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The Key to Quinoa

One thing that happens to me once in a while is that I get BORED with what I eat day to day.  And when I get bored, I find that I tend to binge or eat things that I really shouldn’t be eating.    So, I’m making an effort to eat more ‘unique’ things to keep my interest and reduce the urge to binge.    At the WLSFA event earlier this month, I picked up a cook book from BariWare that has all kinds of great bariatric recipes in it.  I figured I’d work my way through it, and add to my repertoire or exclude those that don’t work for my tastes.

The first recipe I tried was the Hot and Cruncy Quinoa recipe.  I modified it a little bit to suit what I had in the pantry, and what I was hungry for.
My version of the recipe is here:
2 c cooked quinoa
4 oz crushed pecans
1 c diced strawberries
1/2 t ghee
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t coconut sugar
Pinch of Salt
While the quinoa was hot, I added the ghee (it melted into the quinoa and got nice and creamy).  I stirred in the cinnamon and coconut sugar and stirred until it melted.   To serve, (I’ll be eating this for the next 4 days) it’s 4oz (1/2 c) quinoa in a container, and top with 1oz pecans and 2oz diced berries.  Since I packed it for work, I put the quinoa and nuts and berries in separate containers.  This morning, I heated the quinoa for 45 seconds in the microwave and topped with the nuts and berries.
YUM – and it held me through until late afternoon when I felt ‘lunchy’ .  I will definitely be doing this again, and mixing in different berries and nuts.  (Raspberries and almonds?)  I’ll also be adding a little vanilla I think.

August 26, 2013


In the Kitchen with Kellie – 🙂

Have really been feeling like cooking lately – have pulled out some recipes to work with this week – and have a whole menu planned for the week.  My lunches are made – will need to just pack everything up in the evenings – and the plan should work out to be really protein forward and healthy.    They’re all pretty easy and yummy -(Lunch today and dinner tonight)

So, here they are:

Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burgers  (From Simply Recipes)

  • 1lb ground turkey meat
  • 2 c lightly packed coarsely grated zucchini
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2T chopped fresh mint (omitted)
  • 2T chopped fresh cilantro (omitted)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1t ground cumin
  • 1t Kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 3T vegetable oil

Sour Cream Sauce

  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1 t grated lemon zest
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Make the sour cream sauce by placing all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stirring until combined.  Chill until ready to use.

In a large bowl, place the zucchini, sliced green onions, chopped herbs, garlic, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Stir to combine.  With your hands, mix in the ground turkey until the zucchini mixture is well distributed through the ground turkey.  Use your hands to form 3 to 4 inch wide patties, placing them on a baking sheet.  Note that the patties may be rather wet – so they may be tricky to handle.

Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium.  Working in batches, place the patties in the pan.  Let cook for about 5 minutes then flip the patties over and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

I’ll have these for lunch this week, with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.  Had one for lunch today – and it was amazing.  Tastes like kefta – but it is really good!  Will be playing around and trying to tweak this one some more.

Dinner tonight was flank steak – we get flank steak pinwheels from our favorite butcher,  they fill them with cheese, spinach, and sliced tomatoes.  I found a recipe at the EatingWell website – and decided that I would try it out.    Well, after dinner, I decided that I’m not going to make the pinwheel again – too much of a pain in the butt.  I’m going to make a sauce for whatever steak we pick up.

Flank Steak Pinwheels – (From

  • 2/3 c sundried tomatoes (not oil packed)
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 T Boursin herbed cheese
  • 1 c baby spinach
  • 3/4 c kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper

Place sun dried tomatoes in a bowl.  Pour boiling water over them and let steep until softened, about 10 minutes.  Drain and chop.  Place steak between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap.  Pound each side of the steak with the pointed side of a meat mallet until the steak is an even 1/4 inch thickness.  Rub garlic over one side of the steak. Spread cheese lengthwise in a strip down the middle of the steak.  Top with the sun dried tomatoes and spinach.  Starting at one edge of a long side, roll the steak up tightly, tucking in the filling as you go.    Carefully rub salt and pepper all over the outside of the steak roll.  Turn the roll so the overlapping edge is on top.  Push skewers through the roll.  Close to the overlapping edge to hold the roll together.  Slice the roll into portions 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.    Grill 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

It was really good – but as I mentioned, a pain in the ass putting it all together.  So, what I’ll do next time, is take all of the innards and make a sauce.   I did make a sauce out of the leftovers – (details on that one below)

In the pan, I added the water from the soaked tomatoes.  Added some sliced mushrooms, and sauteed them until they were cooked through.  Added the spinach that I’d chopped roughly, and let it wilt.  I added a pat of butter, and then about 3T of the cheese and let it all melt together.  Same yumminess as the roll, but MUCH easier!

Two more recipes are on deck for the week – a sweet potato, black bean chili and chicken and rice.   Can’t wait to try them out 🙂


Product Review: Steve’s PaleoGoods – Paleo Krunch Cereal


When I was in California a few weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a Paleo Kit to try.  (More on that one later).  I was reviewing the Steve’s Paleogoods website – and stumbled across their Paleo Krunch Cereal.  One thing that I really miss since I’m eliminating grains and gluten from my diet is a crunchy addition to my morning yogurt.  So, since Steve’s has a few different paleo options for cereal, I figured I’d pick some up and give them a try.

And boy am I glad that I did! The stats on it are pretty good:

Per each 1.5 ounce serving:

  • 200 Calories
  • Fat 13g (6g saturated)
  • Carbs 16g (7g fiber, 6g sugars)
  • Protein 7g

I’m also really happy with the ingredient list – very short – and all real food:  raw almonds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

I use this a few tablespoons at a time to add crunch to my morning yogurt.  It has a great flavor, and is softer than some of the commercial yogurts that I’ve had.  It doesn’t hit my blood sugar that badly – it’s just a wee bit of honey – but I don’t think I’d want to have a larger serving of it at one time.

I would most definitely recommend this to any of my bariatric friends who are looking for a bit of crunch in their yogurt that also packs some nutrition into it as well.  The price is fairly good as well – especially since I only eat it a few tablespoons at a time.   It’s 6.95 a container, and because I got about 10 servings out if it – it is about $.70 a serving.  Well worth it in my opinion!

If you try it – let me know!



Poke and Popsicles


Last year, when we were in Panama with the family,  Dan made Poke with tuna as an appetizer for us one night.  Charles has been eating more Tuna sushi, so he gave it a try, and really liked it.  We talked about trying it here at home – so we started looking for sushi grade tuna.  One strange thing about North Carolina (okay, there are many strange things about North Carolina), but it’s not legal to buy tuna sashimi here.   We could only buy tuna that had been frozen (and to a very specific temperature as well).   So, I swung by Whole Foods and picked up a quarter pound of tuna, and took it home.    This is the recipe we worked from:

Tuna Poke with Avocado

  • 1 lb tuna sashimi, sliced in 1/2 inch squares
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T sesame seed oil
  • Sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sugar to taste (optional)
  • ripe avocado – cubed
  • cucumber, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes

Add all ingredients together, cover and let marinade in the fridge.  – We served ours plain – with a salad.  It was very good!  We haven’t done this since – simply because the tuna is entirely too expensive, but it will be a good thing for a quick and light meal in the heat of summer.

Every once in a while, I get to craving for a frozen something or other.   I saw this recipe on Pinterest last year, and decided to try it.  They’re VERY good!  (And I’ll need to make a batch for this summer!)

Pina Colada Pops

Blend and freeze the following:

  • 1 can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 can coconut milk (Lesson learned, do not use light!)
  • 1/2 t vanilla


Zucchini Bites Recipe


Rumor has it zucchini season is right around the corner.  And if your garden is anything like the ones I’ve dealt with before,  well, you’re going to have some big ole baseball bat squashes to deal with!

On our no processed food diet – one thing we missed was Tater Tots.  (Charles more than me, but who doesn’t like a tatey nugget every once in a while).  So, after some searching around, I found this recipe  at the Curious Country Cook.    I know that now I need to cut out wheat, grain, and gluten, I’ll need to make some adjustments – but it shouldn’t be too hard to tweak.

Zucchini Bites

  • 1 c zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 c cheese (cheddar or Parmesan work best)
  • 1/4 c bread crumbs (I used panko primarily)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a mini muffin tin with non stick spray and set aside.  Grate the zucchini and place in a dish towel.  Squeeze out the excess water.  (If you skip this part, the middle of the tots will be mushy).  In a bowl, combine the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper.  Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are browned and set.

We’ve done this one a few times, and have made them a few different ways.  One thing that we do when we’re in a hurry is to pan fry them with some coconut oil.  Flatten them out into patties and fry them on medium high on both sides for about 4 minutes a side.

Now, since I’m going to be de-wheating my life, I think the next time I make these, I’ll use almond meal or flax meal in place of the bread crumbs.  (We’ve tried them without them, and you really need it for a binder).    I’ll be sure to update this post when I try them again! 🙂

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