Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quinoa and Bean Medley

I LOVE quinoa.  I also love making new dishes incorporating quinoa.  Tonight I threw a few things together from the kitchen and viola! a great new quinoa dish.  This dish encompasses quinoa, beans, vegetables, garlic, and spices.  And, it's totally gluten-free.  Try to use organic ingredients!  Enjoy!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 TBSP olive oil (and more if needed)
  • 1+ TBSP minced organic garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • handfull of organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can organic black beans (15oz) drained and rinsed 
  • 1/2 can of organic garbanzo beans (8oz)
  • garlic salt
  • salt and pepper
  • taco seasoning (about 2-3+ TBSP) (make sure it's gluten-free)
  • smoked paprika (about 1/2+ TBSP)

Just to note - you can always add more or less of what I suggest in the recipe.  If you want to use a whole can of garbanzo beans, go ahead!  If you like your dish more spicy, add more seasoning, etc.  Ok on to the fixing!

What to do:
  • Place quinoa and water into a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes.
  • While quinoa is cooking, place a larger non-stick saute pan on the stove.  Drizzle olive oil in the pan and add the garlic & onion.
  • While sautéing, cut the cherry tomatoes in thirds and saute in the pan.  
  • Add the black & garbanzo beans to the mixture, stir. 
  • By now your quinoa should be about finished.  Add the quinoa when ready to the mixture.  
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and a few shakes of garlic salt (not too much!).
  • I have a taco seasoning I use from a local spice company and each taco seasoning is different so I suggest adding about 2-3 TBSP taco seasoning to the mixture to taste (it shouldn't be over powering, just enough).  Then add the smoked paprika (1/2 to 1 TBSP) to taste.  
Serve and enjoy!

Let me know what you think :)

Love, Mel

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gluten-Free Alcohol List

You're out with your friends, but have no idea if you can have what they're having... I've been there.  From asking what vodka they're using in my White Russian to having to pay more for a beverage that's not on special.  I Googled and Googled to find what I can actually drink.  So, I put together a list for you all of what we can actually drink and not get sick, so we can enjoy night [or day :)]**.  And, as always, drink responsively! :)

What is Totally Safe:
  • Brandy
  • Ciders [Woodchuck is my go-to, Angry Orchard is great.  Beware of any containing Barley, these aren't GF]
  • Champagne
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Gluten-Free Beer [Make sure it's Gluten-Free]
  • Rum [However, rum made with "Natural Flavors" can contain gluten]
    • Captain Morgan 
    • Bacardi
    • Malibu
  • Schnapps
  • Skinny Girl Margaritas and Sangria's are GF
  • Tequila [true Tequila is safe, however, cheaper brands of tequila are made with the agave plant and may contain gluten: Don Julio is NOT gluten-free]
    • Stick with:
      • Patron
      • Jose Cuervo
      • Avion
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey / Bourbon
    • Jack Daniel's
    • Chivas
    • Scotch Whiskey
    • Maker's Mark
    • Seagram's Crown
  • Wine [Red, White, Blush, Sparkling... it's all good!]

Best Gluten-Free Beer:
  • Bard's
  • Redbridge [it's on the sweeter side - if you like that]
  • New Grist
  • Rampo Valley Honey Beer
  • New Planet Tread Lightly Ale

Safe Vodkas: [Potato and Grape]
  • Baks Bison Grass Vodka
  • Blue Ice Vodka
  • Bombora Vodka
  • Boyd & Blair [I've personally had and it is good!]
  • Cayman Blue Vodka
  • Chopin Vodka
  • Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka
  • Cold River Vodka
  • Devotion Vodka
  • DiVine Vodka
  • Famous Vodka
  • Glacier Vodka
  • Krome Vodka
  • Luksusowa Voake
  • Monopolowa Vodka
  • Prarie
  • RWB Vodka
  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Tito's Homemade Vodka
  • Vikingfjord Vodka
Vodka is a great debate.  Vodka is mostly made of wheat and the gluten is said to be destroyed during the distilling process, so if you drink a vodka not on this list made from wheat, just be aware.

Beware of [This List Contains* Gluten]:
  • Wine coolers [they contain Malt]
  • Mixed Drinks - they may contain non-gluten-free Vodka
  • Smirnoff Ice Malt Beverages
  • Mixers containing gluten
If you have any more to add to the list comment below!

With Love,

*Based upon my findings, there are controversies over the distilling process whether it contains gluten still or not.  

**Research is based upon my own findings.  I am not a doctor and can't guarantee information is 100% factual.