Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

**Originally Posted November 19, 2008**

Remember how I told you about quinoa? Well, we like it, a lot. When I make this recipe I make a little extra so my kids (mainly Amelia) will eat dinner. She doesn't love the peppers, but she will eat TONS of this stuffing. This is a super easy and YUMMY dinner.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

2 C. Vegetable Broth
1 bay leaf
1 C. quinoa
4 peppers - we like red, yellow and orange, but use whatever floats your boat.
4 medium carrots, chopped (food processor is great for this)
2 medium onions, chopped (again, the food processor)
1T. olive oil
1 handful sunflower kernels
2 t. dried parsley flakes
1/2 t. each salt, basil, oregano, paprika
1/8 t. marjoram, thyme
dash cayenne pepper
spaghetti sauce
cheese - parmesan or mozzarella


In a small saucepan, bring the broth and payleaf to a boil. Add quinoa (after rinsing it off). Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard bay leaf.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and discard seeds. In a large pot, cook peppers in boiling water. If you like them soft, cook for about 20 minutes, if you want them more crisp (or just don't have much time) cook them for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a large skillet, saute the carrots and onions in oil until tender. Add the quinoa and sunflower kernels and seasoning. Cook until heated through. Add about 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce and mix in. Spoon mixture into pepper halves and put in 9 inch x 13 inch baking pan. Add some cheese to the top if you want. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 mintues.


**originally posted November 18, 2008**

This is the ultimate comfort food for our family. When it is cold outside, I instantly want Minestrone. When my Mom came out for Libby's birth, she made a lot of soups and put them in the freezer. This one freezes fantastically. We didn't freeze it with the pasta, just add it when we are heating it up.
Great soup, year round!!!


serves 4 to 6 -- but really a lot more than that!

6 C. Vegetable broth
1-2(15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C. dry pasta (we like orzo, but any small pasta will work)
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables*
1/4 C. minced fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring broth, beans and tomatoes to boil in large saucepan.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth mixture and pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in vegetables and basil and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

*I use fresh veggies for this a lot. Just whatever I can find - zucchini, squash, green beans, spinach, carrots -- you really can't go wrong. If you're going to do fresh veggies though, cook them a little with the onions and garlic first.

International Quinoa Salad

**originally posted November 17, 2008**

Today's recipe actually comes from Susan at Fat Free Vegan. Her recipes are all so amazing. I haven't found one thing over there that we don't like!

The main star of this recipe is Quinoa. If you haven't heard about this super grain, go over here and read. It really is amazing and tastes SO good! Just make sure you put it into a fine mesh strainer and rinse it off really good before cooking it. That will get the saponin off and it won't taste bitter.

We love this International Quinoa Salad. The key is to use fresh mint. It really makes a HUGE difference.

Thanks for such an amazing recipe Susan!!!!

International Quinoa Salad


1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed very well
2 1/4 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)


1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 medium-large tomatoes, finely chopped
kernels of 2 ears of cooked corn (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup parsley -- minced
1/3 cup fresh mint -- minced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (reserve a few slices for garnish)


1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (NOT lemon)
3 tablespoons vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper

To cook the quinoa in a pressure cooker, place it and the water, garlic, and salt in the cooker and lock the lid. Over high heat, bring to high pressure and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Fluff the quinoa and allow it to cool.

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and mix well. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled. Taste before serving, and add more lime juice as necessary (you want it to be tangy). Garnish with avocado slices and serve. Makes about 10 servings.

Eat it often, it is DIVINE!!!

Arroz Con Manestra

**reposted from November 16, 2008 on PrairieMama**

I promised Vegetarian meals and you are going to get them!!!!

First of all, we have green smoothies, a lot! I wish I had gotten a picture of our smoothie this morning before we all devoured them, but trust me, they look beautiful!

To make your green smoothie you will need 3 things - water, frozen spinach and frozen fruit. That's it, nothing else. Put about a cup of water in your blender with 4-6 ounces of spinach. Blend well. Add your frozen fruit (2 or so cups) and 1-2 T. flax meal (ok, I know, I said three things and now I'm throwing in the flax! But, it's good for you, so trust me). Blend and drink. It is delicious! I like to add a whole orange to mine and Jeremy adds a banana to his. YUM!

For dinner tonight we had Arroz con Menestra. Jeremy went on his mission to Ecuador. He has often talked about the food there, some of it gross and some divine. This falls into the latter category. It is divine. I love it and better yet, my kids love it! They ask for it all.the.time. We found this recipe on the blog Laylita's Recipes. Jeremy says this tastes just like when he would have it in Ecuador. Enjoy!


3 tbs canola oil

1 red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

3 tomatoes, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp cumin

3 tsp salt

1 tsp achiote

4 tbs chopped cilantro

7 cups of water

1 lb lentils


  1. Heat the canola oil on medium heat in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin, salt, achiote and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro to make a refrito for the stew.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water and increase heat to bring water to boil.
  5. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially and cook until the lentils are tender, stir in the remaining 2 tbs of cilantro and remove from the heat.
Now, Jeremy says that it must be served with the arroz on one side and the menestra on the other. Must be how they had it in Ecuador. People also eat it with a fried egg on top. I tried that and didn't love it. each his own. We did have it with patacones (fried plantains) tonight and that was delicious!!!


Welcome to Prairie Mama's Kitchen! This is going to be a place where I can share my favorite recipes and food ideas.

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