Quinoa, Cookies, Sloppy Joes, and Other Yummy Things

Last week I didn’t do much cooking or baking since I wasn’t dealing well with all the things going on around the house. But the week before, I decided to try introducing quinoa again, especially after finding a couple recipes.

I tried quinoa before when I was in college, and my husband and I liked a recipe where we cooked the quinoa in a rice cooker with orange juice and some brown sugar (he’s been asking for that recipe again!). My mother-in-law has also been wanting to add some diversity to my son’s diet on the days that she cares for him. He breaks out with a rash when he eats oatmeal (and Cherrios), so I thought it might be worth trying again to see how we reacted.

breakfast quinoa

I found an oatmeal-ish recipe here. I tried using dried cherries, but I ended up adding dried cranberries as well. It was well received by the boys. But my son was hit and miss with many things these past few weeks since he is teething. Some days he devoured the stuff, and other days he didn’t want any of it. I might try other dried fruit, maybe some chopped dried apple or try reducing the almond milk and adding some unsweetened applesauce. It is a really great recipe to adapt! Thank you, Meg G.!

broccoli and quinoa

This is during the cooking process. Cheesy goodness came later.

About a month ago, on a whim I bought one of those steam-bags in the cheesy broccoli rice variety. It wasn’t great and it had so many carbs that it wasn’t filling. It was a relic dish from my past when I used to wolf down a whole bag as a meal. I knew it would be an easy addition to something else we would eat and it was so easy to make even my husband couldn’t get it wrong (he still needed help). And it came in handy one night when I just was not wanting to cook or move. But like I said, I didn’t find it really filling and it wasn’t satisfying. So when I came across this Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa recipe by lextorres, I was excited to give it a try. It went over pretty well. I think the consensus was to reduce the quinoa and have more broccoli. With the way the recipe is written, I think this would be an easy change. I know the boys look forward to having it again soon! Thank you, lextorres!

Gluten-free Chocolate Cookies

They don’t look very delicious, but I have it on good authority that they taste great!

After my quinoa experiments, which as you can read the tastes when over well with everyone. And no one had an issue with gas or rashes! I still want to keep the grain use as a treat–but back to what I was trying to say. The hubs has been craving paleo/gluten free Oreo cookies–just the cookie part, not the cream. I knew Brittany from Real Sustenance had posted a Thin Mint-ish cookie that used a chocolate wafer recipe for a cookie base. I found the Chocolate Wafer recipe and found it so similar to her gluten-free sugar cookie recipe I had made for my son’s Valentine’s Day party, so I tweaked the chocolate wafer recipe just a bit–I added some butter (1Tbs). We were low on the nice fine blanched almond flour, but my mother had found and bought me some fine almond flour–unblanched, so it had all the brown specks in it. It was a bit different to work with in that it made the cookie dough more crumbly, so I had to add a little more water to keep it all together.

In any case, the recipe went over well with my husband and his co-workers. But he did request that I make them thicker so they are softer. The dough doesn’t have any eggs, so I can also reduce the cook time. I think if I wanted an Oreo cookie crust, I could use this crumbly cookie recipe and bake the crumble for a few minutes before pressing them into the bottom of a pan. Or I suppose I could put the fresh made dough in the pan right away and bake the whole thing. Hmm…it may be worth trying out sometime. 🙂

sloppy joes with cheese on waffle fries

I put my sloppy joes on some waffle fries with some shredded cheese.

Ok, time for the meat! I found a couple Paleo/Primal Sloppy Joe recipes when I first joined WordPress. Getting tired of gluten-free corn dogs, the Sloppy Joes sounded delicious to my husband. We tried this recipe by foodiemartel first. I omitted the Anchio chili pepper, but the recipe was still so good that our son ate 2/3rds of what we made up! My husband added 1/4C water because it was a bit dry (I added and extra 0.5lb of meat!). Having learned our lesson, I doubled the second attempt and used some ideas I got from this recipe by Tula’s Cocokefir such as the garlic. My mother-in-law was concerned about the BBQ seasoning we bought was causing our son’s skin to turn red (we later realized it wasn’t a problem for him), so I omitted it from the second batch. Instead of adding some extra water, I added 1/2C of the drained animal fat (we made up ground beef and turkey) back to the crockpot for moisture. It ended up sloppier and it tasted a bit more like a chili in my opinion. I think if we would have added the BBQ seasoning, we would have a sloppy joe taste. Still, it was gobbled up by all. This time it lasted a bit longer!

So after all of this, what other yummy things could I possibly tell you about? Well, I made gluten-free pancakes one Sunday from a mix I picked up at the grocery store. I like trying gluten-free things every once in a while to see how we react to them and how they taste. And my attempts at making paleo pancakes were just not happening. We did discover that most of my pancake problems probably stemmed from my pan being warped (we got a new one this past weekend). We used Gluten-Free Pantry and they turned out well, I think.

Pancakes and Raspberries

Such a treat! So Yummmy!

Since I am watching my blood sugars or well, monitoring them, I was disappointed when all the maple syrup was quickly absorbed by these cakes. The second batch I ate later (they refrigerate and reheat really well!), I melted some butter on the pancakes as they reheated. Then I made up a bowl of 1C frozen red raspberries and 1.5Tbs of maple syrup and partially thawed the bowl in the microwave (using the express thaw setting on my microwave). The berries were still cold, but they were just thawed enough that they were somewhat soft. I stirred them up a bit and poured the mix on top of my hotcakes–SO DELICIOUS! And my blood sugar levels didn’t seem to be a problem.

So I hope these recipes inspire you to try some new things this week.

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