Monday, May 17, 2010

The versatile favorite trio

My girls LOVE quinoa, beans, and chicken. Ok, I'll admit, they would be happy without the chicken, but I always add it for extra protein because it doesn't seem deter them. We make many a variation of those three items, so I thought I should blog about it to give you an idea.

1. Beans -- I make a batch once a month of 2 bags of black beans and freeze them in little bags because they are one of our easiest "healthy fast foods." I have no idea why, but my girls love them both hot or cold. If Karlie is fussing for dinner and it is not ready yet, I set her at the table with some cold beans straight out of the fridge and she is a happy camper. And Karis is the same way. It sounds gross to me, but it keeps them happy til their meal is done. Anyways, beans are most healthy when I soak them overnight in a bunch of warm water and about 4 Tbs of lemon juice. The next day I rinse them, boil them, scoop the impurities off the top, and let simmer on the stove til nice and soft (Several hours). Once cooled, I freeze in little bags in small quantities so I always have some on hand.

2. Quinoa -- My girls love the texture of this grain and so do I. It is the only grain that is a complete protein, so I love to feed it to them. I soak a cup of quinoa in a cup of water and a few Tbs. of yogurt, keifer, ACV, whey, etc. The next day I bring a cup of water or chicken stock to boil, rinse my quinoa (don't skip the rinsing or it will taste bitter!) and throw it in the pot. Then I turn off the heat and let it set until it has soaked up all the liquid.

3. Chicken -- cook it however you like it :) I usually boil it in a pot of water so I can make chicken stock to use in all my recipes.

Directions: Mix those three ingredients with a healthy liquid and a cheese and any other herbs or veggies you like :) I switch around the add-ons frequently so the girls never get tired of their beans and quinoa! I usually warm it all together in a saucepan, but they will even eat it cold! It is also good baked in the oven (at 350 for about 20 min) but it is much faster in the sauce pan. You can make it really thick to be easily grabbed by little fingers or put more liquid in it and make it a soup.

Our liquid options:
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Chicken stock
coconut milk
sour cream

Cheese options: Pretty much anything will work, but we especially love feta, cream cheese, parmesan, or sharp cheddar

Other add-ins:
crushed garlic
chopped peppers
chopped sweet onions sauteed in butter