With quinoa playing the starring role, nutrients abound in this full-flavored side dish. A great addition to any dinner, this dish goes especially well with a crisp salad. To make ahead, prepare as directed, except do not sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Cover and chill for up to 6 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds before serving.
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons minced)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa*
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boiling. In a small bowl, combine cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. Add the basil to the boiling water; stir once and drain immediately. Place basil in the ice bath to cool quickly. Gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Place basil in a food processor. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cooked quinoa, bell pepper, and green onions. Add basil mixture; stir to coat. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
*Note: Look for quinoa at a health food store or in the grains section of a large supermarket. To make 2 cups cooked quinoa, in a fine strainer rinse 2/3 cup quinoa under cold running water; drain. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand to cool slightly. Drain off any remaining liquid.
Per serving: 123 calories, 7 g total fat, (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
You can boost the yellow color of the brown rice by cooking the rice in low-sodium chicken broth instead of water. If you want to add some heat, add a tablespoon (or to taste) of chopped red chilies along with the tomato.
- 2 large eggs (use higher omega-3 fatty acid eggs if available)
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- Canola cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 sweet or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic (depending on your preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon catsup
- 1 cup finely diced tomato
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk (or substitute whole milk or fat-free half-and-half)
- A pinch or two of saffron (available in small jars in the spice section of your market)
- A pinch or two of curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (use a rice cooker, or cook on the stove)
- 8 ounces or more frozen, cooked, shelled and de-veined shrimp, thawed; diced tofu; or cooked and shredded or diced chicken, beef, or pork (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Add eggs and egg substitute to medium bowl and beat with fork until well blended. Coat a large, nonstick wok or frying pan with canola cooking spray and start heating over medium-high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and either scramble or cook like an omelet (your choice). Set cooked eggs aside. If you made an omelet, cut into shreds before setting aside.
- To the same wok or frying pan, add canola oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and stir-fry until golden (a few minutes). Add salt (if desired), pepper, catsup, and diced tomato, and continue to stir-fry for a minute or two. Meanwhile, add the milk, saffron, curry and coconut extract to a 1-cup measure and stir to blend.
- Add the brown rice, shrimp and coconut milk mixture to the wok with the onion mixture and continue to stir-fry for a couple more minutes. Stir in the cooked egg pieces or strips.
- Arrange each serving of rice in a bowl and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
4 servings (about 1 1/4 cups each)
Per serving: (without optional shrimp, tofu or meat): 350 calories, 12 g protein, 59 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 3.9 g monounsaturated fat, 2.2 g polyunsaturated fat, 107 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 181 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%.
The original Potato Cake recipe calls for making a large, skillet-size pancake and dividing it into four wedges once it’s browned. In this rendition, we cut out the dough into 3-inch round minicakes instead.
- 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (leftover mashed potatoes work great)
- 1 tablespoon of fat-free half-and-half or low-fat milk (if needed)
- Canola cooking spray
- About 1 tablespoon canola oil (optional)
1. Add flour to medium bowl. Using a plastic knife, cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until granules have formed. Measure the salt and baking powder and add to the flour mixture; stir well with fork.
2. Measure and mix in mashed potatoes. Knead mixture in the bowl with your hands, incorporating as much of the flour mixture into the mashed potatoes as you can. Add a tablespoon of fat-free half-and-half or milk, if needed, to make the mixture into dough.
3. Roll out the dough on a floured board, using a rolling pin, till about ½ inch thick. Cut dough into circles using a 3-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter.
4. Heat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease bottom of pan with canola oil (or canola cooking spray). Add potato cakes to pan, spraying tops with canola cooking spray. When bottoms are nicely browned, flip cakes over with spatula to brown other side (if you want to add cheese on top of the cakes, do it now). When the underside is browned, remove cakes and put on serving plate.
Serving suggestion: Although it’s not called for in the original recipe, these cakes are delicious when you sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the top while the second side is cooking. By the time the second side has browned, the cheese is melted!
10 minicakes (about 5 servings)
Per serving (without cheese): 132 calories, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 261 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35%.