Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Quinoa (with Broccoli & Mushrooms)

Lemon Rosemary Quinoa with Broccoli and Mushrooms

This dish was actually a cheap dinner idea I thought up on the fly one day. I had lemons and quinoa already on hand when I was planning out my grocery list for the week, so I wanted to try and think of something that I could use those in before going to the store. You know, try to save a little money by having to buy less for dinner. ;)

Then I thought, why not put them together? I thought it would be a great combination with some herbs, and maybe some other vegetables. I decided to use rosemary this time, but I think I may experiment in the future with other herbs, too!

The quinoa itself was quite tasty. Light and fluffy with a tangy lemon flavor and the wonderful rosemary aroma. I think this dish would go great as a rice substitute to serve with your favorite fish dish. I decided to add some broccoli and mushrooms to mine to make the dish feel more like a meal than a side, and it was actually quite filling! If serving as a side, you can omit the vegetables all together if you prefer, although the broccoli makes it especially tasty.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

Okay, so my husband has been asking me for weeks to make him some banana bread, but we've been eating so many bananas lately that they never got ripe enough to work with! I just noticed yesterday that there were 3 overly ripe bananas that needed to be used, so I figured banana bread would be the perfect way to do it!

I tried to switch it up by adding two different flavors swirled together; one chocolate and the other cinnamon. I didn't exactly get the swirled effect I was hoping for, but you can sort of tell there are two different flavors in there...anyway it still tastes good, and that's what matters anyway! It is also quite fluffy for a coconut flour loaf. It is a little dry, but I found it went very well with some fresh banana slices and a glass of milk!

The version I made is mix-in free, but I think it would be lovely with some walnuts or raisins mixed in. I'd also like to note that I prefer a slightly bitter taste to my chocolate, so if you have a sweet tooth you may want to add in some extra honey. Adjust the recipe to fit your personal preference, there's no rules in the kitchen. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing

Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing

So when browsing the grocery store a couple days ago I saw that pomegranates were on sale. Believe it or not, I had never actually had a pomegranate before now. I've had the juice before, so I had a pretty good idea of what they tasted like. But WOW! I never would have guessed the seeds would be so juicy and delicious. They just release a wonderful burst of flavor in your mouth when you bite down on one. Oh yes, and they are definitely a wonderful compliment to caramel and chocolate (but then again what doesn't compliment chocolate??)

Since this was my first pomegranate experience, I actually had no idea how to prepare one! So, after doing some research online, I found several people suggesting the best way to prepare them is by scooping out the seeds under water. How cool is that? I read several pages talking about how the seeds badly stain clothes and counter tops, so I am glad I researched it before diving right in!!

You'll see in the recipe below I also used some of the water from soaking the pomegranate seeds in my cake and icing. It didn't make a whole lot of difference flavor wise, so feel free to use regular water if you prepare your pomegranates using a different method, or if you buy pomegranate seeds alone.

And for those of you who may be wondering, this cake is actually not as dense as most coconut flour cakes. It is lighter than a pound cake, but heavier than an angel food cake. Its a very nice weight and tastes decadent and moist.

 I really had a lot of fun with this recipe! As you may be able to tell from all of the pictures in this post...I just couldn't help myself. Pomegranate seeds are just so lovely, almost like tiny rubies! They are so fun to decorate with, and definitely fun to eat. :)