zucchini spag-001

Zucchini Spaghetti

This is a fun and healthy way to use all that zucchini or other summer squash. Use a spiral slicer or mandolin to cut vegetables like spaghetti or fettuccine. It is a simple recipe and quick to make. [Read more…]

Beth Sharp, chef/owner of Evolved Foods

Roasted Quinoa with Caramelized Onions, Apples, and Butternut Squash by Beth Sharp

Join us this Friday during the March Fort Collin’s Foodie Walk (5-8 p.m. Friday March 15th) for a delicious and healthy treat.

Beth Sharp will be in our kitchen cooking and sharing her own recipe, Crispy Quinoa with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Butternut Squash.  Beth is a graduate of the The Nutrition Institute of Denver and chef/owner of Evolved Foods.  Evolved Foods offers clients a 6-12 week culinary and nutrition boot camp to help individuals and families learn to take care of their health through the food they eat.  Join us for an evening centered around healthy tasty food you can make at home, and learn more about Beth and Evolved Foods.

Here is the recipe, but we hope you can stop by to meet Beth and sample this yummy quinoa!

Crispy Quinoa with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Butternut Squash

Recipe by Chef Beth Sharp

Crispy Quinoa with Caramelized Onions, Apples, and Butternut Squash

Crispy Quinoa with Caramelized Onions, Apples, and Butternut Squash

I am forever looking for ways to use the staples I keep in my pantry as creatively, and as tastily, as I can! Crispy quinoa was born one evening when I had mustard greens, eggs and quinoa to feed a guest. Since then, I have made many variations of this recipe.  I experiment using different vegetables and flavors in order to take the recipe in whatever direction I need to go.  The caramelized onions, apples, and squash combination is definitely a crowd pleaser!  I love this dish because it has the feeling of being rich and decadent, while being quite good for you.  Enjoy!

yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

–  1 cup uncooked quinoa, soaked for at least an hour, cooked “quick and dirty”

“Quick and Dirty” Grain Cooking Method

*  This is a great quick method of cooking a grain when you want it to retain a good chew, but be cooked through.

  1.  1 cup of soaked and rinsed quinoa.
  2. Heat 2 cups of water, with  pinch of salt, in a pot with a tight fitting cover. Also have 1/2 cup of HOT water available to adjust doneness of grain with cooking times.
  3. When water has come to a rapid boil, add quinoa to pot. DO NOT replace lid or stir! Turn heat down to a medium simmer (the quinoa should be very actively moving, but not bubbling above the water line).
  4. Keep a close eye on the grain, test consistency (or “chew”) once water has been absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. If you want the quinoa to cook more, add hot water to the pot. DO NOT stir!
  5. Water should be mostly absorbed and quinoa should have “popped” when it is done. Take the pot off the heat, replace the lid, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before using.

INGREDIENTS-continued

–  1 large yellow onion, sliced thin into half rounds

–  2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil), divided

–  1 unpeeled granny smith apple, diced into rough 1/2” cubes

–  1 1/2 cups butternut squash, diced into rough 1/2” cubes, roasted or steamed (roasting brings out the best flavor, but is more time consuming)

–  1/2 teaspoon sea salt

–  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

–  pinch each of nutmeg, and ground ginger

–  1 egg, beaten

Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan, on medium heat. Add onions to hot oil and toss to coat onions evenly in oil. Stir onions occasionally to allow time for all to have contact with the hot pan surface. Allow onions to cook for about 15 minutes, until they are all a rich, golden brown.

  1. Add diced apples and pre-cooked butternut squash to onions. Allow the apples and squash to warm up before adding spices.
  2. Add spices and toss to coat.
  3. Remove onion mixture from pan, add remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to pan, swirl to coat.
  4. Mix together the cooked quinoa, onion mixture and the beaten egg in a bowl. Add quinoa mixture to hot pan by the cupful. Spread the mixture into 1/2” layer and allow it to cook well on one side before mixing. Use a spatula to scrape up the quinoa and “scramble” it. Repeat until the quinoa has a pleasant, crispy texture.
  5. Serve hot! Add crumbled Herbes de Provence goat cheese on top, for bonus taste!

 

Juice Your Way to Better Health

Breville Juice Fountain Elite

Breville Juice Fountain Elite

After weeks of delightful holiday feasts, things can get a little, you know, messy. Even after all the decorations have been packed up to wait patiently for another 11 months, sometimes our slightly bulging waistlines can be trickier to deal with. Luckily, the new year is a perfect excuse to clean up our acts and we’ve got just the tool to help: our trusty juicers! [Read more…]

green smoothie-recipe

Going Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are one of the fastest and most tasteful ways to eat your greens. This recipe was created by Vitamix. If you are using a different blender, you may need to make adjustments in processing time or ingredient quantities. [Read more…]

Mandoline at Work

product review: oxo mandoline slicer

Knife work is fun (to some people) but can sometimes be both time consuming and inaccurate, either of which can lead to a variety of problems.  Who hasn’t been the victim of unevenly cooked vegetable pieces or spilled blood on account of a straying blade? For many, mandolines can be a safer, faster and more enjoyable way to slice and dice your vegetables.

The mandoline is a tabletop tool with a stationary blade over which food items are sliced.  As a kitchen tool, it has been around for quite a while. The first recorded use of the tool was an illustration in the book printed in 1570 by Bartolomeo Scappi, Pope Pius VI’s cook. Today, there are hundreds of models to choose from. The Cupboard stocks four mandolines:  Oxo Good Grips V-blade Mandoline Slicer (which took Cook’s Illustrated reccomendation for best mandoline in Season 9 of America’s Test Kitchen), Oxo Steel Chef’s Mandoline Slicer, Swissmar V-Prep Mandoline Slicer and the Oxo Good Grips Mandoline Slicer.  We decided to test Oxo Good Grips Mandoline Slicer and make a classic summer dish, Vegetable Gratin.

The slicer moved through summer squash and zucchini quickly and elegantly, cutting perfect, even slices with an ease that was truly refreshing.  It definitely removed any remains of prep-work gruel.  While we can’t recommend it for onions (the rings got a little frayed when we ran them across the blade) and have yet to try it on the ultimate of cutting tests, tomatoes, we liked this model quite a bit. The design is quite clever with folding legs and a food holder that snaps securely underneath for storage.  The blade slides out easily for cleaning.  One can also switch effortlessly from smooth to crinkle cuts, which is very fun for chips.  The dial on the side also allows the user to transition from thicker (3/8”) to thinner (paper thin) slices and from large to small julienne which is also extremely handy.

We found Oxo’s Mandoline Slicer to be the epitome of user-friendly and we love how it consistently produces flawless and professional results at home. At only 4 pounds and reasonably priced, this mandoline is a great addition to the average kitchen, for both novice and experienced home cooks. (Fans of Mario Batali might enjoy this video-Oxo Good Grips Mandoline Slicer)

The recipe we used to test the slicer came from the July 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. It was a little time intensive to get the veggies to their most dehydrated state but the final product was lovely: perfectly cooked, exceptionally flavorful and not watery at all. Leftovers were splendid on a crisp piece of toast!

While you can find current issues of Cook’s Illustrated and an assortment of other popular food-related magazines in our store, Michael Natkin’s Herbavoracious and our other veggie-based cookbooks would also be worth a look. We can’t wait to use our new mandoline to slice purple potatoes for his Blue Potato Tarts with rosemary, chevre, and balsamic reduction. His recipe for Portabello and Summer Squash Lasagna would be similar to the recipe we used for the Gratin, too: healthy, hearty and totally meat-free.

The environmental, health, and economic benefits of eating more (local!) vegetables are undeniable but so is the fact that quick-cooking vegetarian dishes require more prep work. Investing in a mandoline slicer can eliminate the skill and time requirements that may be holding you back. Beyond that, we found the mid-grade Oxo model to be a good choice.

Stop by the store to see our collection of mandolines, cookbooks, magazines and everything else you’ve come to know and love.  We’ve got the tools and toys you need to enjoy the bounty of summer and to make the work of veggie slicing much easier.