Category Archives: Rice & Grains

Saffron Infused Pea and Manchego Risotto

This one is my version of the Italian Risotto alla Milanese traditionally made with beef stock, beef bone marrow, lard and cheese, flavored and colored with saffron. Ha sounds kinda gross to me.

Hope you love this healthy but so tasty version as much as I did.

2 Medium non-stick pots
Wooden spoon

1            pinch Saffron Threads soaked in 1 tablespoon of hot water for 30 minutes then strained
3            tablespoons Unsalted Goat Butter
1           small Sweet Onion, very finely chopped
1 3/4  cups Arborio Rice
1.5-2   litres Vegetable Stock, kept hot in a separate pot
2           cup raw or frozen organic Peas
5          tablespoons  grated Manchego or Pecornino Romano would work too
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Heat half the butter in your pot and fry onion on medium/high heat until just soft. Careful not to brown.

Add rice and toast in the hot butter and onion, for approximately 5 minutes, continuously stirring or until grains are crackling hot, again, not browned.

Add three ladles full of hot stock and stir thoroughly. Stir in 1.5 cups of the peas and keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, then add 1.5 ladles of stock and stir for another few minutes.  Repeat this adding stock and slowly stirring until the risotto is cooked thoroughly, approximately 2 minutes or until the rice grains are cooked through but firm to the bite and the texture creamy.

Remove from heat and add in remaining butter, peas, half the cheese and the saffron infused water.  Stir thoroughly, season with sea salt and pepper then cover and let stand for 4 minutes.

Stir one more time and serve with a sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Granola

My inspiration for this recipe came first from my usual desire to create and consume the healthiest but still tasty foods possible and second, after trying a Kaia Foods version which I LOVED but can’t justify spending (at Whole  Foods) $9 for a small bag!

The bulk of my granola is sprouted Buckwheat, it is very nutrient dense, crunchy and remains so even in milk.  Buckwheat is high up on my list of super foods, I use almost daily.  Due to the presence of inositol, buckwheat helps the body adjusts metabolism, fat and the lipo-soluble vitamins. It also aids the liver in processing hormones, medicines, and glucoses, with a protective hepatic effect.  Buckwheat contains all the essential amino acids necessary for the body to synthesize its protein.

Can’t forget the other gluten-free grains and seeds included here, Millet, Amaranth, Quinoa to name a few – all super foods!  Everything is sprouted or soaked adding even more health benefits. Click HERE for information on the benefits of sprouting.

This recipe is a pretty large batch, filling my dehydrator and taking over 24 hours to crisp and a couple days to prepare but it is well worth the wait and effort.  I prefer to have a large batch that will last a while.  I also did one tray in the oven set to 170 degrees, (140 is better if your oven goes that low) with the door cracked open to see how this method compares.  The oven batch turned out great too and took less time to dry and crisp.  I dehydrated bananas and dates sprinkled with cinnamon and added it to the mix but you can use any other fruit flavour options: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, currants or raisins.  Save time on this extra step and simply buy them already dried if you like.

Sprout the below by soaking in fresh pure water in a a few medium- large bowls for 1 1/2 days:

Soak/sprout for 12 to 24 hours in large bowl:
3-4      cups Buckwheat – Rinse/change the water several times throughout times.
Soak for 8-12 hours in another large bowl:
1           cup Millet
1           cup Amaranth
1           cup Red Quinoa
1           cup White Quinoa
Soak in a medium bowl:
1/2       cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2       cup Sunflower Seeds
Soak for 8-12 hours in a small bowl:
1         cup Almonds
1         cup Walnuts
Once the grains, nuts and seeds are done sprouting and soaking, rinse and strain WELL then, combine with:
1/2     cup Sesame Seeds
1/2     cup Flax Seeds
1         cup dried unsulfered/ unsweetened Coconut
1/4    cup Vanilla
1 -2    cups Maple Syrup or Agave Syrup – 2 if you like a sweeter granola
1/4    cup Cinnamon
1          tablespoon Sea Salt
1/4     cup Oil of choice (macadamia, almond, sunflower, flax, olive…)

Place a thick layer of about 1/2″ on mesh dehydrator sheets.

Dehydrate until crunchy, add dried fruit and transfer to air tight container.

A Brief Overview on How to Sprout

Sprouting: A Brief
Overview on How to Sprout

Basics of Sprouting

  1. Obtain seed for sprouting. Store in bug-proof containers, away from extreme heat/cold. Seed should be viable, and, to extent possible, free of chemicals.
  2. Basic steps in sprouting are:
    • measure out appropriate amount of seed, visually inspect and remove stones, sticks, weed seed, broken seeds, etc.
    • rinse seed (if seed is small and clean, can usually skip this rinse)
    • soak seed in water for appropriate time
    • rinse soaked seed, put in sprouting environment for appropriate time
    • service seeds (rinse) in sprouting environment as needed
    • when ready, rinse seeds. Store in refrigerator, in sprouting environment or in other suitable container until ready to use. If not used within 12 hours, seeds should be serviced (rinsed) every 24 hours in refrigerator. Best to eat as soon as possible, as freshness is what makes sprouts special!

Jars and Cloth: Two Suggested Sprouting Methods
Jars: use wide-mouth, glass canning jars, available at many hardware stores. You will need screen lids – cut pieces of different (plastic) mesh screens, or buy some of the special plastic screen lids designed for sprouting. Sprouting in jars is quite easy: simply put seed in jar, add soak water, put lid on. When soak is over, invert jar and drain water, then rinse again. Then prop jar up at 45 degree angle for water to drain. Keep out of direct sunlight. Rinse seed in jar 2-3 times per day until ready, always keeping it angled for drainage.

Cloth: soak seed in flat-bottom containers, in shallow water. When soak done, empty seed into strainer and rinse. Then take flat-bottom bowl or saucer, line bottom with wet 100% cotton washcloth, spread seed on wet cloth. Then take 2nd wet cloth and put on top of seed, or, if bottom washcloth is big enough, fold over wet seeds. Can add additional water to washcloths 12 hours later by a) sprinkling on top, or b) if very dry, remove seed from cloth, rinse, re-wet cloth, put seed back between wet cloths. Cloths used should be 100% cotton (terrycloth) or linen, used exclusively for sprouting, and of light colors. Cheap cotton washcloths (and cheap plastic bowls) work well and will last a long time.

Comparison: Jar vs. Cloth Methods
Jar method is more versatile; can grow greens in the jar (e.g., 6-8 day old alfalfa greens), and the jar is less likely to mold than cloth for sprouts that require more than 2 days. However, the jar method needs a convenient drainage system (otherwise mold can develop). The cloth method can withstand some direct sunlight (direct sunlight in early stages of sprouting can cook the seed in jars), and needs no drainage system. The methods require roughly the same time, though 2nd service of cloth is very fast. Almonds, buckwheat give better results in cloth.

Other Methods of Sprouting:

  • Plastic tube – variation on jar method; opens at both ends – easier to remove long sprouts like greens from tube than from jar.
  • Sprouting bags – cotton or linen; also plastic mesh. Soak seed in bag in water, then hang up inside plastic bag (forms a little greenhouse).
  • Trays: very good for growing greens. Might need drainage system.
  • Clay saucer: used for mucilaginous seeds like flax, psyllium, etc.
  • Commercial sprouters: wide variety available. Often fairly expensive; most don’t work as well as cloth/jar methods!

What is the best time/length to eat sprouts?
Ultimately you will answer this question by experimenting – growing sprouts and eating them at different ages/lengths. My preference is to eat sprouts (except almonds, pumpkin seeds) when the growing root is, on average, the length of the soaked seed. Almonds and pumpkin seeds are discussed below.

A note on times: the sprouting times given below are based on cloth and/or jar method, and reflect an average time. The soaking times can be increased or decreased somewhat (except for buckwheat), with little or limited impact on the results. If you are using a different method, especially one of the commercial sprouting units, the times here will not apply and you will have to monitor your sprouts to decide when they are ready.

Grains and Similar Seeds

  • Amaranth: Soak 2-4 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth. Very tiny seeds, likely to flow through screen in jar method; line strainer with sprouting cloth to retain seeds. Sprout can be very bitter. Might be able to grow as greens, if you can get appropriate variety of amaranth.
  • Barley: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.25-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Use only unhulled barley; “whole” hulled barley and pearled barley won’t sprout. Chewy, somewhat bland sprout. Hulls are tough; people with stomach or intestinal ulcers might find hulls irritating. Can be used for grass also.
  • Buckwheat: Soak 15-20 minutes only; sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth. Use hulled, *raw* buckwheat groats. Kasha is usually toasted, won’t sprout. Raw buckwheat is white/green to light brown; toasted buckwheat is medium brown. Unhulled buckwheat (black hulls) are for greens, not general sprouting. Don’t soak longer than 20 minutes as it spoils readily. Monitor moistness, rinse or change cloths every 12 hours to avoid spoilage. Good sprout, mild flavor. Sprouts much faster in warm/hot weather.
  • Corn group:
    • Field corn: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 2.0+ days. Method: jar or cloth.
    • Popcorn: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.5+ days. Method: jar or cloth. Blue mold can be a problem, esp. with field corn. Sweet corn seeds (if you can find them) will sprout also. Field corn sprouts, if long enough, are tender but bland/starchy tasting. Popcorn sprouts are very sweet, but the hull doesn’t soften much in sprouting – very hard to eat. Not worth the trouble; suggest eating raw sweet corn (including raw corn silk, which is delicious) instead.
  • Millet: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Hulled millet – most seeds will sprout, but some ferment, producing very sharp taste. Unhulled millet best sprouter, but hull is very crunchy and sprout is rather bland. Best used in recipes.
  • Oats: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.25-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Must use unhulled oats; so-called “whole oats” or oat groats won’t sprout. Good sprout, mild flavor similar to milk. Thick hull makes it difficult to eat; best used in recipes (see sprout milk recipe). Can grow as grass also.
  • Quinoa: Soak 2-4 hours, sprout 12 hours. Method: cloth or jar. Very fast sprouter. Must rinse seeds multiple times to get off soapy tasting saponin in seed coat. Very fast sprouter; can grow as greens. Strong flavor that many find unpleasant. Small seed, line strainer with cloth. White and black quinoa are available.
  • Rice: Soak 12-18 hours, sprout 1.0+ days. Method: cloth or jar. Only brown, unprocessed rice will sprout. White rice, wild rice are dead and won’t sprout. Standard long grain rice doesn’t sprout. Short, medium grain brown rice, also brown basmati (but not Texmati) rice will sprout. Before root appears, rice can be eaten but difficult: bland, chewy, *very* filling. Once root appears, rice sprout is very bitter. The only rice I suggest sprouting is: Lundberg Farms “Wehani” rice, a specialty rice (sprout 1.5 days). It is least bitter – less bitter than fenugreek – of possible use in recipes.
  • Wheat/rye group:
    • Rye: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Nice sprout – good flavor. Rye harvested immature or handled improperly can have strong, unpleasant flavored. If it molds, discard (ergot mold possible).
    • Triticale is a cross between rye and wheat; used to be available from Arrowhead Mills, but haven’t seen it in market for some years.
    • Wheat, including Kamut and Spelt: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Hard Winter wheat better than soft Spring wheat. Wheat can get excessively sweet at 2+ days of sprouting. Spelt has nice texture, but spelt and kamut are more expensive than ordinary wheat. Wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, triticale can be used for grass also.

Other Seeds

  • Almonds: Soak 10-14 hours, sprout 1.0 day. Method: cloth Use only unblanched almonds. Sprout+storage time should not exceed 2 days or sprouts may turn rancid. Best to peel sprouts before eating (peeled have incredible flavor). Peeling is tedious, reduced by blanching in warm water (15-30 seconds in hot water from faucet). One of the very best sprouts!
  • Cabbage, Kale: Soak 6-14 hours, sprout 1+ days. Method: cloth or jar. Very strong flavor, best used as flavoring in mixtures. Can also be grown into greens. Seeds relatively expensive.
  • Fenugreek: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 18 hrs or more. Method: cloth or jar. Slightly bitter, best used as flavoring additive in mixtures. Hindi name: methi. According to “The Yoga of Herbs” by Lad/Frawley, fenugreek sprouts are good digestive aid and good for the liver. Hard seeds are common in fenugreek.
  • Mucilaginous seeds: flax, psyllium, chia These can be sprouted as flavoring additive in mixtures (alfalfa, clover, or mustard); to sprout alone requires special clay saucer method. Sprouts are not so good tasting, not worth the trouble for most people.
  • Mustard: Soak 6-14 hours, sprout 1.0+ days. Method: cloth, jar, or tray. Good flavoring additive for other sprouts. Available in 3 forms: black, brown, yellow. Brown seeds are smaller and harder to handle in mixtures; yellow or black recommended for mixtures. Can grow as greens also.
  • Pumpkin: Soak 8-14 hours; sprout (if you must) 1.0 day. True sprouting by pumpkin seeds (developing root) is quite rare. Bacterial spoilage and rancidity are problems when you try to sprout them. Best to simply soak them, then eat. Pumpkin seeds as sold in the market are not hulled – the variety grown has no hulls on its seeds.
  • Radish: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.0+ days. Method: cloth, jar or tray. Very hot flavor! Use sparingly in mixtures as flavoring agent. Can be used for (hot!) greens also.
  • Sesame: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Must use unhulled sesame seeds for sprouting; hulled seeds can be soaked to improve flavor and digestibility. A black sesame seed (considered superior to white seed in Ayurveda) is available; haven’t found it in unhulled form. Sprout+storage time should not exceed 1.5 days; sprouts continue to grow in refrigerator and start to get bitter at 2.0 day mark, and can be very bitter by 2.5 days. A small bowl of sesame sprouts, with a bit of raw honey on them, is very nice.
  • Sunflower: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 18 hours. Method: cloth or jar. Use hulled sunflower; unhulled are for sunflower greens only. Need to skim off seed skins at end of soak period, when rinsing. If you leave them in, they will spoil and your sprouts will spoil quickly. Has a nice, earthy flavor; very popular.


  • Alfalfa, Clover:
    For greens: soak 4-6 hours, sprout 6-8 days. Method: tray or jar.
    For use when short: soak 4-14 hours, sprout 1-1.5 days. Method: jar or cloth.
    Alfalfa and clover are most commonly grown as greens. A good non-traditional use for them is as flavoring additive in mixtures, for ex: lentil, alfalfa, radish is nice (alfalfa counteracts “heat” of radish). Alkaloid levels can be very high in alfalfa. Need alfalfa seed with very high germination rate (over 90%) to successfully grow greens in jar – else unsprouted seeds will decay and spoil greens.
  • Garbanzo group:
    • Garbanzos, standard: Soak 12-18 hours, sprout 1.5+ days. Method: cloth or jar.
    • Kala channa: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar.
    • Green channa: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.0 day. Method: cloth or jar. Garbanzos, also know as chick peas or ceci, are common in commercial mixtures. They sprout easily but they also spoil easily (bacteria or mold). Kala channa is a miniature garbanzo, sold in (East) Indian food stores, that sprouts reliably – try sprouting it instead of standard garbanzos. Green channa is similar, naturally green, and sprouts very quickly. Green channa has stronger flavor; best to eat with turmeric or ginger.
  • Large beans: Anasazi, Black, Fava, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto, Soy, etc. Except for soy, these are irrelevant to the sprouter – raw flavor is truly horrible. Also, serious toxicity/allergy/digestibility issues with these raw beans. Except for soy (edible raw if grown long enough), these beans must be cooked to be digestible, hence are not of interest to the raw-fooder.
  • Lentils, brown/green and red. Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.0 day. Method: cloth or jar. The brown/green lentils come in a variety of sizes; the smallest sizes generally sprout faster than the larger. Red lentils are usually sold in split “dahl” form; for sprouting you must buy whole red lentils. Red lentils are red inside and brown outside; their Hindi name is masoor (brown masoor). Lentil sprouts have a spicy flavor and are very popular. Might find hard seeds in lentils from India.
  • Mung bean group:
    • Mung beans: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 18 hrs – 1 day. Method: cloth or jar.
    • Urid/urad: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 18 hrs – 1 day. Method: cloth or jar.
    • Adzuki beans: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 1.0 day. Method: cloth or jar.
    • Moth beans: Soak 8-14 hours, sprout 12 -18 hrs. Method: cloth or jar. Urid (also spelled urad) is a black shelled mung bean, available in Indian stores. Stronger flavor than regular mung. Hard seeds common in mung and urid. Moth is a brownish bean, similar to mung, available in Indian stores. Very fast, reliable sprouter, with mild flavor – similar to mung. Discard “floaters” when sprouting moth. P.S. there is a mung bean that is yellow inside, in Indian stores, but so far have only found split (dahl) form.
  • Peanuts: Soak 12-14 hours, sprout 1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Must use unblanched peanuts; recommend removing skins to improve digestibility. Spanish variety peanuts have loose skin, can remove most before soaking. Other peanuts – soak 1-2 hours then peel off skins, return to soaking in new, clean water. With peanut peeled you will probably observe high incidence of (bright) yellow mold – possible aflatoxin.
  • Peas, Blackeye: Soak 12-14 hours, sprout 1 day. Method: cloth or jar. Flavor is too strong to be eaten alone. Makes good flavoring additive for mixtures, if used sparingly.
  • Peas, (Field): Soak 12-14 hours, sprout 1.5 days. Method: cloth or jar. Be sure to buy whole peas, not split peas (split won’t sprout). Yellow peas are slower to sprout, and have stronger flavor than green peas. Flavor too strong when raw for many people. Insect problems common with peas in storage (beetle infestation); store in bug-proof containers. Can be grown as greens also.
  • Note: if purchasing kala channa, green channa, urid/urad, red lentils, etc. from Indian store, be sure to obtain the whole seeds, and not the split (dahl) or oiled form of the seeds.

Some Sprouting Seed Mixtures of Interest:

  1. mung/adzuki, fenugreek
  2. mung/adzuki, urid, dill seed
  3. lentils, blackeye peas, alfalfa, radish
  4. sunflower seed, moth, fenugreek
  5. alfalfa/clover, radish/mustard (for greens)

Experiment and develop your own favorite mixtures!

Soak Instead of Sprouting:

  • Herb seeds: fennel, celery, caraway, cardamom, poppy, etc.
  • Filberts: soak 12 hours; makes crisper, improves flavor.
  • Pecans: soak 8 hours; long soaks can make mushy.
  • Walnuts: soak 12 hours; flavor changes – you might like or dislike.
  • High fat nuts (brazil nuts, macadamias) may benefit some from soaking, but difference (soaked vs. unsoaked) is small.

Staple Foods for Sprouting:

  1. (first tier) wheat, almonds, sunflower, sesame, mung/adzuki, rye
  2. (2nd tier, obstacles) oats, barley, buckwheat, rice, lentils*, other legumes*
  3. (flavoring) fenugreek, mustard, radish, kale, cabbage * see question on legumes below

Easy for Beginners:

wheat, sunflower, almonds, lentil, mung

Indoor Gardening (grown indoors, in soil):

  • Grasses: wheat, barley, oats, rye, kamut, spelt, triticale, and others.
  • Vegetables: amaranth, mustard/mizuna, fennel, kale, cabbage, etc.
  • Legumes: peas, snow peas
  • Other greens: buckwheat, sunflowerWhat are hard seeds?
    Seeds that are hard, like rocks, and they stay that way during soaking and sprouting. Hard seeds are a sort of natural insurance in the sense that if planted in soil they will eventually sprout – late in the season or next season. Hard seeds may be a threat to certain types of dental work, esp. porcelain crowns (porcelain on gold crowns are stronger and hard seeds are less risk; metal crowns are stronger than natural enamel). To minimize hard seeds, suggest you soak seeds as in the cloth method: in shallow water, in a large container with a flat bottom. Then at the end of the soak stage, you can visually inspect the soaked seeds and remove those that are still hard. This technique is not 100% foolproof, but if done carefully, will substantially reduce the number of hard seeds. The method will work with any seed, but fenugreek seeds are so small that picking out the hard ones is quite difficult.

    • Livingston et al. (Nutritional and Toxicological Aspects of Food Safety, pgs. 253-268), citing research by Malinow, report negative health effects in animals and humans from consumption of alfalfa sprouts. They believe that consuming large amounts of alfalfa sprouts is risky.
    • Cousens (Conscious Eating, pg. 372) , citing relevant client cases, reports no harmful effects from consumption of moderate amounts of raw alfalfa sprouts.
    • Readers are encouraged to check the above references and decide for themselves on this issue. An alternate, experimental approach is to hold your diet constant for a few days, then add alfalfa sprouts to your diet, and observe the effects (if any) of the alfalfa – that is, listen to your body.

  • Anything wrong with sprouted legumes?
    If you can digest them without the production of a lot of gas (flatulence), there’s nothing wrong with them. Legumes are very high in protein, hard to digest, and cause gas for many people. Gabriel Cousens (Conscious Eating, pgs. 70, 372, 490) recommends that consumption of sprouted legumes (except alfalfa, next question) be minimized. Ann Wigmore (Rebuild Your Health, pg. 73) tells us that flatulence gas is toxic and harms your entire system. From an Ayurvedic viewpoint, legumes aggravate the vata dosha; individuals with vata body type or a vata disorder should minimize legumes. Ayurveda suggests eating turmeric or ginger with proteins (legume sprouts) as a digestive aid. A number of other herbs/spices can serve as digestive aids and/or counteract the vata effect of legumes. Among legumes, mung and adzuki beans are considered easiest to digest.

    What about toxins in alfalfa sprouts?
    Alfalfa sprouts contain saponins, a class of alkaloids (7.93% on dry weight basis, sprouts from commercial sources) and L-canavanine sulfate, an amino acid analog. Saponin levels are at their maximum when sprouts are 6-8 days old (most common time for eating); L-canavanine sulfate is present in the seed and decreases as the sprout grows. The issue of whether these factors are significant is subject to debate.

    Don’t Sprout: Sorghum (potentially toxic levels of cyanide in seed coat)

    Oat Sprout Milk – Special Version
    The following makes around 3 cups of delicious oat/almond milk.

    Start with: a little more than 1/4 cup dry sprouting oats, and, optionally, 1/8 cup Lundberg Farms Wehani rice. Soak 12 hours, then sprout for 1.5 days. Separately, soak 15-20 almonds for 12 hours, then sprout for 1.0 days (should be ready about same time as oat sprouts).

    Rinse oat(/rice) sprouts, put in blender with 2 cups good quality water, blend. Best to add 1 cup water, blend on medium for 30 seconds or so, then add second cup of water and blend on high for another 30-45 seconds. Now strain the blended liquid through a steel mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth (or similar).Discard hull pulp, rinse blender clean, put base milk back in blender. **

    Peel the sprouted almonds (might blanch first with warm water), rinse, put almonds in blender. Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey (or other sweetener, optional) to blender. Now add flavoring, one of: vanilla bean (about 1/2 inch or so), cardamom seed (decorticated or powder, 1/4 tsp), or cinnamon (1 rounded tsp). Run blender on medium speed for a few seconds to mix/grind, then turn down to low speed and let blender run for 5+ minutes to homogenize. (The almonds are not strained out but retained in the milk for full flavor and nutrition.)

    Note that the recipe up to ** is the basic milk recipe; can use recipe, substituting other types of grains, seeds, or nuts for the rice, to yield other types of oat sprout milk. Sprouting/soaking details will vary with grain, seed, or nut used in place of the rice.

Author Contact:
Thomas E. Billings

Curried Quinoa Edamame Salad

I’m always looking for new ways to have Quinoa, this is my take on a yummy curry version I had once at Whole Foods.  While the curry flavour is light it will intensify after some time in the fridge.

Medium pot.
Large bowl.
1              cup dry Quinoa, cooked in 1 1/2 cups of Water
1/2         cup shelled Edamame Beans, cooked
1/3         cup Cashews, coarsely chopped
1/4         large Red Pepper, chopped
1/4         large Zucchini, cut into match sticks
3              Green Onions, sliced
1              small bunch of Cilantro, chopped (I used enough to fill about a 1/3 of a cup)
Small bowl:
3              tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4         cup Olive Oil
1              tablespoon Honey
1              tablespoon Curry Powder
Sea Salt and Pepper

Steam or boil the edamame beans then put them in your large bowl.

While the quinoa is cooking chop up all the other ingredients.

In your small bowl stir up the dressing.

Combine everything in the large bowl, mix well and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Sesame Carrot and Asparagus Stir-Fry

I make a lot of stir-frys with ginger, garlic and Braggs,  such a simple, flavourful combo.  Tonight I threw in some chopped up Swiss Chard (since my garden full on it is all frozen!) and had it with Quinoa.  Its also yummy with rice!

Looking for a protein? Try Thai-Peanut Chicken Skewers.

Vegetarian? Go with Thai-Peanut Tofu

-Click here for home made peanut sauce recipe-

Large skillet or wok, medium-high heat:
2              tablespoons Sesame Oil
1              clove Garlic, minced
3              tablespoons fresh Ginger, minced (one tablespoon reserved)
5              cups Carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
5              cups fresh Asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into two
1/3         cup Braggs (Tamari or Soy Sauce would work here too but use less)
1/3         cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Add carrots, garlic and 2 tablespoons of ginger to hot oiled skillet and sauté till just brown but still crisp.  Add Asparagus and sauté for a minute or so more, until they are bright green but also, still crisp.

Stir in Braggs and remove from heat.

Toss with sesame seeds and serve.

Quinoa Salmon Patties

I brought home six sockeye from my visit to the family cabin this past August and I still have so much frozen so,  I’ve made these a few times now trying different variations.  They are so simple and truly delicious. You could use any salmon really but since sockeye is so abundant and cheap right now, why not?  I have only had mine as a main or of the fly for a protein packed snack but these savory patties will work really well in a burger.

Once you have your patties formed you can freeze or refrigerate them in between pieces of waxed paper for use later.

Food processor or small blender.
Large skillet  on medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
3          Green Onions, ends trimmed
1          bunch fresh Cilantro
2          teaspoons Lemon Zest
1          teaspoon Sea Salt
1 1/2  pounds Wild Salmon, skinned, deboned and chopped into chunks
1          cup Quinoa, cooked
1          teaspoon Black Pepper, fresh ground

Process green onions, cilantro, lemon zest, sea salt, and black pepper until it is finely minced.

Add the salmon and quinoa and pulse/ process  until desired consistency. (I like chunky bits of salmon in mine).

Form into patties and set aside.

Add patties to hot skillet and cook approximately 3 minutes per side.

Makes 6 patties.

Another awesome variation:

Sub lemon zest for lime and add 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder. I honestly don’t know which I like better =)

Asparagus Manchego Risotto

There are a couple reasons people shy away from making Risotto, if its not because they are usually made with lots of butter, cream and cheese, (at least for the health conscious) its because the recipes tend to be bit more complicated, time consuming or involved then the average cook likes to take on.  This version however is made with easy to digest Manchego, only two tablespoons of (goat) butter and a large bunch of super nutritious Asparagus.  It will still take about 25 minutes to prepare because you do need to stir constantly but believe me, this one is worth the time!  The recipe calls for a little dry white wine,  I suggest enjoying a glass while you cook.

Medium/large heavy-bottomed pot, medium heat:
1              large bunch Asparagus, 1/2-1 inch of the bottoms trimmed off*
2              tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1              small Leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green only)
1              cup Arborio Rice
1              teaspoon fresh Tarragon Leaves, chopped
1/4         cup dry White Wine
2              tablespoons Butter (Goat or your choice)
1/3         cup Manchego Cheese, grated
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Small pot:
4             cups Broth (Vegetable or Chicken), heated

* To prepare the asparagus, first trim and discard the bottom inch or so, second,  cut the stalks horizontally, into thin rounds, all the way up BUT leave the tips whole.  – You will be adding the tips later so that they keep a firmer texture.

Heat oil in the medium/large pot and add the leek. Cook, stirring once or twice for two minutes.

Add the rice and tarragon, cook, stirring often for another two minutes.

Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until most of it evaporates.  Add the sliced asparagus stalks with 2/3 a cup of the warm broth, cook and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1/2 a cup more of the broth, cook and stir, once absorbed add another 1/2 cup,  and repeat the same process for approximately ten minutes.

Add asparagus tips and more of the broth until the rice is al dente and the sauce appears thick and creamy – about another 8 minutes.

Stir in butter and cheese. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.


Quinoa Veggie Cakes

Tonight I am going to my sister and her new fiancés engagement party and have been enlisted to bring some appy’s.  Quinoa Cakes, Roasted Beet Dip and Edamame Hummus all ready to go. Maybe I’ll get some comments from the guests!

I have typed this recipe out as a double batch because I find myself, almost always, making a double batch! These savory little cakes are very popular, they are best served warm straight out of the oven but still work well refrigerated (up to 4 days) and then reheated in the oven or even served cold.  Yields around 15 4-5 Inch cakes.  When I’m making them as an appetizer, rather than hand form the patties I press the cake mix into a lightly oiled muffin pan and  then just flip them onto the baking sheet. A little press down with your palm for perfectly shaped three bit cakes!

Oven 400 degrees
Vegetable grater with small and large holes
Large baking pan
6-12 cup muffin pan (optional)
Medium pot
3          cups Water
1          cup Organic White Quinoa, rinsed
1          cup Organic Red Quinoa, rinsed
3          tablespoons Red Onion, finely chopped
1          teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped
1 1/3  cup Carrot, grated
1 1/3  cup Zucchini, grated
1         10 ounce package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dried
2         large lemons, zested
1/2     cup Rice Flour (I have also used Quinoa Flour)
2         teaspoons Baking Powder
2         large Organic Free Range Eggs
1-2     teaspoons Sea Salt
1         teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
High heat oil like Grape Seed

Bring rinsed and drained Quinoa and the 3 cups of water to a boil in the medium pot then reduce heat to medium/low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

While Quinoa is cooking you can grate and zest.

Once Quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork  and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl combine cooked Quinoa (doesn’t matter if it’s still hot just make sure it’s cool enough to handle) onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, spinach, zest, flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and pepper.

Form mixture into patties and arrange on well oiled baking sheet.   Bake, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and just crisp, about 25 minutes.

If you are storing for later, allow to cool on drying racks then store in tupperware.

Dip ideas:

Dill Yogurt: 1 ½ cups of plain goat yogurt, 1 ½ Tbs fresh chopped dill,  2 tsp Lemon juice
Lime Chili Mayo: 1 cup  Vegan Mayo, Zest and Juice from one lime, Sea Salt, Chili Spice and Cayenne to taste.

Kale and Caramelized Shallots with Toasted Quinoa

I created this recipe a couple weeks ago and found myself craving it again already.  Its so simple yet so tasty and unbelievable good for you!  Kale comes in many different varieties, for this recipe I like dinosaur kale but you could use any really. All varieties are packed with cancer preventing compounds, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.  Submerging the whole leaves in boiling water allows the kale to retain more of its nutrients.

Medium pot
Large pot with boiling water
Large sauce pan
1          cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
2          bunches Dinosaur (lacinato) Kale, rinsed and ends trimmed
8          large Shallots, thinly sliced
4          tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3          tablespoons Lemon Juice
Coarse Sea salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Heat rinsed quinoa in pot on medium high,  shake/stir frequently until it takes on a golden tinge and begins to crackle.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce to low and cook until all water is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large sauce pan on medium heat, sauté thinly sliced shallots for 6-8 minutes or until very soft. Add lemon juice and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Blanch kale, 2-3 minutes, in boiling pot of water (in two batches if the pot seems too small). Should be bright green and just tender.  Remove, drain, and cut leaves into bite sized pieces.

Add kale to shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and remaining oil, sauté for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6