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Mexican quinoa salad plus a bit of quinoa information

For a while now I’ve seen all these quinoa recipes and I have wondered what the deal with it is. Is it healthy, is it a pasta, a rice, what exactly is quinoa? After some research I’ve discovered it’s neither rice nor a pasta. It’s actually a seed, well the part we is the seed. Who knew? Not me until doing some reading up on the food. I also found out for about a year I had been pronouncing it wrong….ooops. The correct pronunciation of quinoa is like keen-wah. And just like that I became annoyed by those that mispronounce it, as if I was some kind of expert. If an expert is someone that has eaten their weight in quinoa then count me in. I may or may not have done this in the last year.

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Anywho, back on topic. Let’s examine this beautiful little plant. If you haven’t googled quinoa I suggest you do. You will be amazed at the beauty of the plant. Quinoa is a plant that is considered a complete grain. By that I mean that it is has all nine essential amino acids. Did you also know that it is said that quinoa is said to have health benefits such as reducing the risk of obesity, colon cancer, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. So maybe eating this little seed quite often could be a good thing.

Since quinoa has a bit of a nutty flavor it is something that can be used in a wide variety of recipes. You can use it in breakfast recipes, salads, dinners and even baking such as muffins. For my household we love to use it in salads. Speaking of salads, I wrote this post to share my favorite salad and here I have been rambling on all the wonderful things about quinoa. Without further delay, I give to you Mexican Quinoa Salad.

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Serves 6
A delicious quinoa salad with a Mexican twist
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Quinoa
  2. 3 cups kale chopped
  3. 1 cup Arugula chopped
  4. 1 cup Spinach chopped
  5. 1/2-1 cup of Tomato varieties chopped
  6. 2 Hearts of palm chopped
  7. 1 Lime
  8. 6 stalks of Green onions chopped
  9. 1/2 cups of thinly sliced green cabbage
  10. 1 Avocado chopped
  11. Guacamole salsa (Herdez brand)
  12. Pepita's
  13. 1 Vegetable bouillon cube
Instructions
  1. Combine one cup rinsed quinoa in two of cups water with a vegetable bouillon and bring to a boil. Cook approximately five minutes. Once it is done you will be able to fluff if with a fork. Place in the fridge inside an extra large mixing bowl to cool.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking start prepping all of your other ingredients, kale, arugula, spinach, hearts of palm, tomatoes, cabbage. Save the avocado until very last as it will brown.
  3. Mix all of the chopped ingredients in with the now cooled quinoa. If you aren't planning on eating all of the quinoa you can save the tomato and avocado till as needed. Squeeze the juice from one lime all over the salad and mix. If you're not a fan of lime use 1/4 to 1/2 as opposed to the whole thing. If you're serving a group then add both the tomato and avocado in as well as the salsa.
  4. To keep the quinoa good for a longer time period do not add the salsa but just a bit on top of each serving.
Notes
  1. Depending on your level for the love of all things spicy, the guacamole salsa may be a bit spicy sooooo go easy at first with how much you put on. Me, I love spicy foods so the more the merrier.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

 

 

 

 

  • Breakfast Ideas

    Wow! This was amazing! Definitely making it again and making more everything for leftovers. It took me longer than 30 minutes to prep though but definitely worth the time.

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Balsamic Quinoa with Tofu and Kale Recipe

It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired to create a new recipe. Actually it has been way too long. Today I finally broke my dry spell. I tried my hand at a quinoa recipe, but  without an actual recipe. This is all from scratch. I was a little worried as I have only cooked quinoa once before, and well like I said it’s been a while. So you could imagine my excitement when it came out amazing.

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As of late I have fallen back into old eating habits, aka unhealthy. I need to break that again and stick to it, but now I have realized it’s not just myself who has fallen into those habits, but my children as well. Overall they are pretty healthy eater, but they do love junk food.

My oldest has always been a hard one to get to try new foods. If he could live off of turkey sandwiches, hamburgers and bean and cheese burritos I’m sure he would. I will give him credit though as he has gotten a little better, which may have a little bit to with the fact that I make it harder and harder for him to pick out the good things in meals. But I hall give credit where credit is due. I’m nice like that.

My daughter has been on board with healthy eating. For being only nine I am happily surprised at this. She has always loved certain vegetable but getting her to branch out hasn’t always been easy. Plus we’re limited on a lot sine she is allergic to nuts. But if there is one kid that I know will not only help me cook up new creations, but enjoy them as well, it would be her.

And then there’s my youngest. My wee boy. He actually isn’t that small anymore but he know he’s the baby and will use that knowledge a best he n to get hi way. Little does he know I’m on to him, and have been for years. But I til play along because I do so love a good challenge. And a challenge he is. He may not have the pickiest pallet but he knows what he likes and isn’t too keen on trying things outside of his little box. He does however love salads which makes me very happy.

And look, I’ve gone off an ramble about my loves when I was supposed to be sharing a recipe. If you have a vegetarian in your house, this recipe is completely vegetarian. I hope your family enjoys this one as much as we all did.

Balsamic Quinoa with Tofu & Kale
Serves 6
Handfuls of kale, mushrooms, onions paired perfectly with quinoa and balsamic vinegar
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 6 mushrooms diced
  3. 1/2 red onion sliced and quartered
  4. 2-3 cups sliced kale
  5. 3-4 cloves Garlic (1 tsp)
  6. Sea salt (two turns of the salt grinder)
  7. Pepper (1/4 tsp)
  8. Cayenne Pepper (1/8 tsp)
  9. Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup)
  10. 1 Vegetable bullion
  11. Olive oil
Instructions
  1. First start with cutting up your tofu. I halve it, then cut into strips then cut again in the other direction to make three across cubed tofu squares.
  2. Coat your pan with the olive oil and cook the tofu on medium high heat. Make sure to mix it every few minutes. While that is cooking chop up the remaining vegetables and set aside.
  3. In a small pot combine two cups water, one cup quinoa and one vegetable bullion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a summer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. I always add a slight brown to my tofu to give it more texture. Once you see it starting to brown add the onions and mushrooms. Cook for approximately more ten minutes. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Next add your kale, stirring again.
  5. Now my favorite part, add the balsamic vinegar. Stir for one more minute and remove from heat.
  6. By now your quinoa should be done. If all the liquid has cooked out pour it into the large pan with your tofu and vegetables.
  7. Mix together well so the balsamic coats evenly.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

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Chicken Avocado Taco Recipe

Occasionally I have these moment where ideas just come to me and I go with it. They have been happening less and less frequently as of late but the other night (okay a few months ago…I forgot to hit the publish button) I had one. And may I just say oh my yum! I hadn’t been shopping for groceries in longer than I would like to admit. But I did have a reason. I was going to be traveling the following day and I hate wasting, either food or money. Soooo why buy groceries when they will just spoil. 

Working folks….you know how it is when you come home from a busy/crazy/awesome day at work and cooking is the last thing on your mind.  Add to that that I had an insane amount of things to do in preparation for my trip. Insert automatic reflect to look for an easy meal. This, as most of us know can be a bad idea.

Thankfully at that moment in time I didn’t have a slew of unhealthy items in my house, so whipping something healthy and light up was pretty simple. Here it is, I give you….Chicken Avocado Tacos.

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Chicken Avocado Tacos
Serves 2
Easiest taco recipe you will find. They're delicious, filling with less then ten fresh ingredients.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large avocado
  2. 1/2 cup chicken breast
  3. 1/2 sliced jalapeno
  4. 1/2-1 cup red cabbage sliced
  5. 1 tbsp diced onion
  6. Fresh lime juice
  7. Pinch of garlic salt
  8. Tortillas (I use La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas, they're a perfect mix of corn & wheat)
  9. Salsa
Instructions
  1. Chop the cooked chicken breast up into bite sized pieces and put in a medium bowl
  2. Dice the avocado and onions and put into the bowl with the chicken
  3. Add a pinch of garlic salt and as much lime juice as you want, mix together
  4. Slice the cabbage to desired thickness
  5. Place a spoonful of the avocado mixture into a warm tortilla, top with jalapeno, cabbage and salsa
  6. Serve with black beans
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/
 I hope you enjoy these super simple healthy bites as much as I did.

 

  • www.med-hero.net

    I like tacos with different fillings. This recipe is very easy and I'm sure these tacos are very tasty. The combination of chicken and avocado is a winning one.

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Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffin Recipe

There’s one thing I have been trying to steer clear of for a while now and that is sweets. More specifically chocolate. It used to be something I craved, now (thankfully) I can barely eat it but that doesn’t stop me from treating my babies with a small sweet bite every once in a while. And, as an added benefit these muffins aren’t totally horrible for you, possibly even healthy! I said healthy in the same breath sentence as chocolate…crazy right! Let me introduce you to this wonderful concoction I like to call Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
Serves 18
Naturally sweet banana muffins with a hint of chocolate goodness, yum.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups Oatmeal
  2. 1 Teaspoon Honey
  3. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  4. 4 Bananas mashed
  5. 1 Cup Silk Pure Coconut Milk
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  8. 26 pieces of See's Candy Milk Chocolate Drops (freeze them and smash with a meat mallet)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) together in a large bowl
  3. Prepare the muffin pans by spraying the pan or using liners with with non-stick spray
  4. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter
  5. Divide batter into each muffin cup
  6. Bake the muffins for 20-30 minutes (when the edges turn slightly brown they are done)
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

These tasty little bites are perfect fresh out of the oven. The chocolate still being warm and slightly melted….heaven. You can also freeze them for snack time later or devour a handful late at night, not that I’ve done that or anything.

 

 

 

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Organicgirl Mahi Mahi Shiitake Salad

I love everything about salads. I love picking out the ingredients that will go into them, creating new twists on a classic, and discovering new flavors that will work together. I truly just enjoy the whole process of preparing them…and of course eating them.

Organic Girl 1 

A salad is always better when you use bold flavors. Keeping things mild is relatively boring so if there is an option to go bold or go home…I go bold. When I received two boxes of Organicgirl greens the other day I knew immediately what type of salad I was going to make. With the bite these particular greens offer I knew it would pair perfectly with the light taste of Mahi Mahi with an Asian type of dressing.

Organicgirl vive la France contains a variety of lettuce such as mâche rosettes, baby chard, baby arugula & radicchio. It varies depending on the season but I personally love the  flavors of this mix.

Organic Girl CollageOrganicgirl 50/50! is a mix of baby spinach, baby green romaine lettuce, baby red romaine lettuce, tango, baby red oak leaf lettuce, baby green oak leaf lettuce, baby red chard, baby green chard, lolla rosa, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, baby green leaf lettuce & baby red leaf lettuce.

I have only seen Organicgirl offered at one of the stores local to me but one is better then none right! To learn more about Organicgirl: Good Clean Greens, you can visit their site here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also search their site to find a retailer that carries their line in your stores here.

 

Organicgirl Mahi Mahi Shiitake Salad
Serves 2
A light salad that will delight the taste buds
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Mahi Mahi Filet
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Salt & Pepper
  4. Cayenne Pepper
  5. Onions
  6. Hearts of Palm
  7. Green Onions
  8. Green Olives
  9. Purple Cabbage
  10. Carrots
  11. Organicgirl vive la France mix
  12. Organicgirl 50/50! mix
  13. Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles
  14. Shiitake Sesame Vinaigrette Dressing
  15. Lemon
Instructions
  1. Mahi Mahi only take a few minutes on each side to cook prepare your salad prior to cooking the fish.
  2. Finely chop the lettuce blends as well as the remaining ingredients that will be going into the salad (onion, olives, carrots, cabbage and hearts of palm)
  3. Divide ingredients into two salad bowls and top with the crispy noodles
  4. Season the Mahi Mahi with Salt, Pepper & a light sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
  5. Cook the Mahi Mahi in olive oil approximately 4-5 minutes on each side
  6. When your fish is cooked through place it on top of your salad, squirt with a bit of lemon and top with the Shitake Sesame dressing.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

*I received these products for free to review as part of the Mom Bloggers Club. The opinions and text are all mine*

  • Rose Powell

    Oh yummy yummy, I need to try this, I', rather boring when it comes to salads, but not anymore!!! Thanks Shana.

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Chicken, Cauliflower & Mushroom Pasta Recipe

I had originally picked this recipe to make for dinner last week because it looked like it was semi healthy, but then I started cooking it and as the cream cheese melted into this gorgeous white cream sauce I instantly felt guilty. So to make myself feel better I added Parmesan Cheese. Hey, don’t judge. I eat my feelings sometimes…so what. But if you want to omit the Parmesan it will still be just as fabulous and you wont feel as guilty as I do right now. Yup.


Chicken, Cauliflower & Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients

12oz box of Vegetable Pasta
2 Chicken Breasts
Fresh Spinach-as many handfuls as you’d like
8-10 Mushrooms, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Garlic
1/4 head of Cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
2/3 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
Oregano
Basil
Onion Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper

Directions

Boil 4-6 cups of water for your pasta
While you wait for the water to boil thinly slice the chicken into strip. I typically cut the breast in half then slice from there. It’s almost like you get twice as much that way (almost).
Preapare all of your veggies. The spinach is really easy to cut if you roll up a bunch and slice it.
The mushrooms I leave slightly big since it’s the kids favorite part of the meal.
And the cauliflower should be a wee bit smaller then bite sized.
Now that you have the prep out of the way lets start cooking!
Start cooking your pasta
Cook the chicken on medium-high heat in about a teaspoon of olive oil. Once cooked set the chicken aside and use the same pan for your veggies.
Start with your cauliflower since it will take the longest to cook, then add in your mushrooms and garlic.
Now it’s time for the goodness, the cream cheese. Just plop it in but make sure to turn the heat down so you don’t burn it. You want to slowly melt it so it’s becomes a creamy sauce.
Slowly add in your chicken broth and stir
Add in all of the seasonings to taste
And lastly your lemon juice, spinach and Parmesan cheese.
You can squirt more lemon juice over your pasta if you find the 1/2 tablespoon isn’t enough. It’s always better to follow the less is more rule with lemon because you can’t take away the lemon juice if you put too much on but you can definitely add more if you’d like to.
Give it all a good stir and stir on top of your pasta, or you can mix it all together to coat your pasta.

Enjoy!

 

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Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe



If there’s is one type of food that I could live off of for the rest of my life it would be salads. I love salads. I love creating salads and the options are practically limitless. One could possibly say they actually are limitless. Since discovering a particular salad dressing a few years ago Chinese Chicken Salad quickly climbed my list of all time favorite salads. I may have even eaten four of this particular salads last week. What I really enjoy about it is the light yet full flavor of the salad, and I especially love how healthy it is. 

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breast
  • Romain lettuce 
  • Spring mix 
  • Cabbage (Purple or Green)
  • Green onions
  • Green olives (optional)
  • Hearts of palm (optional)
  • Crispy chow mein noodles 
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Garlic salt 
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Annie’s Shitake Sesame Dressing

Directions

  • Cook the chicken in the sesame and olive oil until done
  • Season the chicken when it’s almost done with your dry ingredients (garlic salt, onion powder and a bit of cayenne pepper)
  • While that’s cooking finely chop up the lettuce, spring mix and the cabbage as well as the rest of your veggies (onion, olives and hearts of palm)
  • Toss it all together in a bowl and top with the crispy noodles 
  • Slice your chicken (you can do it all pretty or chopped) and place on top of the lettuce
  • Now top your salad with Annie’s Shitake Sesame dressing
Now sit down, relax, grab a glass of wine or beer and enjoy this beautiful salad.



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BLT Grilled Cheese Recipe

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? If not for shame! An entire month dedicated to the wonderful ooey gooey goodness that we call the grilled cheese. Yum. The best thing about a grilled cheese is that the possibilities are literally endless. Today I was craving something gooey and I wanted bacon with it. What else could I do but make a BLT Grilled Cheese.

BLT Grilled Cheese Recipe


Ingredients:

  • Two pieces of Udi’s Millet Chia bread
  • Two slices of Gouda
  • One slice of Sharp Cheddar
  • Tomato
  • Spring Greens 
  • Two pieces of Turkey Bacon
  • Butter

Directions:

  • Cook your two pieces of turkey bacon to the desired crispness and set aside
  • Butter both sides of the bread and place in a pan over medium/low heat. 
  • Place cheese on each slice of bread (I do both at the same time that way you aren’t waiting on a piece of bread to get cooked while the other gets cold)
  • Allow the cheese to melt and the bread to become nice and golden brown
  • Remove from heat and start your layering with the Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato
  • Close your sandwich and bite into the crispy gooey goodness

The fact that you can satisfy two cravings in one with this sandwich makes it a winner in my book, I mean honestly folks anything with bacon is going to be awesome. But what I love is that you aren’t killing yourself with fat here because it’s Turkey Bacon and you do have some veggies so it’s a well rounded meal. At least that’s what I told myself as I scarfed this bad boy down.

Thank you to Udi’s for sending me product in order to facilitate this posts. I couldn’t have made such an amazing grilled cheese with any regular ole bread.


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Homemade Meatball Sandwiches Recipe

Making dinner should be an enjoyable process. Not something us Moms stress over, so when I don’t feel like making a big meal or just plain don’t feel like cooking I try to do my simple meals so we don’t eat out. You really can’t get any easier then meatball sandwiches. Most of it is just prepping/putting together the food and it’s only four ingredients which you can choose relatively healthy options here. And as an added bonus it’s one of my kids favorites. Something easy and the kids love it…it’s a win win!

Ingredients:
Wheat Hoagies
Organic Pizza Sauce (I chose pizza sauce because it has a bit more oomph then plain tomato sauce)
Provolone Cheese
Meatballs (I usually do turkey meatballs but they were all out at the market today)


Instructions:
Cut the hoagie lengthwise but not all the way through (you still want it attached so it doesn’t fall apart
Pile on your cooked meatballs
Pour on as little or as much sauce as you like
Bake in the toaster oven for approximately 5 minutes or in a conventional oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes (just enough time to warm the sauce & toast the hoagie)
Pull out of oven and top with cheese (don’t worry the cheese will melt all on it’s own)

Only four ingredients, takes less then ten minutes total and you have a delicious meal for the whole family to enjoy.

Sidenote…please excuse the poor photos, these were taken from my phone as a last minute oh hey I should post about this huh. Well let me grab my phone then and snap to it.

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Quick & Simple Lemon Chicken

I am all about making dinner time about spending time with family instead of slaving over the stove. So when it comes to creating dinner I like to create recipes that are simple yet satisfying to the pallet. Last night was yet another successful quick and simple dinner, Lemon Chicken.

Simple Lemon Chicken
Four chicken breasts
Half an onion, sliced
One tablespoon garlic
Olive oil (one turn around the pan)
Pepper
Salt
Cayenne pepper
One lemon

Season chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne (to taste)

Cook chicken on medium high heat for four minutes on each side
Add slice onions and garlic 
Cover and cook for ten minutes on medium to low heat 
Uncover and reduce sauce by turning heat up (approximately five minutes) 
Add juice of one lemon
And there you have it, in under thirty minutes you have a healthy delicious meal to serve to your family all while spending less time in the kitchen and more time with those you love. Enjoy!

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