Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 3: Four Cheese Chipotle “Macaroni” and Cheese

Yum.  This little experiment has been in my brain for a long time!!  Ever since I first posted on facebook asking my friends what their favorite recipe is with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, in fact!  A wonderful, genius-in-the-kitchen lady from my church commented and told me about how her family blends chipotle peppers into their macaroni!  I have only tried to make home made macaroni once before…it didn’t work too well.  It was in the crock pot, and the recipe had an option where you mix eggs in.  Well, being a young cook at that time (well, honestly…I’m still a young cook)…I didn’t think about how that could be weird.  I like to use everything in the recipe the first time I make it, to make sure I get the full flavor.  So I put in the eggs.  Yeah.  Eggs.  Macaroni.  Crock pot.  Not a good combo.  It was like scrambled egg macaroni.  Gag.

This attempt was the opposite of gag.  It was super successful and delicious!  And I am proud to say that this is very nearly “healthy macaroni!!”  I say “very nearly” because…well, frankly, it’s macaroni and cheese.  The “diet” we try to loosely follow, The Maker’s Diet, says that dairy should be raw and less than 25% of your daily intake.  This exceeds the dairy limit according to that standard.  However…as far as macaroni and cheese goes, this is pretty phenomenal because of the substitutions I used in place of some of the more traditional ingredients.   Curious?  Read on!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 C Almond Milk, divided
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash (Alternately, apparently you can find frozen winter squash puree)
  • Small amount of butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb (2 Boxes) Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pagodas
  • 1 1/3 C Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 2/3 C Monterrey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 C Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Powdered Mustard
  • Pinch of Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan, Grated

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!
  4. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.
  5. Grate your cheese.
  6. In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.
  7. As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.  Pulse until smooth and creamy!
  8. Time to start your noodles!  Cook them according to the package directions.
  9. Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy
  10. When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.
  11. Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.  Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)
  12. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.
  13. Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni .5First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.

Chipotle Macaroni 1Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Chipotle Macaroni 2Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!

Chipotle Macaroni 6Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 3However, that is a long time, so while you are waiting, prep everything else!!  Grate your cheese…which is really easy if you a fancy little grater attachment.  🙂  Gotta love wedding present goodies, even two and a half years later 😛

Chipotle Macaroni 4In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.

Chipotle Macaroni 7As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.

Chipotle Macaroni 8Pulse until smooth and creamy!

Chipotle Macaroni 9Time for your noodles!!  Now, I know that these technically aren’t “macaroni’s,” but as far as pasta goes, I have found these to be the best noodles as far as health nerds go…they have quinoa flour in them, they are gluten free…and yet they are still a great texture and taste!

Chipotle Macaroni 10Cook according to directions on your package.

Chipotle Macaroni 11Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy

Chipotle Macaroni 13When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.

Chipotle Macaroni 14Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.

Chipotle Macaroni 15Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)

Chipotle Macaroni 12In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.

Chipotle Macaroni 16Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 17Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni 18Yummy!!!  Doesn’t that look heavenly?!

Chipotle Macaroni 19Crispy, creamy, cheesy…

Chipotle Macaroni 20Doesn’t that look amazing?!  It is!!  The perfect amount of heat…not overwhelming like a Chipotle Pepper has the potential to be…but just a kick at the end.  A fantastic saltiness from 4 favorite cheeses…and just a hint of sweetness from the squash.  And more than a hint of health because of that same squash!

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Fresh Four Layer Quinoa Salad

 

Wow.  Just wow.  I didn’t know how I would feel about this…being a not-so-big fan of tomatoes.  I have found a few things I can eat them in that I can tolerate…even almost like.  But I always know they are there, and fight the cringe because I know they are good for me and it’s just in my head.

Well this was different.  It’s like they weren’t even there.  Not a thought to cringe.  I was too busy shoving this in my face.

Funny thing is, I made this the day after Mr. Rodgers and I had decided “we really have to stop cheating, let’s try harder to plan ahead and eat healthy.”  Well my day was insane…leaving the house at 7 am, working a 6 hour shift at one job, coming home for a couple of minutes, then heading to job number two for an 8 hour shift.  I really wanted to just drive through McDonalds.  Gross, I know.  Guilty pleasure.  I cannot pretend that I do not like McChickens and cheeseburgers and lard-fried French fries.  But I am trying so hard to leave them all behind.  So in my short amount of time I had at home, I made this bad boy.  Texted Mr. Rodgers to see where he was, and found out that he was at said job number two with a friend, waiting to say hi to me.  So I packed up this beautiful salad, and drove on over.  Walked in to see him spooning marshmallow ice cream into his mouth.

Instead of reacting, I just walked over with this gorgeous salad in my hand.  He looked at it, stopped, and said something along the lines of “Oh my gosh, what is that?!  It looks sooo good!”  And then proceeded to look at his ice cream with an ounce of disgust.  Not a “you are gross” sort of disgust.  I’m not gonna lie.  Marshmallow ice cream is my favorite.  But more of a “why am I eating you right now when I could be eating that instead, and feel a lot better afterwards…?”  Haha!  Then as I continued to walk through the store, I got similar reactions from our friend that was hanging out with Mr. Rodgers, and my manager, who was talking about how “cute” that salad was until she left for the evening.  And I got to introduce her to quinoa!  I love informing people of my wonderful protein-packed and oh so delicious  friend called quinoa!

So, without further ado, here is my four layer salad…my new salad obsession that forever changed my life! 😉

Adapted from this wonderful $3 find!!!

Steak Mango 2Find it on Amazon here, or if you are in my area…go to a 5 Below store and pick it up!  They have lots of cook books I want to try!

This is the same book I adapted my Steak and Mango Salad from…it’s hard to say which I liked best cause they were both so fantastic!!  Yay for salads worth getting excited about!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 Large bag fresh spinach
  • 2-3 Ripe Tomatoes, diced…depending on your love level for them 😉
  • 1/4 Large Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/2 Serrano Pepper, Minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Avocadoes
  • 1 Lime (for the juice)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • Handful of Cilantro or Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash, Onion powder, Chili powder…whatever you want to season your guacamole
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar of choice (I usually use Red Wine because husband loves it)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start your quinoa cooking according to package directions.  It should say something along the lines of “Bring 2 C water to a boil, stir in 1 C quinoa, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until liquid is gone.”
  2. Now prep all those beautiful veggies!  Mince, dice, chop!!
  3. Cut your avocadoes in half long ways, twist halves apart, remove pit, and separate flesh from the skin with a spoon.
  4. Smash avocadoes with a fork until it looks creamy but still a little chunky.  Squeeze in the juice of a lime, sprinkle with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, Onion Powder, and Chili Powder.  Just enough to get a little flavor, but not too much to overwhelm the avocado flavor…especially since there are so many other flavors in this salad.  Mix until combined.
  5. Put tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and Serrano in a bowl and stir together.  Add Olive Oil, vinegar, salt, pepper.  Taste and adjust.  Stir in cilantro or parsley.
  6. In bowls, fill the bottom with a layer of spinach.  Add a large spoonful of the tomato mixture.  Drop a large spoonful of guacamole on next and gently smooth it out slightly.  Last layer!  Scoop up a spoonful of quinoa, and drop it on top of the guacamole as is.  Sprinkle with more cilantro and lime if you desire…now devour!!!

 

So filling…usually I am not satisfied with a meal unless there is meat in it.  This one had so much going on that it filled me right up and I didn’t even think about the fact that I hadn’t added chicken to my salad.  (I always add chicken!)  The protein in the quinoa filled me up, the thickness of the guacamole stuck to my bones, the freshness of the pico-style tomato mixture popped with flavor, and the spinach was delicious as usual and totally completed this perfect combo!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!

 

Peectures!!

Pico Salad 1Start your quinoa cooking, and start prepping your veggies!!  Try to get nice small, even cubes…

PIco Salad 2Do you remember how I showed you to get nice even squares out of bell peppers?  This picture is a hint…if you want a reminder head on over to my Summer Veggie Salad with a Crunch post!

Pico Salad 3Mash your avocadoes with the lime juice, salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice.  Set aside while you combine all your colorful veggies in a bowl…

Pico Salad 4Don’t you just love all those colors together?!  Now add your olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

Pico Salad 5Stir in your fresh cilantro or parsley, whatever you have on hand.  Personally, I prefer cilantro! 🙂

Pico Salad 6Now line your bowl with a layer of spinach…

Pico Salad 7Dump in a ladle full of your “pico” mixture…

Pico Salad 8Smear on a big spoonful of guac…

Pico Salad 9Then top with a spoonful of quinoa, and you are ready to go!!  SO GOOD!  Make sure to get a little bit of everything on your fork for the first bite, so you can experience all of it’s beauty at once!  🙂

 

Chicken Sweet Potato Curry Skillet

My husband LOVES curry.  A lot.  It shows up in almost everything that he makes.  Scrambled eggs.  Omelets.  Chicken.  Everything.  So when I found this recipe in one of my favorite cook books, Deliciously Healthy Vegetables, I knew I had to try it out.  A few tweaks here and there, and we had a really fantastic, hearty and warm meal.  Add a little quinoa and you got your protein, your veggies, your curry, your textures…what more could you want?!  I love one pot dinners.  And I love using my cast iron skillet.  So all in all, this meal made me very happy.  And how perfect to bust it out now that squash and sweet potatoes are making their appearance for fall?  You’re gonna love this!

PS…I know I have said it before, but you should all look in to this cook book.  I have not tried one thing out of it yet that I don’t love!!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts (If you have a big cast iron skillet.  You may want to use fewer if its small)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 C Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder (This is for a mild flavor.  If you want it to pop, add a little more.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (I had to add this because Mr. Rodgers always uses cinnamon with his curry!)
  • 1/2 C Fresh cilantro chopped…or 1 tsp dried

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut chicken breasts in half length wise.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in your skillet over medium heat.  Cook your chicken for a few minutes per side to get a sear.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Now add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and soften.  Add garlic and ginger and stir, cooking until fragrant (about a minute.)
  4. Add coconut milk, salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, (and cilantro if you are using dried) and stir.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Put the chicken pieces back in the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.
  6. Pile steaming hot quinoa on plates, top with chicken, sweet potatoes, and the sauce, then sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!!  Perfect description:  COMFORT!

Peectures!

 

Chicken Scallopini 2Chop your sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes…

Chicken Scallopini 1Prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Chicken Scallopini 3Cut chicken breasts in half length wise.  Season generously with salt and pepper.Chicken Scallopini 4

Melt the coconut oil in your skillet over medium heat.  Toss in the chicken.

Chicken Scallopini 5Cook your chicken for a few minutes per side to get a sear.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Chicken Scallopini 6Now add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and soften.

Chicken Scallopini 7

Add garlic and ginger and stir, cooking until fragrant (about a minute.)  Add coconut milk, salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, (and cilantro if you are using dried) and stir.  Bring to a boil.

Chicken Scallopini 8Put the chicken pieces back in the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.

Chicken Scallopini 9Pile steaming hot quinoa on plates, top with chicken, sweet potatoes, and the sauce, then sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!!  Perfect description:  COMFORT!

 

 

 

Cabbage Rolls – Pizza Style!

Last time I made cabbage rolls, I kinda freaked out….as in a “where have you been all my life?!” sort of freak out.  It inspired me in a big way, because the possibilities seemed endless!  So, here is my first “possibility!”  I thought of it all by myself, yay me!!

The flavor of this was surprising…it was mild, but so satisfying and delicious.  I just love the amount of protein in these!  Now I don’t know about you, but part of my “eating experience” is the way it feels to bite into the meal.  Well this…was definitely a happy teeth meal!  It’s like a giant meatball…crammed with quinoa which is extra protein for extra satisfaction…wrapped in a veggie!!  Man!!  It’s wonderful!  These ones I made in the crock pot.  But I have this feeling they would be just as good or even better cooked in the oven.  It’s amazing the different flavors you get when you cook it in the crockpot versus the oven.  The flavor was great in the crock pot.  I want to know what it would be like to cook it in the oven!  So if you try it that way, let me know how it turns out!!!

Okay!!  Are ;you ready for pizza…cabbage roll style?!  Or cabbage rolls…pizza style?!  Whichever you prefer hehe.

So, here’s what you need:

Sauce:  (Why yes, yes this is Budget Savvy Diva’s Pizza Hut Copy Cat Pizza Sauce, sub agave!  That lady makes wonders happen in the kitchen!)

  • 2 Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 tsp Agave
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (or more…if you like it extra garlicy like I do :D)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 Head Cabbage (At least 10 leaves)
  • 1 lb Turkey Sausage
  • 1/4 C Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 C Red Onion
  • 1/4 C Dry Quinoa
  • 1/4 C Almond Milk
  • 1/4 C Olives, Sliced
  • 1 Egg

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, you gotta get your sauce started so it can simmer and get all the flavors to their full potential.  Just dump it all in a sauce pan, stir it up, bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer while you prepare the rest.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the whole head of cabbage.  Boil for 2-4 minutes, until it is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl with your hands, like you’re going to make a burger or meat balls!
  4. Drain cabbage leaves and cool just long enough to be able to handle.
  5. One at a time, pull a leaf off of the head of cabbage and lay out on your work space.  Take a 1/4 C of the filling and form into a meatball shape at the end of the leaf.  Roll it up and tuck in the ends, like a burrito.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the leaves and filling.  Stack them in your crock pot  (or a dish if you are trying to oven method to let me know how it goes!).  Pour the pizza sauce over top, and cook on low for about 8 hours.  Make sure you use a 4 quart crock pot, they will probably burn in a larger pot.

Peectures!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls .5Gather all the seasonings and things you need for the pizza sauce!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls .75Pour the tomato sauce in a sauce pan and stir in the seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cabbage rolls are ready.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 5Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place the cabbage inside.  Boil for 2-4 minutes, until tender.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 1Meanwhile, gather your other ingredients.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 2Chop and slice your veggies.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 3Put all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 4Combine with your hands.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 6One by one, pull a cabbage leaf off and lay flat.  Put 1/4 Cup of filling in a ball at one end and roll up…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 7And tuck in the ends…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 8Kind of like a little cabbage burrito!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 9Stack them up in your crock pot or dish if you want to try the oven method.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 13Pour in your sauce…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 12Make sure it’s all smothered, then turn it on low for 8 hours.  Your house will fill with wonderful smells!!!  Now I will show you pictures of after it is cooked!  Unfortunately, things cooked in a crock pot are a little hard to take pretty pictures of.  But I did my best, so check it out!!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 14

Yummy!

Pizza Cabbage 15Yummmmmy yummmmmmy!

Pizza Cabbage 16

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry

So. When I cook, I usually end up using a “more is better” sort of theory. A lot of times, it works perfect, because you end up with a lot of flavor. However, it can also hold you back if you think that way ALL the time. Because often times, there is beauty in simplicity! Which is the truth for this stir fry recipe! You see…USUALLY when I make stir fry…I cram so many veggies in it that my HUGE wok is overflowing, and we eat it for days. I just get so excited about cramming everything I can think of into the pan. And it really, truly is delicious. But then…I met this recipe. ❤

I LOVE IT! Really. Its wonderful. And it somehow turns out so pretty, even without overflowing with all the different shapes and colors. The green of the asparagus catches your eye, and the perfect sear on the chicken makes your mouth water! You should try this. It’s great!

Adapted from gimmesomeoven.com! Lovely blog!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Amino Acids (Our better version of Soy Sauce!)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Lg Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Scallions, choped
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients. Pour half in a container to save for later.
  2. Chop the chicken and place in a ziploc baggie, then pour the previous mixture over top. Seal it up, shake it up, and place it in the fridge to marinate. Preferably over night!!
  3. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat; it works best in a cast iron skillet! Plus it just makes it look that much more awesome!
  4. Toss in your asparagus bits and saute until tender-crisp and starting to brown; about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
  5. Add chicken cubes to the cast iron skillet and cook until nicely seared and cooked nearly all the way through.
  6. Add garlic, scallions, and reserved marinade.
  7. Sauté a couple more minutes until garlic and onions are tender and smell delish….and make sure your chicken isn’t pink in the middle!
  8. Add the asparagus back in.
  9. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds! Serve with some hot quinoa, and spoon the pan juices all over it! YUM!!! SO GOOD!

Perfect hot meal for any season! And it is so kind to the ol’ body!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 1

 

Whisk together the Amino Acids, honey, ginger, and pepper flakes. Reserve half, and dump the rest over the chicken in a ziploc baggie. Place in your fridge and let marinate for as long as you got…preferably over night!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 2

 

Melt the coconut oil over medium high heat, and saute your asparagus pieces until browned and tender crisp…about 5 minutes! Remove from pan.

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 3

 

Add chicken to hot pan and cook until almost done, and you have a nice sear on the sides. See? Pretty!!

 

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 4

 

Add your garlic and shallots and dump in the reserved marinade. Cook until shallots are soft and chicken is cooked all the way through!!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 5

 

Add the asparagus back in and stir it all together…take off heat, add in sesame oil, and garnish with sesame seeds!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 6

 

Yummy yummy yummy!! Eat on top of a pile of hot steamy quinoa with the pan juices dribbled on top!! Hallelujah!

Crispy Coconut Brussels Sprouts With Quinoa

Oh my good gracious.  I have been learning to love Brussels Sprouts.  As I mentioned in my Crispy Charred Brussels With Pineapple post…Brussels Sprouts just have to be treated right, then you can truly appreciate their beauty, hehe.  This recipe…treated them so well, that I freaked out and just kept eating and eating this.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t even remember what meat we ate that night…I just remember going back for more and more of the side dish…the Brussels Sprouts side dish of all things!!  It was me, my husband, a Superman animated movie (yeah we’re nerds, so what!) and Brussels Sprouts.  Lots of them.  If you like crispy, this is the recipe you need to try, because these were even crispier than the last ones I made because the leaves were separated so it was more like chips than a big bite of veggie!  You simply must try!!

Adapted from the lovely www.dianeabroad.com!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 C Dry Quinoa
  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 C Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons Braggs Amino Acids (Our healthier soy sauce sub)
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Agave
  • Dash of Sriracha
  • 1/3 C Olive Oil
  • Sesame Seeds for garnish

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Start your quinoa cooking.  You should have directions on the package…most likely you will bring 2 C water to a boil then stir in your quinoa and let simmer about 12 minutes 🙂
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Next rinse your little sprouts.  Now trim the bottoms, and start peeling off the leaves individually and placing them in a bowl until you can no longer get any more off the sprout.  Yes, it does take a little while but it was sooooo worth it for me!!
  4. Add the coconut to the leaves and toss.
  5. Whisk together your “dressing” ingredients; Olive oil, sriracha, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, and Aminos.
  6. Pour 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing over the sprout/coconut mixture and toss.  You want to reserve some to drizzle on the top right before you eat!
  7. Dump the leaves onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast until browned and starting to wilt, about 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice while cooking.
  8. Spoon cooked sprouts and coconut on top of a pile of quinoa, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle with a small amount of reserved dressing.  Taste.  Be amazed.  EAT IT ALL!

 

Sigh.  It makes me so happy when I find ways to eat veggies that are SO DELICIOUS!  I just don’t get how people can assume that because it is green, it is gross.  If they only gave the greens a chance!!  And how good does it feel to eat something, knowing it is helping your body instead of hurting it…but you don’t even notice because it was so tasty?!  I just…love it 😀  I hope you enjoy this fantastic recipe!!!

 

Crispy Coconut Brussels 1

 

Rinse your sprouts, trim the bottoms, and peel of the leaves, placing them in a large bowl.

Crispy Coconut Brussels 2Add the coconut and toss lightly.

Crispy Coconut Brussels 3Whisk together your “dressing” ingredients…yes, yes we do eat dinner at 9:57 at night sometimes…

Crispy Coconut Brussels 4Pour 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing over the sprouts and coconut, then toss to coat…

Crispy Coconut Brussels 5Spread out on a baking sheet or two if you run out of room like I did 🙂

Crispy Coconut Brussels 7Roast in a 350 degree oven until browned and beginning to wilt, about 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice while cooking.

Crispy Coconut Brussels 6Serve atop a pile of hot quinoa, sprinkled with sesame seeds and some of the reserved dressing.  Enjoy.  I know you will.  Holy cow it was good.  I want some right stinking now!!!