Holiday Recipes and the 12 Days of Christmas has returned!

For anyone who may not know, I’m not the best cook. (Shhh, don’t tell my kids!) But it’s true, I’m not good with food. It wasn’t something I learned to do very well. I can follow a recipe exact and still mange to screw it up. In the past few years, I’ve gotten a little better. Still not good enough to host my own holiday party though.

However, if YOU are one to do a holiday party, I have just the thing for you.

Red Door Reads is hosting a “Progressive Holiday Dinner Party” with more than a dozen recipes from different authors sharing some of their best and favorite holiday (or anytime) recipes! My contribution: Corset-Busting Cheesecake. Now, this, nobody can mess up!

And… as promised, the 12 Days of Christmas–filled with all sorts of fun questions and giveaways will begin TOMORROW on Facebook.

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This will be for 12 weekdays (Thursday and Friday, then the following two weeks Monday through Friday).

MmmmmMonday ~ Quinoa Patties

It’s Monday again and this week, I’m going to share a recipe that I’ve only made three times: Quinoa patties.

Ingredients:

1/2 C Quinoa (rinsed)
1 C water
1/2 crown of broccoli–chopped
1/2 medium onion–diced
1/4-1/2 C shredded cheese
1/4 C breadcrumbs
1 egg OR 1 flaxseed egg if preferred it works the same
1-3 TBS of olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to package (1 C of water in a frying pan, when bubbling, add Quinoa and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes). Set aside.

2. Sauté the chopped broccoli and diced onion together  (either with olive oil or if you’d rather use less oil, I’ve found that water sautéing works just fine). When onions are translucent take off heat and mix with Quinoa.

3. Add in all other ingredients and mix well.

4. Form into quarter-cup size balls, then flatten into a patty and cook one of two ways. A. Fry each side for 7-9 minutes on the stove top (2 of these patties fit in a standard frying pan), just make sure you put the olive oil down or they might stick; or B. press them onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 for 9-12 minutes, then flip and bake them for another 9-12 minutes. I prefer the cookie sheet (or you can even do something similar on an ungreased griddle if you’d rather). The reason I like the cookie sheet is that not only do I not have to use the oil, but I can only get two of these into a frying pan at a time and if they each need 7-9 minutes on each side, but the time the second batch is done, the first batch is cold. So with the cookie sheet/griddle method they’re all done and the same temperature at the same time.

The above portions make 6 patties and I’ve doubled the recipe with no problems.

I’ve served these as just a patty with corn and potatoes and I’ve served them on buns with lettuce, tomato and onions (like a hamburger). I’m attaching a picture of my latest attempt at them, but I have to warn you, I tried to flip them after only five and a half minutes and messed up their shape. But they still tasted good so that’s what’s important.

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In case you’re wondering what a flaxseed egg is, I’ll quickly do my best to explain it. Take 1 TBS of flaxseeds and stir it into 3TBS of HOT water. It doesn’t have to be boiling water, but warm won’t work quite as well. You’ll need to let your tap run for a few minutes. Then stir it together until the water is dark and there are no clumps of seeds. Then you pour it into your mix. I’ve used a flax egg while baking many things and haven’t noticed a difference. Well, except for scrambled or fried eggs, then it’s not quite the same but for baking and cooking, it’s a very straightforward and healthy alternative.

MmmmmMonday

Okay, before anyone thinks I’m totally off my rocker, it’s been a crazy few weeks so just go with me.

As some of you already know, in the past six months I have transformed into a bonafide health nut. Yes, yes, I have. I think I posted on here last week that I’ve been trying to eat healthier in 2014 and cook up at least one new (healthy) recipe each week.

Then the emails came in with questions about: what do you cook and can you post some vegetarian recipes on your blog. So for the next few Mondays I’m going to try a new feature MmmmmMonday and feature a recipe.

Before I post the first one though, I should mention that I’m a vegetarian. A real vegetarian these days. It used to be that I was what I’d consider myself to be a “modified meat eater”. When I stopped eating meat, I just found replacements: boca burgers, soy bacon/sausage, meal starters, veggie meatballs etc. For years I ate this way, just using a chemical-soy hybrid replacement for meat in my meals. These days, I’m trying to use more actual vegetables! Yay! I’ve also moved down my amount of cheese consumption from just about every meal down to 3 meals per week maximum and as of late, I’ve noticed it’s been more like just one or two.

Tonight we ate (and enjoyed) some cheese. So this one isn’t vegan, but vegetarian and still really healthy.

Mondays are rush days for me. My husband has night school from 5-9 and since we like to eat as a family each night, we’ve had to move dinner up to 4:30. After I pick my kids up at 3:30, I only have an hour to make something. So, I go for quick and easy and the two things I’m about to list are just that.

1. Zucchini Pizzas. 

Ingredients:

1-2 Zucchinis depending on how many you’re feeding
1-Jar of pizza sauce (always, always, always, buy your pizza sauce in a jar and not in a can–if you cannot find pizza sauce, you can make your own with tomato sauce and italian seasoning)
Shredded Cheese (as little or as much as desired)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350
Slice the Zucchini into slices about 1/8-1/4″ thick and lay out on a bare, ungreased baking sheet
Top with a spoonful of sauce onto each, then sprinkle with cheese
Bake for 12-15 minutes

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2. Cream Cheese and Veggie Pizzas

Ingredients:

Pizza crust–pre-made or one of those refrigerated ones OR sandwich thins
Cream Cheese (I used a Greek yogurt type of cream cheese, so it wasn’t the real deal but still tasted great)
Vegetables of your choosing–broccoli, tomatoes, and bell peppers work great
Italian seasoning

Directions:

Cook crust if needed, but don’t make it hard, you really just want to make it firm and warm.
Spread cream cheese on crust (if this was a refrigerated crust dough, you’ll need to put the cream cheese covered crust into the fridge for 30 minutes to make the cream cheese firm again)
Chop up vegetables and spread out on top of crust
Sprinkle on the Italian seasoning

Serve and eat!

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Obviously today I took the easy (lazy) way out, but both of these are great ways to eat some of your favorite foods in a more healthy way so you can be like me and justify it!