Spanish Quinoa

We took rice out of our diet about 8-years ago. I’ll have some about once a year and always go back to quinoa. Here’s the lowdown of rice verses quinoa via a quick Google search.

quinoa has far fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice, which contains 40 more calories and 15 times the carbohydrates per cup than the same amount of quinoa. A cup of quinoa will also provide twice the protein and about 5 grams more fiber than the same amount of white rice.”

Our only “no rice” dilemma was eating Spanish and Thai food recipes. Substituting quinoa was actually easy and once we began making Spanish Quinoa it’s like we never left rice. We also enjoy eating it the day after tacos because we have homemade salsa left over and put it on the Spanish Quinoa. I give the recipe with tomatoes but don’t hesitate if you make salsa or pico de galo to add.

Spanish Quinoa

We gave up Spanish rice and went to Spanish quinoa
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 people

Equipment

  • Large stove top pan w/lid

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • place olive oil in pan and heat slightly then move around pan until covered (heat level-medium)
  • add quinoa
  • add 2 chopped tomatoes and 1 diced onion
  • stir until onion is about half cooked and opaque
  • Add water and canned tomato
  • stir until it comes to boil (you can turn up heat if you are right there and stirring)
  • reduce heat to simmer and cook for additional 15 minutes *covered
  • top with sliced tomato and serve (you can add additional tomatoes if you really like them, I do)

Notes

If you like a runnier version, use 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes. My husband adds hamburger meat sometimes and I’ve even seen him sneak on cheese but I find it delicious with just tomatoes!

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Crunchy Granola

After years of missing out on oats, we’ve added some back into our diet. I was never a fan of oatmeal or even oatmeal cookies. I am however, a fan of granola. The image of what’s left of my granola is a rare snap. This stuff doesn’t last long and it’s super yummy. I will however put a healthy warning on it for Celiac sufferers. Oats do not naturally contain Gluten but they do have another binder that causes a problem for Celiacs. Oats, in many cases, are also processed in plants containing wheat and are highly cross contaminated so be careful if you are gluten sensitive. I bought certified gluten free oats and have not had a problem.

Crunchy Granola

This is an easy stove-top recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 10
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup/combo almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds I use what I have on hand
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  • Slowly brown oats, nuts and seeds over medium heat in a
    large stove top pan
  • Remove completely from heat and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, you want it very warm
  • Add honey and stir well until everything is coated
  • Spread on parchment paper and allow to completely cool
  • Refrigerate in airtight container (I use a mason jar)

Ideas for granola: granola on fruit in the morning, granola with frozen pureed fruit, granola straight up as a snack, granola sprinkled on ice cream (I make vegan ice cream using coconut and almond milk)

Sharing Food with Wildlife

Elk are the bane of my existence and I still love them.

Violet the Vixen

I talked about insect pests in another post but really our nemesis is wildlife. We’ve been determined to plant enough vegetables to provide fresh food for 1/2 the year. This summer, the elk ate about two-thirds of our apricots, a quarter of our cherries and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and all my lettuce.

These are our javelina: Hector-dad, Betty-mom, Penny & Fido.

The javelina eat our flowers and shrubs, rabbits forage, and birds take whatever fruit they please.

I think the biggest problem is me. I have an unfortunate habit of naming my babies. We also provide water in our front yard pond and all the wildlife tell their friends the deer, squirrels, etc. to come visit when thirsty. We fill the 60 gallon pond back up again each morning.

We also sit outside between 4 and 5 AM just to catch sight of our wild family.

Our area has been in drought conditions too which makes us worry about our family when they aren’t around for more than a week.

I know if we lived in the old west, we wouldn’t be as lackadaisical about our missing food supplies but for us it’s just living our dream life in the mountains and seeing a glimpse into nature that many don’t.

We’ll continue sharing with wildlife as long as they come around and there’s a store to shop a few miles away. If that changes, I’ll cry.

Due to the rabbits, we garden in containers and have 20 in the yard. Here are a few pictures.

This is our edible lower patio also known as the crayola patio
More of the edible patio
Squash and hot peppers which the elk love
Line of tomato barrels with fencing around them
More elk fence around our tree garden but it hasn’t stopped them

If you have wildlife or gardening images, I would love to see them <3

Fennel for the Belly

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other morning and she mentioned eating black licorice for IBS. That got me thinking about my fennel which had just come into bloom.

I truly love fennel flowers and they taste exactly like black licorice and have the same calming effect on your belly as the candies/sugared-filled kind.

I taste tested a flower on my husband and he swears it’s what the candy is made from. You can grow it yourself (very easily) or buy the seeds here

You can even make a belly-calming tea that is delicious, if you like black licorice that is.

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon balm

Sweetener of your choice (I drink it without)

1 cup hot water

Steep the seeds for 5 minutes with something to cover the mug and you’re set after straining out the seeds.

Veggies for Dinner

Jump to Recipe

Stir Fry Everything

Before grocery shopping we need to clean out our veggies and prepare room for fresh ones. Here's how we do it. Can you say YUMMY?
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: leek, stir fry, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 2
Author: The Healthy Grandma
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetables anything you have in the fridge
  • 1 leek (the super onion) Optional, any onion will do. For leeks, clean well with 1 teaspoon backing soda in 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil If you don't use oil, water in the bottom of the pan will work fine. Hint hint for anyone watching their weight.

Instructions

  • I add the leek as a veggie because it's one people often overlook. Leeks are the superman of onions and if you've never tried one, you need to.
  • Chop your veggies rather large
  • Heat your olive oil on medium and add the veggies to a large pan
  • Cook until slightly tender or mushier (yuck) if that's how you like them
  • When finished, add to the top of quinoa with a little soy sauce. Delicious!

Notes

We pre-wash/soak all of our uncooked veggies in 1 teaspoon baking soda and allow them to soak for at least 5 minutes. 

Bugs, Worms, and Food

This little guy lives in my lemon balm and he get’s pretty feisty when I water. I’ve watched him grow from the size of a dime to the budding teenager he is now at about the size of a quarter. He’s been around for two months and I’ve also watched my lemon balm flourish.

Last year the white flies almost did this prized plant in and I’m so happy Lancelot decided to save my delicious smelling and tasting lemon plant.

This brings me to a huge problem we have when it comes to food.

BUGS: the good and the bad.

Although truthfully, they all have their place in nature and none are truly bad. Maybe I’ll just use the word ick instead because I’m not too fond of some little green worms who are using my kale to gain weight. This little guy was moved out of my garden this morning but I’m sure I didn’t find all his brothers and sisters.

My poor worm-eaten kale

So we’ve established there are some bugs I’m not fond of and I’m sure you have your share. Here’s the thing, bugs mean my plants are not sprayed with pesticides or governed by GMO manipulations. I grow plants the way they should be grown and I do everything possible to naturally help them thrive.

When the worms win I have no problem picking away their bite marks and eating the kale or spinach or chard. I’ve even brought in the day’s bounty and found the small green worms that are my nightmare this year and carried the little guy outside and placed him far from my veggies. Wash, eat, repeat.

We must get back to nature to heal!

This includes bugs and learning they aren’t a bad thing. If a salad in a restaurant comes with a worm, I don’t send it back. My thought process switches to survival and the fact the processed salad I’m about to eat might just have some healthy nutrients left that my body vitally needs, after picking off the worm of course 😉

Tofu Medley in Place of Eggs

This is one of our favorites and I make enough to last the week so I can throw it on a spinach or turmeric wrap (recipe to come). It’s high in protein and for anyone who has heard the estrogen rumor regarding tofu, no worries. The female hormone in tofu/soybeans will affect plants not humans and it’s an excellent source of protein. Keeping you from tofu is one of the many old wives tales put out by the food industry to make you unhealthy. If you are on an egg restricted diet like me, this recipe is a must!

Ingredients

Block of extra firm ORGANIC Tofu

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Any leftover veggies in your fridge that wet your appetite

1/2 Onion

3 broccoli florets

handful spinach

1/4 red pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Prep your tofu

Carefully open your tofu and allow the water to drain. I will gently squeeze the tofu and remove excess water. Place the tofu on a towel, cover and place something heavy on top to get all the extra moisture out. Set to the side.

Prep your veggies

Wash and chop veggies into the size you prefer. I just toss the spinach in because it shrivels quickly

Instructions

Place the oil in a large pan on medium heat

Add veggies and move around the pan, coating the bottom of the pan in oil

Push the veggies to the side of the pan

Crumble tofu into pan and stir it to keep it from sticking

Cook for approximately 5 minutes and add the turmeric to the tofu and stirring it in

Cook for another 5 minutes

Push the tofu and veggies together to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes

When ready, your tofu concoction will look like eggs and it tastes pretty darn close