Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

Tex-Mex Stuffed PeppersConfession: I like quinoa. Really, really like quinoa. My quinoa obsession began innocently enough with a sale at the grocery store. Quinoa is very popular right now and purported to be some sort of ancient grain super-food from South America. I was curious, and decided to give it a try. As soon as I tried it, I was hooked, and trying every quinoa recipe I could get my hands on or dream up. These Tex-Mex stuffed peppers were one of the first dishes we tried, and have quickly become a household favorite.

To be honest, the first time I made these stuffed peppers, Luke was very skeptical. His past experiences with stuffed peppers were disappointing and bland. These peppers are anything but! Bright, colorful and bursting with flavor, Tex-Mex stuffed peppers exceeded all his expectations. Quinoa adds a delicate nutty flavor and delicate texture that takes stuffed peppers to a whole new level. Quinoa also has tons of protein compared to other grains- I’m not jumping on the “super food” bandwagon quite yet, but if you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you’re missing out. I’ve tried both red and white quinoa in these peppers. Red quinoa has more of a nutty flavor, while the flavor of white quinoa is more delicate. Personally, I like the look of the white quinoa in these stuffed peppers. In the photo below, the yellow pepper is stuffed with red quinoa while the red pepper is stuffed with white quinoa. They both look delicious.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

Read More

Breakfast Egg Cups

Breakfast Egg CupsEating a good breakfast is so important for fueling the rest of the day. When I was in college, I’d always get an omelette filled with fresh vegetables from the dining hall. An omelette would always keep me full through my classes and I wasn’t tempted to buy snacks from the vending machine. However, now that I’m in my own kitchen, I don’t have someone else to chop vegetables and do the dishes, and I simply don’t have time to make an omelette every morning.
If you are short on time in the morning, but still want a breakfast that will keep you full, egg cups are a perfect solution. Pop them in the microwave for one minute, and just like that, you have a hot and healthy breakfast to power your morning. I was skeptical at first about how these would taste reheated in the microwave, and they are great! The texture and taste are just like a freshly cooked egg, without the stack of dirty dishes in the sink. Speaking of dirty dishes, that’s my least favorite thing about making omelettes. I like to load my omelettes with lots of veggies like spinach, bell pepper and onion. It’s a lot of work to chop up vegetables for only a small serving. With these egg cups, I can make breakfast for a week and only clean up my mess once!

Read More

Cheesecake Mousse

Cheesecake MousseCan you believe it’s already July? This summer has flown by, and we are trying to make the most of every bit of it! Last week, we celebrated not one, but two weddings with dear friends.  We were so honored to be part of their wedding days, but it made for a very busy week, and the entire month of June was over before we knew it.

Like many Minnesotans, we plan on celebrating the Fourth of July at the lake. My grandparents have a beautiful cabin on a lake just outside the cities, and our families are up at the lake just about every weekend in the summer. We celebrate the Fourth with lawn games, a boat parade, a barbecue and driving into town for fireworks. And of course, Fourth of July isn’t complete without red, white and blue treats! Just because we are at the lake doesn’t mean we are limited to Bomb Pops and watermelon slices. This year, we’ll be enjoying a much more decadent treat- Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Mousse!

Read More

Guilt-Free Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice CreamNothing says ice cream like summer! Minnesota summers are hot and humid, and nothing is better than a cool bowl of ice cream on a cool day. I would love to have a bowl of ice cream every day. Unfortunately, ice cream is an occasional indulgence, not an everyday treat. This banana ice cream satisfies my ice cream cravings, but it’s healthy enough to enjoy as often as I chose all summer long.

Read More

Apple and Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Apple & Cucumber Quinoa Salad

After a long and rainy April, it seems like summer is finally here in Minnesota! The forecast predicts today will be 86 degrees and gloriously sunny, and I am enjoying every minute of the sunshine, blue skies, and bright May flowers. This weekend I’m boxing up the last of my sweaters to make room in my closet for sundresses and shorts, and exchanging my boots for sandals. My wardrobe isn’t the only thing that needed a change for spring- so did my menu. Winters in Minnesota call for soups and casseroles- something warm and hearty to fill you up and keep cozy on a chilly night. Spring calls for something bright and refreshing, like fruit or a colorful salad. I found both in this quinoa salad.

Have you ever been served something delicious and felt the need to rush home and recreate it? A few weeks ago, I attended a work event and was served the most delicious quinoa salad. It was colorful and packed with flavor, and much better than any quinoa salad I’d had before. I swung by the grocery store on my way home, determined to have the same amazing salad the next day. After several attempts (and many tasty, but not quite perfect, misses), I’m proud to share my version. This quinoa salad has only a handful of ingredients- most of them might already be in your pantry!

Read More