Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Apple Pie Quinoa

Full disclosure: I invented this recipe in a desperate need to figure out ways to use a gallon of apple juice that was purchased to make cider for a party that never got put out. I found myself with a giant glass jug of apple juice in a two person household that never drink juice. You know I love a sweet quinoa, so when I woke up on this cold and rainy morning craving something warm and comforting, inspiration struck! Why not cook the quinoa in the cider and see how the flavor gets absorbed? I have to say it turned out even better than I'd imagined, and I think this could be a really healthy, gluten free, vegan alternative to an apple pie (if one were so inclined). It also made for that warm and comforting breakfast I craved.

Apple Pie Quinoa (serves 2) 
1 cup quinoa
2 cups apple juice
1/2 apple (sweeter varieties work best)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice 

Slice the 1/2 apple into bite size pieces (about an inch thick). Add quinoa, apple, and apple juice into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. After boiling, turn burner to low and add cinnamon and lemon juice. Let the mixture simmer until quinoa and apples are soft (about 15 minutes). If you are not concerned with this being particularly low in sugar or vegan, I imagine a dollop of whipped cream on top would make it a really pretty and extra delicious dessert.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Ah the Brussels sprout! It has to be the #1 vegetable in the category of once hated and then loved. How many people dreaded the sight of this steamed plant on their plates as children and have come to love it in its far better conceived perfectly roasted variation? I am one of those people that used to hate Brussels sprouts until I discovered Ina Garten's recipe of simply dousing them in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting them for 20 minutes. That being said, I never really do anything else with them, until I came across several recipes that suggested shredding them. I decided to start off with the simple and very french idea just sautee those shredded leaves in butter and see what happens. Man it worked! This is an excellent side dish and the sprouts take on an almost green bean like flavor. Definitely a crowd pleaser to bring to a potluck or even an alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving dish.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels Sprouts
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Begin sliding the Brussels sprouts on the mandolin to shave them into thin little shreds. You will inevitably lose some of that pound of sprouts, and that's ok! You can compost those nubby ends and the recipe assumes you'll lose a lot. Once you have your little hill of shredded Brussels sprouts. Begin sauteing the butter in a large frying pan until mostly melted. Toss in the shredded Brussels sprouts and turn the burner to medium-low. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (don't be shy with that salt!) and once the shredded sprouts are soft and just starting to brown, they're done. Serve hot!