Toasted Sesame Quinoa

A fun twist on a simple and versatile grain.

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

1-2 tsp of sesame seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tbsp of sesame oil (reserved)

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

 

  1. Over medium heat, add olive oil and sesame oil to a sauce pan.
  2. Add garlic and stir.quin2
  3. Add the quinoa and sesame seeds.quin3
  4. Toast and stir frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. It will become highly fragrant.
  6. Add chicken stockquin4
  7. Bring to a rapid boil.
  8. Stir and reduce to a simmer.quin5
  9. Cook for about 15 minutes (or until the broth is fully absorbed).
  10. Add remaining sesame oil and stir.
  11. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  12. Top with sesame seeds.quin6quin7quin8

 

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

I wanted a really yummy side for this meal that I’ve been daydreaming about for a week (post coming soon). I wanted something crunchy, but after the holiday, I couldn’t bear the thought of something heavy or deep-fried.

 

Enter crispy, baked zucchini fries. Now, before you raise and eyebrow- these were so delicious I haven’t stopped talking about them. However much you plan to make? Double that. Freeze what’s leftover and thank me later. I bet you you’ll love them and I bet you’ll use these techniques on whatever veggies you have laying around (string beans, peppers- hello!)

 

You want to season the fries generously. You will be doing the three-stop dredge (flour, egg, panko). Instead of frying these, we will line them on a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake them on high heat until crispy and golden brown.

 

These taste so good you will forget that they are good for you! Low-carb, baked vegetables.

 

Insert heart-eye emoji.

Throw in the pig emoji too.


Ingredients:

(This recipe can easily be scaled up or down, there are very few precise ingredients here. This is just what I did for dinner tonight.)

 

1 large green zucchini

1 large yellow zucchini

Flour

Egg

Panko

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Paprika

Cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425.
  1. Cut the ends off of your zucchini.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half.
  3. Slice them length wise into about four slices ¼” to ½” thick.zucfrieszuchfries2
  4. Slice these into about 3-4 “fries”.
  5. Place your “fries” into a container and season them generally.
  6. Allow them to rest as you continue to prep your dredging station. Flour, panko and egg are not measured. I eyeball it. But always, ALWAYS use less than you think you will need. You can always add more if you need it. However, if you use too much you’re not pouring that flour back or that panko back into the containers. That’s gotta go in the trash. I try to minimize waste where I can. Use less, you can always add more-rule of thumb. Note: Liquid will likely accumulate in the zucchini container due to the salt; if so, simply drain the liquid.zucfries3
  1. A few at a time, place the “fries” into the flour and coat evenly.
  2. Then place them in the egg and coat evenly.
  3. Toss them in the panko and coat evenly. Press the panko gently into the “fries”.
  1. Place them on the baking rack until you are ready to go.zuchfries4
  2. (Note: if you do a large amount, these can be frozen (and kept frozen) until you are ready to use them. If you are baking these from the freezer, simply follow the remaining steps. Do not thaw.)
  1. Before baking, spray generously with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt or coarse kosher salt.zuchfries5-copy
  1. Place the baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.zuchfries6zuchfries7zuchfries8

These are best fresh, piping hot from the oven.

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing and Crispy Garlic

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is RAW! You don’t have to cook everything and they’re just as delish. Last year I came across a recipe that called for shaved brussel sprouts. I was a strictly roasted-garlicky type of girl but that changed that evening.

I grabbed a bag of sprouts at the market last weekend and I was reluctant to just toss them in the oven. This week has been full of balsamic, so it seems, and I continued with this recipe.

It’s pretty quick and you customize it as you wish! Add carrot, nuts, herbs- use what you have! 

Note: I made a small batch, you can easily adjust this to make a larger batch.

 

2 1/2 cups of whole brussel sprouts, shaved on a mandolin slicer

4-5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp of olive oil

 

Dressing: (again, this was a small batch- if you need help making a larger portion, shoot me a comment)

1/8 cup of olive oil (plus leftover from the garlic)

pinch, each, of kosher salt, pepper and crushed pepper

tsp of dijon

tbsp of honey

2-4 (matter of preference) balsamic vinegar

 

Using your mandolin slicer, carefully shave your brussel sprouts. (If you’re like me and you hate to waste food, pop the stumps into a ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer. Use them the next time you make veggie broth!)brusselbrus8brus2

Preheat a pan over medium-low heat, add your olive oil and your garlic.

Stir frequently. Do not take your eyes off of the garlic, it can burn quickly. Browned garlic? Big yes. Burned garlic? You’ll never forgive yourself.

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Once the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon. The garlic will crisp up!

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In a small tupperware container, or a Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients (don’t waste that leftover oil from your garlic. It is loaded with garlic flavor, add that in too!!). Shake up thoroughly. Easiest way to make a dressing, hands down.brus6brus7

Pour over your shaved brussels and toss to coat.

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Serve  topped with the crispy garlic.

Thank me, later!

 

NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

I love a flavor-packed dish with these flavors. You really can’t go wrong with garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy, sesame, etc. Tossing these ingredients together with brown rice noodles and veggie noodles (carrot and zuchinni), you’ve got a super light salad that can be eaten hot or cold.

It’s delicious as part of an entree, a side or a light lunch!

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

 

Noodle Salad

1 package of brown rice noodles, cook as directed

1 large zuchinni julienned, (invest in a mandolin slicer w/ attachments or vegetable spiralizer)

2 carrots, julienned

 

Sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, grated

1-2 inch ginger, grated

2 tbsp water

juice and zest of 1 large lime

3-4 tbsp of peanut butter, creamy or chunky

2 tsp of sambal

1 tsp of fish sauce

½ tsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

½ tsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

 

¼ cup chopped cilantro, to finish

 

 

  • Cook rice noodles following package directions.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk vigorously until well combined. Taste and add ingredients as needed (I wound up adding a bit more ginger and crushed red pepper).peanutpeanut3
  • Using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable spiralizer), shred your zucchini and your carrots.peanut2
  • Drain noodles and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Put noodles back into pot, add shredded vegetables and sauce
  • Using tongs, toss to combine
  • This can be served hot, warm or cold.mealmeal2meal3

 

Leftover sauce can be loosened with more lime juice or water and used as a salad dressing! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved