Monday, May 19, 2008

Quinoa as Stuffing

Now this is truly a dish that takes under 30 minutes, especially if you skip stuffing the red peppers and oven baking. Canned beans and defrosted frozen shrimp make this dish move super quickly. Instead, you may opt to chop up the red pepper and throw them in the dish itself rather than stuffing them. If you want to be completely vegetarian than skip the shrimp and add tofu or double the amount of beans. For leftovers, double the recipe.

Fresh cilantro is vital to this dish -- it adds a lot of freshness and flavor. The second time I made this dish, I cooked the quinoa in water (vs. vegetable broth) to lower the sodium intake. There's more flavor when cooked in broth so go for it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fruit Drying -- Strawberries

I've been wanting to try my hand at fruit drying for some time. Growing up, my mom dried apples because we grew so many we couldn't give enough of them away. My favorite dehydrator item was her home made spicy fruit rolls and they were awesome! Sweet, tart, and spicy they gave our taste buds a run for their money. We would hover over the dehydrator waiting for those rolls to dry out so we could eat!

Recently, a friend mentioned that dried strawberries are awesome and not being able to find them at stores we decided to dry them ourselves. Using the dehydrator that I grew up with, we chopped up a half flat of strawberries. They shrink rather quickly. If you look at the top picture, the tray on the left was on top of the stack, and the one the right was on the bottom, closest the heat source. After one hour, look at the difference. They shrank a lot as the strawberries were no longer filling out the trays.