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September 2015

Greek Quinoa

This recipe is a fun twist on quinoa. All measures are approximate, but you really can’t go wrong.

Ingredients:
1-2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 small onion
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1/2 c. frozen spinach
1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil

Saute the onions in the olive oil. Add the spinach and quinoa and continue to saute until warm. Add in the cherry tomatoes and then sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

Lentil Stew

This dish created a lot of firsts for me – first time cooking lentils, first time cooking in my new apartment, and first time using my new pots and pans. Despite all the inexperience, it turned out to be quite good! A lot of the measurements were very approximate, so just use your judgement when deciding exactly how much of everything to add.

Ingredients:
3/4 c. green lentils
3 c. water
1 small sweet potato
1 small tomato
1/4 large onion
1/4 c. broccoli, chopped
1/4 c. carrots, chopped
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt
pepper

Pour the olive oil into a pot and saute the broccoli, onion, and carrots for a few minutes on medium. Chop the sweet potato into small (1/2-inch or so) pieces. Add lentils, sweet potato, and water to the pot. Turn stove to high and allow water to come to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cook until potatoes and lentils are at desired consistency, probably about 20-30 minutes. If the consistency seems right but the water has not boiled off, you may drain the remaining water. Chop the tomato and add it into the pot along with the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crustless Quiche

We remembered this old quiche recipe that my mom hadn’t made in years, and it was as good as we hoped! It’s super easy to make enough for a whole family, or to last one person for nearly a week. But if you want less, feel free to cut the recipe in half and use a smaller dish. Also, try adding different vegetables and cheeses to the quiche to change it up.

Ingredients:
12 eggs
2 c. bisquick
2 c. shredded cheese
4 tomatoes
3 heads of broccoli
handful of scallions
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Grease a casserole dish and distribute cheese evenly along the bottom. Slice tomatoes into disks and lay them on top of the cheese. Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces and distribute them over the tomatoes. The more tomatoes and broccoli the better! In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and bisquick, then add salt, pepper, and scallions. Pour this batter evenly over the casserole so that all of the vegetables are covered. Bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes, or until the quiche has browned on top and is solid all the way through.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are one of the most versatile desserts because they can be decorated in so many ways. We made these cookies for a psychology lab meeting, hence the different facial expressions on each cookie (adorable, right?). This recipe makes about two dozen 2-inch sugar cookies and enough icing to frost them generously.

Cookies:
2/3 c. butter, softened
2 c. flour, plus more for rolling out
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
pinch of salt

Beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Add half the flour (1 cup) and beat well. Add egg, sugar, baking powder, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat well. Mix in rest of flour. If dough is too sticky add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a disc about an inch thick.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.

Sprinkle flour on a hard surface and roll dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutter, rim of a cup, or your hands to make into desired shape. Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet at 375 for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool fully before putting the icing on.

Icing:
3 tbsp. butter
2.5 c. powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter and slowly stir in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Continue to add more powdered sugar to make a thicker consistency, or if it is too thick then add more milk. Spread evenly on cookies after they have cooled and decorate however you’d like!

Our final result:

IMG_3683

Rainbow Salad

We decided to make this salad using lots of ingredients we had around our houses, and it ended up looking really pretty and tasting delicious too!

Ingredients:
1 avocado
1/2 red bell pepper
1 ear of corn
1/2 cucumber
1 small tomato
1/4 white onion
parsley, handful
mushrooms, handful
carrots, handful
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lime juice
pepper

Boil the corn and cut kernels off the cob. Cut the avocado by slicing a grid pattern into each half and scooping it out. Dice all vegetables. Stir vegetables together and add olive oil, lime juice, and pepper to taste. Mix well and enjoy.

Raspberry Mango Smoothie

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold smoothie on a hot summer day. This one combines both of our favorite fruits and looks pretty too.

Ingredients:
2 c. frozen raspberries
3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. water
1 c. frozen mangoes
1/2 c. orange juice

First make the raspberry portion by blending the raspberries, yogurt, and water until smooth. Pour half of it into your cup and pour the other half out of the blender into another cup to use later. Wash out the blender and make the mango portion by blending the mangoes and orange juice. Pour or spoon into your cup. Then pour the remainder of the raspberry smoothie on top so that there are 3 layers.

Rice/Vegetable Casserole with Tomato-Balsamic Chicken

This main course was an experimental meal that I made for my mom, and she loved it! You could experiment with adding other vegetables to the casserole and varying the amount of cheese in the dish; it’s sure to be delicious no matter what.

Casserole:
2 c. cooked brown rice
1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach
1 medium-sized head of broccoli
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c. scallions, chopped
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Italian seasoning
Salt

Chicken:
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes (with basil, oregano, or other spices)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Handful of scallions
Garlic pepper

For the casserole, cook brown rice as directed on the package. Allow spinach to thaw and drain the water using a strainer. Chop mushrooms, broccoli, and scallions into small pieces. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, and add a pinch of salt and Italian seasoning. Stir in the scallions, mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach. Then add in the feta and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Finally, add in the rice and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish (ours was 1.5 quarts) and bake on 350 covered for 30 minutes. It should be warmed all the way through with the cheese beginning to melt. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top and return to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, so that the cheese on top is beginning to brown.

Here’s a photo of the casserole just out of the oven!

IMG_3666

While the casserole is baking, prepare the chicken. Cut the breasts into 1-2 inch pieces, sprinkle with garlic pepper, and saute on medium until mostly cooked – it’s okay if they are still pink in the middle. Remove the chicken from the pan, and saute the scallions for a few minutes. Then add in the diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Return the chicken to the pan and allow to cook on medium for another 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Let the chicken simmer until the casserole is done, and then enjoy the two together!

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