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Quinoa Corn Chowder

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So I’ve learned a few things about quinoa last year. It’s pretty amazing stuff! Although, it is a little boring by itself. It definitely helps to cook quinoa in recipes or with herbs, as opposed to serving it by itself. It is certainly not couscous. I’ve also used quinoa in replacement of white or brown rice. Who knew? All I can say, is that if you haven’t gotten creative with quinoa, NOW is the chance!

3 Red Bell Peppers, finely chopped
1 cup Quinoa, toasted & uncooked
2 tbsp. Butter (I use Coconut Oil)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
4 cups Corn
2 cups Pinto Beans (kidney beans are good too)
2 tbsp. Parsley
1½ tsp. Salt

To toast quinoa: Heat uncooked quinoa over medium-high heat until crackling. Stir constantly to toast evenly, until slightly darkened.

In a large pan, heat butter and garlic. Add chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Add corn, beans, peppers, quinoa, parsley and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is tender, stirring occasionally.

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Spiced Apple Cider

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4 c. Freshly Pressed Apple Juice (Not Concentrate)
1 c. Water
1 Orange, sliced into disks
1″ piece of Ginger, sliced into medallions (or ¼ tsp. ground)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Whole Cloves (or ¼ tsp. ground, each)
¼ tsp. ground Allspice
¹⁄₈ tsp. ground Nutmeg

In a large pot, combine all ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Boil 5 minutes.
Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Strain.
I do not have a sieve, so I lined the pot with cheesecloth and a giant magazine rubber band,
and slowly poured it into a pitcher.
I also quadrupled the recipe and stored it in several mason jars.

Serve warm!
Store in sealed jars in the refrigerator.

Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake

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I doubled this recipe, and ended up making a freezer meal with the unused half!

8oz Pasta Shapes (I used ‘Cavatappi’ noodles)
8oz Small Broccoli Florets
2 Zucchini, sliced
1 Leek, washed and sliced
¼ cup Butter (I used coconut oil!)
½ cup Flour
2½ cup Chicken Stock (or broth)
1¼ cup Milk
1 cup Cheddar, grated
1¾ cup Chicken, diced and cooked
2 tbsp. Chives
1 tbsp. Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Cook the pasta, drain and keep warm.

You may steam the broccoli, zucchini and leeks, although I did not and they cooked fine.

In a saucepan, gently heat the butter (or oil), flour, stock and milk.
Whisk continuously until the sauce thickens.

Remove the saucepan from heat.
Stir in cheddar, chicken, herbs and seasoning.
Add the pasta and vegetables and mix well.

Spoon the pasta into an ovenproof pan and sprinkle parmesan on top.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

If you double the recipe (like I did), freeze half the pasta in a freezer bag.
Remember to label and write the instructions on the bag before you fill it!
This pasta bake is good up to 3 months after it’s prepared!

No-Name Cacao Shake

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Every morning when my alarm goes off at 7am, although usually I am up earlier to feed my hungry 5 month old daughter. I roll out of bed, wash my face, and head into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. So far I haven’t gotten too creative with my 20 month old daughter’s breakfast, she’s pretty happy with cinnamon raisin oatmeal or seasoned scrambled eggs. However, for my husband and I, we stick to the same breakfast every single morning. The same thing! Do we ever get sick of it? Absolutely not! People say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we take this so seriously! The shake I am about to share with you is packed with powerful superfoods that will keep you running ALL day!

To know the true potential of this amazing shake, for which I have not come up with a name, click on the ingredients links! The benefits of each individual ingredients are countless! This thing is 100% superfood!

2 cups of cold, purified water
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
3 tbsp. chia seeds
3 tbsp. hemp seeds
3 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
3 tbsp. raw honey
5 dates (pitted)
+ 1 tray of ice (about equivalent to another cup of water)

Blend everything but the ice. Blend well! Feel free to throw in a banana or two!
Add the ice, blending a few cubes at a time.

Note: I’ve noticed if you throw the ice cubes in right away, the dates will not blend well, and you’ll have chunks in your shake…

Herbed Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

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You may substitute brown rice for quinoa, however, the benefits are much better when using quinoa!

4 large Bell Peppers
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
1½ cups Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Zucchini, finely chopped
1¼ cup Quinoa, cooked
1 large Tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
⅓ Nuts of some sort
½ cup Black Olives, pitted and finely chopped
2 tbsp. Basil

First note: I toasted the quinoa to add flavor!
To toast quinoa, place it in a pan alone (no oil or butter, just the quinoa itself) over medium-high heat.
When you start to hear popping, stir gently and consistently to toast it evenly.
Continue until desired darkness, then add the water.
Cook as usual!

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Slice the tops off the peppers, seed them and set them aside.
Keep the top!

Heat the oil and garlic in a pan. Add the mushrooms and zucchini.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, gently stir together the quinoa, tomato, black olive, basil and nuts.
The nuts are for crunch. Feel free to leave them out if you’re concerned about allergies.
I used pecans (because that’s all I had in the house!), although I’m sure almonds or pine nuts would be just as great!

Add cooked mushrooms and zucchini to the quinoa mixture.

Spoon some stuffing into each pepper and top with the lids.

Place the stuffed peppers in a shallow pan, cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes.

Serve with more veggies!

Raw Chocolate Pudding

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If you like super rich, decadent chocolate, look no further! Not only is this pudding delicious, but it’s completely raw! You got it! No sugar, preservatives, toxins; 100% raw! This chocolate is SO good for you, you could replace dinner with this dessert! Check out the benefits of each ingredient as you check them off your list!

¼ cup Dates
¼ cup Honey
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
¾ cup Avacados
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. Cacao Powder
¼ cup Water

Begin by soaking the dates in water.
I cut them into chunks as I measured them, and soaked them as I mashed the avacados.

Next, mash the avacado.
I ended up using about 1½ avacados, and fed the last half to my infant and toddler 🙂

In a blender, combine the dates, honey and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

Add the avacado and cacao powder. Blend until creamy.
Make sure you’re scraping the sides as needed!

Add the water and blend briefly.

Store the pudding in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
This pudding will stay fresh for three days in the fridge, or two weeks in the freezer.

Serve chilled!

Pumpkin Pie Spice

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You can either run to the store for a miniature container of Pumpkin Pie Spice, OR you can just make it in your own preferred quantity in your own kitchen! It’s SO incredibly easy, and you can use it for anything. I added some to mine and my husband’s shake this morning, and I also added some to my daughter’s oatmeal. She loved it! The nice thing about making this stuff on your own, is that you can make however much, whenever, and you don’t have to keep running to the store for more. It’s really easy to run out when you use this seasonal ingredient frequently!

3 tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
2 tsp. Nutmeg
1½ tsp. Ground Allspice
1½ tsp. Ground Cloves

Combine in an airtight container!
Tada!

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