Take Back the Kitchen: Red Quinoa Salad with Corn & Vidalia Onions

IMG_0192.JPGIn the summer, I love making use of fresh, local corn but I have recently become obsessed with using corn nuts in all my dishes for an extra crunch. As always, I have added in seeds and dried fruit for extra flavor. Make a big batch and enjoy for a few meals!
Red Quinoa Salad with Corn and Vidalia Onions
2 1/2-3 cups cooked red quinoa (or regular quinoa but the red is so pretty!)
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onions or any other onions you have around that are preferably mild
1 tsp smoked salt or Kosher salt
1 cup fresh or frozen, defrosted corn
1/2 cup crunchy corn nuts
Dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
ground black pepper to taste
Steps:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine.
Whisk dressing until combined and pour on to salad. Stir until all of the quinoa and add-ins are coated.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider: Healthy Raw Cocoa Balls

IMG_1385.JPGWant a healthy treat that is also a crafty project for you and your kids? I made these yesterday when I was starving but wanted to remain healthy. They only took about 5 minutes to make. Try freezing them as well!
1/2 cup raw oats
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds (optional but adds a nice crunch)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 ripe banana
2/3 cup cashew butter (or almond butter or peanut butter)
Pinch kosher salt
Steps:
Mush all the ingredients together and roll into balls with 1 tsp of batter for each ball.
If the balls are too runny, add a bit more of the oats.
Makes 12-15 balls
For more great recipes, visit Alma at Take Back the Kitchen

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Easy Green Bean Coconut Curry

soup.JPG We are in the throes of a frigid winter and what is more comforting than a nice steamy, bowl of soup? Better yet, a nice steamy bowl of Thai curry soup? Here’s a simple recipe to use up your already cooked butternut squash. Freeze the leftovers for a nice treat later this winter as well. Enjoy!
Easy Green Bean Coconut Curry:
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 can water (about 8 oz.)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1 ” pieces
2 cups cooked butternut squash, cubed
2 tbsp honey
1/2 -1 tbsp red curry paste (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
Steps:
In a soup pot, add the coconut milk, the water and the curry paste, starting with only 1/2 tbsp (you can add more if you want it spicier later).
Stir until all ingredients are well combined and boil until the sauce reduces a bit and is thickened to your liking, about 15 minutes.
Add in the fish sauce, the honey and stir.
Add in the green beans and cook until tender, about 10 more minutes.
Add in the squash so it is heated through, about 5 minutes but not much more so that it doesn’t become too mushy.
Remove from heat, adjust sweetness and spiciness and serve over rice, quinoa or by itself.
Top with the chopped cilantro.
For more great recipes please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Tahini Salad Dressing

I’ve been doing a lot of food shopping in Paterson, NJ lately because of their wonderful Middle Eastern stores. One of my favorite reasonably priced items to get there is tahini. I stocked up on it and have been making loads of hummus, tahini cookies and the following salad dressing that I replicated from memory, as best I could, from my friend’s dressing at our book club years ago. I hope you like it!
Tahini Salad Dressing:
1/3 cup tahini sauce
1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 tsp maple syrup, agave or honey
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 pinches Kosher salt
Steps:
In a blender or with a fork, mix all the ingredients until fully combined and refrigerate.
Serve with vegetables, rice, falafel or anything you like!

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Healthy Truffles

date and hazelnut truffles.jpg I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different ways to make healthy desserts for myself and my kids and I must say that this one really satisfies. The cocoa powder gives it the essence of a chocolate truffle without all the sugar. Enjoy!

Healthy Truffles:

2 cups dried figs
2 cups roasted, salted cashews
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Steps:
Pulse all the ingredients together except for the cocoa powder and press into an 8″x8″ pyrex dish lined with parchment paper or roll into balls.
Slice into 10 bars or roll into about 40 balls.
Roll the balls in the cocoa powder or sprinkle cocoa powder over the bars.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
For more great recipes, please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Mung Beans and Brown Rice

mung beans and brown rice.jpg It’s the start of a new year so why not make it a healthy one from day one? I whipped this dish up pretty quickly and ate it for lunch for a few days. I used leftover brown rice that I always have prepared in my rice cooker. Treat yourself to a rice cooker in 2015. It will change your life!
Alma’s Mung Beans and Brown Rice:
1 cup dried, sprouted mung beans (can get at Whole Foods and other health food stores)
2 1/2 – 3 cups already cooked brown rice
1 tbsp butter or olive oil, coconut oil or any other healthy oil you like
2 tsp curry powder (more to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
Steps:
In a large pot, add the sprouted mung beans and cover with about 1 inch of water.
Boil until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in cooked rice, butter or oil, curry powder, pepper and salt.
Stir over low flame for about 5 minutes until rice is heated through.
Serve and top with chopped cashews and cilantro.
For more great recipes, please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Chick Pea Salad For a Crowd

chick pea salad with cilantro and burberries.jpg A few weeks ago I had to make a dish for a large pot luck dinner I was attending. I had nothing prepared but remembered my giant can of chick peas. Costco has a huge can that I keep in my basement in case of emergencies and I am so glad I remembered it! With a little browsing through my pantry and fridge, I came up with this very simple and healthy dish that was a hit. I hope you like it!
Chick Pea Salad For a Crowd:
Ingredients:

1 110 oz. can chick peas, about 13 cups
4 cups cilantro, loosely packed, washed and chopped finely
4 cups kale, chopped and sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil until wilted
3 oz. dried barberries, soaked for 15 minutes and drained or 1 cup dried currants (can get Barberries in Middle Eastern stores)
2 cups shallots, minced and sautéed in 1 1/2 tbsp butter until wilted
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Steps:
Combine all the above ingredients and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour before serving at room temperature.
For more great recipes, please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts

BrusSprout.JPG Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that can be oh, so bad or oh, so very good. For example, the boiled or steamed, mushy version of my childhood, not so good. These buttery, mustardy roasted ones? Delicious!! Try to find cute, little ones for this recipe if you can. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts:
1 lb small brussels sprouts, washed trimmed and cut in half
drizzle of olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp grass fed butter
1 tbs organic Dijon mustard
1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
salt to taste
Steps:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Take prepped and dried sprouts and lay them on the paper.
Drizzle the oil all over them and then toss them with your hands to evenly coat in the oil.
Place in the oven on the top third rack.
Meanwhile, melt butter and whisk in the mustard until it is completely emulsified and set aside.
Remove sprouts after about 25 minutes or when they are all getting crispy and brown.
Drizzle the butter/mustard sauce over them, toss to coat and top with the toasted hazelnuts.
Salt and serve immediately.
For more great recipes, please visit: takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Savory Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

pancakes.JPG Need to take a break from holiday food madness? Try these simple yet healthy and delicious pancakes that can be served for breakfast or as a bread with soup or Indian Dahl. Feel free to add or omit any spice to give them the flavor of any regional cuisine. Enjoy!

Savory Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes:

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup almond flour
7 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter, divided, for frying
Steps:

Combine all the ingredients up until the butter in a blender.
Heat up a large non stick pan or a griddle with a tsp of butter spread all around.
When the butter is hot (should sizzle when a drop of water hits it), pour out 3 inch pancakes.
Fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown on each side.
Fry the rest of the pancakes using more butter as needed so the pancakes don’t stick.
For more great recipes please visit takebackthekitchen.com

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Chipotle Cole Slaw

slaw.JPG As crazy as this sounds, I am thinking of replacing cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving with my new cole slaw. Who needs all that added sugar? This tasty slaw will add some moistness to the turkey and give it a little kick. Who’s with me? It’s also a great way to use up that never ending cabbage that is always staring back at you from the fridge.
Chipotle Cole Slaw:
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
juice of 1/2 lime
1 inch or more of shredded carrot
Steps:
Combine all the above, stir until fully combined and chill before serving.
For more great recipes, please visit takebackthekitchen.com