Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mexican Quinoa

We have been trying to eat healthier and including less meat into our diets. Quinoa fast became one of our favorites. We love Mexican flavors, so this dish was very appealing to us. A friend made a version of this for us, and we were hooked. It's one of those dishes that can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. It can be a side dish or a main meal. If you've never experimented with quinoa, try this dish! You won't be disappointed.

Mexican Quinoa
Source: adapted from A Teaspoon of Happiness via Pinterest

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/4 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (15.5 oz.) can corn
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
salt to taste

In large saucepan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat.
Add garlic and sauté until about one minute.
Add broth, quinoa, cumin, pepper, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20—25 minutes.
Stir in diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, and cilantro just before serving.
Can be served either warm or cold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Layered Greek Hummus Dip

I love hummus, so when I saw a recipe for layered Greek hummus dip on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it right away. It was easy to throw together and just involved some chopping (a food processor would make this a snap). I made this dip for a party and served it with pita chips. It was a big hit!

Layered Greek Hummus Dip
Source: adapted from Kraft via Pinterest

1 package plain hummus
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup cucumbers (chopped)
1/4 cup roasted red peppers (chopped)
1/4 cup kalamata olives (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano

Spread hummus onto the bottom of 9-inch pie plate.
Drizzle olive oil over hummus.
Sprinkle cheese, cucumbers, red peppers, olives, and oregano over hummus.
Serve with pita chips and enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

I am the designated birthday cupcake baker in our circle of friends. My friend chose triple chocolate cupcakes for his birthday. I made my go-to chocolate cupcakes, filled them with chocolate ganache, and topped them with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting. They were decadent and delicious!

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 and 1/2 cups cake flour (I used all-purpose and subbed out three tablespoons for corn starch.)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, beat together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake about 18–22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup chocolate chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter

Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Simmer the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot. Pour hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for one minute. Add the butter and stir until silky and smooth.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting
Source: Hershey

1 stick butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (I use heavy cream.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter, and stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. If needed, add additional milk and powdered sugar to get desired consistency.