to adjust seasoning and remove everything from the heat once the chard stems are soft and the leaves are tender.
In a long oven proof dish, spread half of the tomatoes.

Shred the cheese and build the enchiladas starting with the flat bread. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons across the centre, sprinkle lightly with the cheese and roll the opposite ends together. Repeat until everything is folded and rolled. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining tomato sauce, dot each one with sour cream and an olive. Sprinkle the last of the cheddar and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve with an extra dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Aunt Martha’s Bean Salad

So she’s not my aunt, but she is someone’s. Growing up I would never even dare taste a bean salad let alone make one. However, starving while out at the beach one day, I was cornered with this, my only sustenance and can I say that since that moment I was not only a convert but a Beano stock holder.

I adapted that version and have since made it one of my signature BBQ/Potluck/quick in a pinch wow ’em salads.


3/4 Cup Red or Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Extra Fine Fruit Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to Taste


Combine ingredients in an air tight container and shake well to dissolve the sugar.
Allow to stand for about and hour or at least the time to prepare the salad ingredients, if you are in a hurry.


3 Cans of Beans (garbanzo, turtle, romano etc.)
1 Cup Fresh Green Beans (Trimmed and sliced to 1″ inch lengths) ** – measure to get correct number
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
1 Red Onion (Small)
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley (optional, if you’re feeling decorative)


Rinse the canned beans well and set aside in a large bowl.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Trim and slice green beans to 1″ inch lengths. Clean and trim the remaining vegetables and chop each into about a 1/2″ dice.
Add everything to the beans, including the dressing and toss well to coat.
This salad can be served immediately or made ahead to marinate up to a day ahead for a more thorough flavor.