Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa Rice

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Rice pic

This is one that my kids ask for every week!  I had a hard time getting a picture that does this dish justice, but it is definitely a “go-to” recipe for migraine avoidance in our family.  We love it served by itself or as a side to steak.

Note: I freeze zucchini and yellow squash cubes during the summer when it is plentiful to use through the winter for this dish.  Squash will be soft after freezing, but it works well in this dish.  Our favorite is the yellow squash, but the zucchini just keeps on coming all summer long, so we end up using it more often.

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Rice

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Rice pic

2 sweet potatoes
3 small gold or white potatoes
4 large carrots
1 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed
olive oil
garlic cloves or powder
basil
sea salt
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups broth

  1. Cut all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the vegetables and toss.
  3. Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, and sea salt.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender.  Sometimes, we remove the aluminum foil halfway through the baking cycle if we desire the vegetables to brown.  Check for tenderness with a fork.
  5. Once the vegetables are in the oven, cook the rice and quinoa in the broth in a medium saucepan.  Leave the lid on after it finishes cooking until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve vegetables on top of the quinoa rice.

 

 

Protein Bars

Protein Bars

I’m having a great reduction in the frequency of my migraines since my diet changes, and I’m starting to add some of the foods back in.  The first I’m trying is almonds (but no other nuts).  I actually have seen conflicting information regarding almonds.  Nuts are considered migraine triggers, but almonds are sometimes recommended to migraine sufferers because of the magnesium in them.  I’m not having trouble eating them in moderate amounts, so I’m exploring recipes.  Here is one of my favorites.

I am overjoyed to be able to make protein bars like these.  Our other migraineur is still not able to eat any nuts, but she is able to eat Sunbutter.  So, we still make these for her, but just do the replacement.  Adding small amounts of almond butter into my diet has opened up many recipe options.  For me, it is totally worth giving up so many other foods so that I am able to reintroduce this migraine trigger without pain:)

The original inspiration for this recipe didn’t include any other migraine triggers, but we did make some changes that suit our family better.  As noted earlier, too much chia just doesn’t work well with my “insides”.  The addition of hemp hearts boosts the nutritional value as outlined here.  So, we worked with hemp hearts, chia, and flax to get a better combination for us.  Finally, we included the option of using Sunbutter in the same amount as almond butter to suit individual needs.

Now, we have a great travel option that can be stored at room temperature for short time periods, frozen, or refrigerated:)

Protein Bars

Protein Bars1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup milled flax seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped (about 50 almonds)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup almond butter (or Sunbutter)

  1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  2. In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine honey, brown rice syrup, and almond butter (or Sunbutter).  Microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly mix.
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined 8 x 8 baking dish.  Press into an even layer with fingers.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. Cut into 8 or 16 bars as desired.
  8. Cut parchment used for baking into pieces to wrap around each bar and refrigerate or freeze.

 

 

 

Spicy Chicken with Mango Salad and Coconut Rice

Spicy Chicken with Mango and Rice

I have a new favorite dish!  I found this one here and modified it to remove migraine triggers.  I also turned down the heat so that each family member would be satisfied.  Anyone wanting more spice can simply add more cayenne pepper to the chicken.  My favorite part of the recipe is how all three parts work together like it is all one dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)

Spicy Chicken with Mango Salad and Coconut Rice

Spicy Chicken with Mango and Rice

Marinade
2 chicken breasts|
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more as desired)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garam masala
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Rice
1 cup brown or wild rice
2 cups coconut milk
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Salad
1 large mango, peeled and chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup corn|
¼ tsp. cilantro
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

  1. Combine salad ingredients and cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over thawed chicken breasts in a glass baking dish.  Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.
  3. Bake chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (about 1 hour).
  4. Cook rice and coconut in the coconut milk until liquid has been absorbed (30 to 45 minutes).

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Quinoa Patties

It’s that time of year when zucchini is plentiful, and I have several recipes to share which will use it all.  This first one is a twist on a traditional recipe.  The twist is that quinoa is included to add a protein boost.  This recipe is best with fresh zucchini, but the others are great with fresh or frozen zucchini.  I will explain how I freeze it with the next zucchini post.

The original inspiration for these patties included several migraine triggers which I have removed/replaced.  We like these patties best when served as a side dish.

UPDATE:  When I posted this on Friday, I included the wrong amounts for the quinoa and water.  It is now correct.  I hope this didn’t create a problem for anyone trying the recipe!

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Quinoa Patties

1/4c. quinoa, rinsed
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. grated zucchini
1/4 c. rice flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1/8 t. garlic powder
black pepper
2 to 4 Tbsp. coconut oil

  1. Cook quinoa in the water.
  2. Squeeze the zucchini to remove excess water.
  3. Stir all ingredients (except for the coconut oil) together in a bowl.
  4. Mold a spoonful of mix into a ball and flatten into a patty.
  5. Fry in a skillet with heated coconut oil until each side is browned.  I use 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil at a time and add as necessary.
  6. Serve warm.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 1I really wanted to post this week, but I have been struggling to get through and recover from a migraine.  July 4th was definitely not the day to have a migraine in the United States.  However,  that was the day that a storm moved through.  Explosions were going off in my head as they went off throughout the city.  The storm didn’t slow down the fireworks, but it slowed me down!

This post was almost ready to go, but I had hoped to get a better picture before publishing it.  So, please forgive the picture and trust that this is a good one.  My whole family enjoys it.

I used to love making a dish similar to this with loads of Parmesan cheese.  My cravings for cheese are actually starting to diminish since I haven’t been able to eat it for several months now.  However, I wasn’t initially sure about how to modify my original recipe to replace the flavor of Parmesan.  It really didn’t end up being that hard to simply substitute some other tasty herbs and add a little salt to create a dish that is just as good as the original.  I hope you enjoy it:)

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 1

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

  1. In a small bowl, stir olive oil and spices together.
  2. Add spinach and red bell pepper and stir.
  3. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create pockets.
  4. Place spice and vegetable mix in the pockets and place breasts in a baking dish.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until no pink remains.
  6. Slice and serve warm.

Ginger Chicken with Carrot Noodles and Broccoli

Ginger Chicken with Spiralized Carrots and Broccoli

I am learning to embrace new herbs and spices since I can no longer add onions for flavoring.  It does seem that so many recipes include onions, but they don’t have to.  I have found that garlic fills much of this gap.  However, I don’t want garlic to be the primary flavor in everything.  So, I am learning to cook more with other spices such as ginger.  The last time that I had leftover Honey Mustard Salad Dressing, I wondered what it would taste like baked on chicken.  The flavor that seemed to be missing in my first try was what I sense when I smell ginger, so I tried it!

Ginger is reported to have benefits for migraineurs.  I have no idea if it is playing a role in my reduced pain or not, but it isn’t hurting either.  I had not used it much previously except as an ingredient in gingerbread cookies.  Initially, I started adding 1/4 tsp. to a glass of water 2 times a day.  Since then, I have also ventured into an increased use of it in other recipes, including this one.  I recognize that it may appear as if there is too much ginger called for in this recipe.  However, I have tried 1/2 to 3 teaspoons as I have worked out this recipe.  Since the chicken is turned over part way through the baking time, the sauce acts like a marinade.  In the end, the amount of ginger included in the recipe is just right to flavor the dish without an overwhelming ginger taste.  It is so good, that we even take the juices at the bottom of the pan and ladle them over the carrots!

Note that I did end up adding garlic to the dish, but ginger is the primary flavor.  The diced garlic scapes that are included in the picture and as an optional ingredient in the recipe do work nicely with this dish, but are primarily included for visual appeal.  I also have fun using scapes since I grow garlic in my garden.  I cannot find the scapes in a grocery store, so it is a treat to have them as my garlic grows.  If you are interested in having me post about how to grow garlic (and the scapes), please comment below and I will work on a post as this year’s garden develops.

Garlic Scape

Garlic Scape

Ginger Chicken with Carrot Noodles and Broccoli

Ginger Chicken with Spiralized Carrots and Broccoli

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 large carrots, spiralized
1 bunch broccoli florets
garlic scapes, diced (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, stir the mustard, honey, olive oil, ginger, and garlic powder together.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish, and pour the sauce over each.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until no pink remains.  Turn the breasts over at least once during the baking time to allow spices to bake into the chicken evenly.  Turning will also prevent a crust from forming.
  4. Serve over spiralized carrots with broccoli florets.
  5. Spoon remaining baking juices over the carrots.

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets 2

This recipe is great for a supper meal, but I have also found it to be particularly helpful at lunch.  If I don’t eat more than a salad at lunch, I start getting that “migraine coming on” feeling mid-afternoon.  I make a double batch for supper and freeze the leftovers to be warmed for lunches throughout the week.  The original inspiration for this recipe included several migraine triggers and a dipping sauce.  I’ve replaced the trigger ingredients and think these nuggets are great without a dipping sauce.  I frequently serve them with roasted cauliflower and steamed beets.

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets 2

1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup rice flour
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 pound ground chicken
1 “egg” (1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G powder & 2 Tbsp. water)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
coconut oil

  1. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup coconut.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/3 cup rice flour, Ener-G egg, and spices.
  3. Form desired nugget-sized patties and roll in flour/coconut blend.
  4. Fry in coconut oil in a hot skillet.  I keep the amount of coconut oil to 1 or 2 tablespoons, but you could use more if desired.
  5. Optional step – When fully cooked, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes for a crispier crust.  Update on 8/15/17 – We have found that this step tends to dry out the nuggets.  We microwave instead if necessary.