Tag Archives: cayenne pepper

Red Quinoa with Feta & Sundried Tomatoes

Here it is again everyone! QUINOA!!! Woo Hoo!! While in Whole Foods last weekend I wanted to get some more quinoa. Looking in the bulk aisle for it I came across the regular white/beige quinoa. And sitting right next to it was this beautiful red quinoa! Didn’t even know it existed. Then again I didn’t know quinoa existed until a few months ago. I checked the nutritional information and it had almost double the fiber of the regular kind! Sold! I bought a half pound of the stuff,  just in case we didn’t like it. I should have bought more! It is so much tastier than the regular. It had a little crunch to it and a nutty taste as well. I then searched online for a different recipe than I made last time.  I found a great one on the Cooking Books blog. She had gotten it from a cookbook called The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno and adapted it to her taste. I again adapted it to my taste.  It called for cilantro and I left it out (My husband isn’t a fan unless it’s in salsa or guacamole) and vegetable broth. I had chicken broth and used that. The recipe called for 8 sun-dried tomatoes, cut up. I found it needed more. So next time I will add more. I think about ¼ cup will do it. I liked how much feta cheese she said to put in, “as much as you’d like”. Ok, sounds good to me! Sounds good to my husband! I think it was about ½ cup in total, could be more though. I didn’t measure. But one thing I should have done was cut the recipe in half. It made a lot of quinoa for two people. We do have leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

2 minced shallots (you can use a small onion or even a few green onions if you don’t have shallots)

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth (or any broth you have), or water

1 cup dried red quinoa

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can adjust to your taste)

1 teaspoon salt

fresh ground black pepper

½ cup (or so) of crumbled low-fat feta cheese (adjust to your taste)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the shallots are soft.

2. Add the broth/stock and bring to a boil. Add the red quinoa and cayenne pepper. Stir and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Or until all the liquid is fully absorbed. (It took longer than 30 minutes on my stove, so keep an eye on it after 30 minutes)

3. Stir in salt and pepper and feta cheese. Serve hot or cold. Make sure you mix in the feta good so it melts a bit! Yum…

Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.

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Homemade “Boursin” Cheese

Years ago I discovered Boursin Cheese. But that little container (only 5.2 ounces!) can be very expensive. I haven’t bought it in years because of that. It would also be gone in minutes because there isn’t much to it. This recipe may not give you a huge amount either (8 ounces at least) but you can also double the recipe and use lighter ingredients as well to save some calories and fat. It’s a cream cheese base so use the light cream cheese. I will not use fat-free cream cheese because I feel that it really loses all it’s flavor when you take away ALL the fat. But that’s just me. It’s up to you and what you wish. If calories are no object then by all means use the full fat version of cream cheese in the recipe. Another great thing about this recipe is that all the herbs and spices in it are very common and I would think most of us have them all on hand in our pantries. This recipe actually comes from The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn. I had stayed there many years ago. The Inn is in Cape May, New Jersey and was a wonderful place, not far from the water. So give this a try and remember to make it the night before. It’s better that way, trust me! The spread itself is mild and is accented nicely by the crushed peppercorns. It’s a great spread with crackers during cocktail hour!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

freshly ground black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. Shape into a ball or log and roll in crushed black peppercorns or place in a serving dish and sprinkle generously with coarsely crushed black peppercorns. Or just serve it in a decorative serving bowl! Your choice!

3. Best if refrigerated at least overnight before serving.

Makes 1 cup

Delicious Creole Gumbo

On May 4, 2009 the world became a lot less funny. Comedic genius and actor Dom DeLuise passed away at the age of 75. I don’t know of anyone who can’t name at least one favorite Dom  DeLuise movie. One of my faves is “Fatso”. The food in this movie was incredible and you got hungry just watching it. Especially the scene with the huge pot of sauce and meatballs. He dunks a little Italian bread into to taste it and it’s all down hill from there. Funny. He was one of my favorite actors and you always smiled when you watched him. Smiled or laughed hysterically.

Dom was not a skinny man by any means but over the years he realized he had to do something. I bought his first cookbook “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” back in 1988. It was full of funny and wonderful stories of his family and friends. It was and still is an awesome cookbook. When I got married my father wouldn’t let me leave the house with the copy I had so I had to go and buy another one to take with me! The book is full of his mother’s Italian home cooking as well as recipes from his family and friends. It’s actually my “go to” Italian cookbook.  As the years went on and Dom got larger and larger he decided to start eating better and came out with a second book in 1997. Another hit. This one is called “Eat This Too!”. It’s a low-fat cookbook of all his favorites along with more pics and stories of his family and friends. I will never part with either cookbook. All of the recipes are delicious.

Dom & Julia on Good Morning America in 1984

Today’s recipe is from “Eat This Too!” Gumbo can be very fattening but his version is loaded with vegetables and a seafood. Serve it over brown rice instead of the usual white rice.  Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients either. It’s not too scary, really! It will take longer to cut up and prep all of the veggies (where’s that private sous chef when you need one?) than to cook so be brave! You won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds shrimp/scallops, lobster, or other seafood, shelled, cleaned

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

10 mushrooms, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

12 fresh okra, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors intermingle, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp/scallops or other seafood. Cook just a few minutes until seafood is just done. Serve while still tender.

Serves 8-12

Emeril’s Seasonings at Home

Everyone is familiar with Emeril and his TV shows, books, food, restaurants and so on. Years ago he listed some of his spice recipes we could make at home by ourselves. I have made them in the past and they are of course terrific. Today I am going to give everyone the recipes for his Creole and Southwest Spice seasonings. They are very easy to make on your own and there is nothing weird or crazy in them so you will be able to find all the spices in your grocery stores or spice stores. Just remember to store them in airtight containers, especially in climates that can be humid, like Florida! All of the ingredients are ‘dried’ spices/herbs as well.

Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (shown below)

INGREDIENTS:

2½ tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon thyme

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 2/3 cup

Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning Spice

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Makes about ½ cup

Basic Chili Seasoning

Just as promised, here is a basic chili seasoning mix you can make at home! It’s easy and as with the taco seasoning you probably have these ingredients at home. About ¼ cup of the mix is usually good for chili, but add more if you want. I never buy the pre-packaged mix from the store anymore! Again if you don’t like it too hot put in less of the chili powder. Have fun with it!

Andrea's Black & Red Chili

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup paprika

3 tablespoons seasoning salt

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper (red pepper)

2 tablespoons seasoned pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons  dried oregano


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small bowl mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: About 1 cup of seasoning.

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