Saturday, February 27, 2016

Orange Cranberry Quinoa Pilaf

orange juice quinoa

Crazy about Quinoa ? You can turn a pot of basic quinoa into a more flavorful side dish in one easy step!  This is a simple recipe that can be enjoyed by your family any night of the week or it can be proudly served to guests for holidays or parties!

I thought I knew quinoa until I tasted my friend Noreen's orange cranberry quinoa. It was exceptional and an interesting side for her recent dinner party.

Noreen, like most of us, want healthy tasty dishes that can be made quickly and easily! This is it.
It cooks in one pot, in one step, and is no fuss. It can be served hot, or as my dear friend Laura likes her food for entertaining, at room temperature.

Thanksgiving quinoa recipe

Laura ( co-author of Food No Matter What )_ explains that preparing dishes that also work well at room temperature makes entertaining easier. It frees up both the oven and the host/hostess.

All ingredients in the recipe are real food, gluten free, vegan, easy and delicious! It's good anytime of the year, but it would be also be perfect for Thanksgiving- perhaps as the stuffing for a baked acorn squash!

As a serving suggestion, I might decorate the border of the bowl with orange slices for some extra color!

Source of recipe: Helaine Ohayan 
Helaine loves quinoa and likes to experiment. This orange cranberry quinoa pilaf is actually her delicious creation. Helaine makes recipes that are healthy, quick and easy- like this one.  I can't wait to try her black beans and rice cooked in coconut milk which I will post as soon as I make it!

1 cup of uncooked quinoa ( washed according to directions on the package)
Orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Optional: 1 teaspoon of orange zest from an organic orange mixed in after cooking

Follow the directions for cooking the quinoa, but substitute orange juice for the water. Add the dried cranberries and cook for the allotted time. Serve immediately or serve at room temperature.
* for a less sweet version, add 1/2 orange juice and 1/2 water

One of my other favorite quinoa dishes is my Asian Quinoa Coleslaw. The quinoa adds some heartiness to a basic slaw recipe. It's colorful vegan, gluten free, crunchy and delicious.

quinoa salad

What is your favorite way to serve quinoa?
Please leave a comment by scrolling below to comments so I know you stopped by! I'm back!

Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Where Have I Been?

I apologize to all of my loyal regular readers. 
I have not been posting my usual recipes for healthy gluten free fast and easy vegetarian meals because I have been literally traveling for last two months and I had limited WiFi In addition  I've been eating but not cooking! I've been to quite a few exotic Caribbean Islands and have been enjoying the warm beautiful weather and magnificent beaches.

Photo Above was from a Batik factory in St Kitts? 

I left home ( Pennsylvania) on December 7 and pointed my car towards I-95 South on route to our first of many destinations -the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston South Carolina

After a 12 hour drive ( stopping along the way for a few meals and bathroom stops), we pulled into the parking garage of our hotel in the historic area of the city.  I remember reading a post on Deborah's blog, Healthy Green Natural , How to Plan a Relaxing Trip to Charleston  that highlighted the points of interest in Charleston; I got some good ideas.
We were only there 3 days , but it was enough. We did a 2 hour guided tour of the city on a trolley bus, ate in some interesting restaurants, visited a museum. Our favorite restaurant was 39 Rue de Jean  which was off of the famous King Street. The service was good, the French style food was memorable, and we enjoyed the atmosphere. They paid close attention to my gluten free needs ( although they did not serve GF bread)

In addition, we found a charming neighborhood bar and restaurant on King Street for happy hour. Wine at Joe Pasta was just $3 glass and the appetizers were very reasonable. We didn't eat there for dinner.

We left Charleston and continued to drive to Orlando to go to Epcot! We were are the Swan Hotel at Disney ( Fabulous ) and enjoyed their beautiful floor to ceiling Christmas tree made of entirely white Poinsettias !

Orlando Florida at Epcot- Disney

From Epcot, we traveled to Boca Raton, Florida area for 3 weeks to spend time with friends and family through the remainder of December and then on January 2 we  left for a 27 day Princess cruise to visit sixteen different Caribbean Islands!  Yes, I did say 27 days! It was fabulous . No food shopping, no cooking, no cleaning.. pure relaxation.

27 Day Caribbean Cruise - 16 Islands

We went to gorgeous beaches as well as tours of the islands. I bathed in volcanic hot springs and cover ed myself with the mineral rich ash, ate fresh exotic fruits like passion fruit, dragon fruit, and fresh coconut all right off the trees! I understand why they say, " Don't worry, Be Happy"The islands and the cruise were very relaxing.

We cruised on Princess and it worked out well for my gluten free diet. I had to order my dinners the night before, but they assigned a person to me to oversee my meals who was very careful, gave me homemade gluten free delicious bread, desserts, and lots of variety. I was happy!

They also had gluten free bread at the buffet breakfast and lunch buffet . I had to ask for it, as they kept it behind the counter to keep it from getting contaminated. The buffet's were a little trickier as nothing was really officially gluten free. It was best to order in advance to be sure.

I also found gluten free desserts in the buffet in the evening that were designated gluten free.

So there you have it.. I'm back and I've spent the last few days shopping for groceries, making some simple meals, and  cleaning. Back to the normal routine.

I will be starting to post again regularly just as I did before my 2 month winter vacation.

I'll be looking for some healthy skinny recipes that I can share with you (since I overindulged a little!)

If you are new to gluten free eating and living. would you like more basic information on how to shop and what to cook daily? Please respond in the comments.

What have you been up to ? Which healthy foods have you been enjoying over the past 2 months
 ? Please share in the comments!

Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.