Brussel Sprout and Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash

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Ok… this was a HIT! I’m telling you, everyone LOVED it! Even people that don’t love brussel sprouts. YUM! Even leftovers were yummy when put into the skillet to be heated up. YUM YUM YUM!!!!

I got the recipe from here: http://iowagirleats.com/2013/11/18/quinoa-with-caramelized-butternut-squash-and-roasted-brussels-sprouts/ 

I actually did NOT change anything!! Woah! Right?! HA!

Oh… except for the fact that I cook my quinoa in my rice cooker…. that’s it… I think 🙂

I took a bit of a hiatus from my food blog. Homeschooling started with my kindergartner, I have a 3 year old now… and WOAH, that’s a phase in and of itself! WHAT?! It’s been pretty crazy… so I put the extra things I was doing to the side for a short time to take a bit of a breather and focus on the crazy kids. 🙂

But… now that Thanksgiving is approaching and I’ll be trying some of my recipes out, I HAD to post them. Both for people who would read it but also for myself in the future so I could remember the recipes that I loved!

So, here’s the recipe.

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Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
9oz shaved brussels sprouts (I just got 9oz. from produce section, and then chopped them)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups 1/2″ cubed butternut squash
1-1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pepitas

Directions: 

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa (be sure to rinse well in fine mesh sieve under cold running water – even quinoa that comes “pre-rinsed”.)  Place a lid on top then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil. Add brussels sprouts, oil, garlic salt, and pepper to baking sheet then toss with fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Melt butter in a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and butternut squash then saute, stirring every so often – more so near the end – until tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Combine quinoa, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, parmesan cheese, and pepitas in a large bowl then toss and serve with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.

**** If you have a rice cooker, it makes the quinoa SO much easier to cook!!! Try it! ******

Grilled Pork Chops, Escalloped Potatoes and Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

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This was quite yummy! I kind of put it together at the last minute… I was going to make something else today, but realized I forgot to buy fish!! OOPS! So, a bit of a heavier meal, but perfect after a long day. Turned out yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

Costa Rican Cocoa Porkchops:

4 thick center cut pork chops
2 TB unsweetened baking cocoa
1 packet of instant coffee (the one that’s about 1 tsp. amount, for 1 cup of coffee)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
2 TB sunflower (or canola) oil
1 tsp. sea salt

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Mix all seasonings together in a bowl, and make a paste. I cooked these on the grill pan. I heated it up, and salted the pan. I then spread the paste onto one side of the pork chops and set the paste side down onto the grill pan. Then, while that side was cooking, I spread the paste onto the other side. I let it cook for 8 minutes per side, until fully cooked through, no pink.

Escalloped Potatoes (I made them dairy free, you can substitute for butter and milk if you wish)

7 yukon gold potatoes, large
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk. You can use 1/2&1/2 or milk)
2-3 TB butter (I used Smart Balance Olive Oil margarine)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. grated parmesan (on top)

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Slice the potatoes thin. I used a hand-held mandolin, but you can do so with a knife, just try to make all slices as similar in size as possible. The thinner the better. Once sliced, you layer. Put 1/3 of the slices into the bottom of a coated 9×13 pan. Then, combine the flour, pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir. Then put 1/3 of it sprinkled onto the bottom layer of the potatoes. Then, put bits (1/3 of the butter) of the butter onto that layer. Then, top with another 1/3 of the potatoes and repeat the process 2x until you have 3 total layers. Then, top with 1 tsp of grated parmesan. Heat up the 2 cups of milk in a sauce pan. Should only take 3 minutes or so. Then, pour over the top of the layers of potatoes. Then, cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes. Take out when all potatoes are soft.

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts: 

15 Brussel sprouts halved
1-2 TB olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt&pepper

Put the halved brussel sprouts in a single layer on a coated cookie sheet, drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt&pepper. Then sprinkle with a bit of balsamic vinegar on each one.