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.

 

 

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.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup light

I used to only have 3 soup recipes.  This new adventure of figuring out what to eat on a migraine diet has opened my eyes to so many more options.  My sister-in-law sent the original idea for this soup to me, but I have made several changes to accommodate our dietary needs.  We love this served as a side dish with chicken recipes.

The garlic scape that I have used for garnish in the picture is a delightful replacement for onions or mushrooms.  The difficulty is finding scapes, which are the stalks for the flower buds of the garlic plant (see one of mine here).  They are usually removed from a garlic plant to allow the bulbs to grow larger.  However, I usually let a few scapes grow so that the flowering buds develop for planting the next year.  I used to compost the others, but have recently begun using them in dishes such as this one.  This year, my plan is to freeze them for use all year long.  If garlic growing is something you would like me to include in a future post, please comment below.

Note that this recipe fits nicely in a blender.  However, if you want to make a larger batch using the entire cauliflower head, you could use a stick blender right in the stockpot.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup light

1/2 of a large cauliflower head (or 1 very small head), chopped
1 medium white or yellow potato, peeled and diced
2 cups broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash cumin
diced and sauteed garlic scapes for garnish (optional)

  1. Place the cauliflower, potato, and broth in a small stockpot and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Place vegetables, broth, and spices (except garlic scapes) into a blender and blend until creamy.
  3. Serve warm as a side dish with sauteed garlic scapes for garnish as desired.

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola

Ever since I stopped eating cheese, I have found that I can snack more without worrying about weight gain.  YEAH!  Don’t we all dream of this?  The only problem has been figuring out what I can snack on that doesn’t trigger my migraines.

Although we are still working on recipes, my daughter and I have worked out several options including quinoa crackers, kale chips, and quinoa bread.  These are all great, but this granola is one of my primary go-to options (every day:)).  The original inspiration for this recipe was a bar using most of the same ingredients.  However, we needed to take out migraine triggers, and we were interested in granola rather than a bar.  It’s a good thing that my daughter enjoys cooking; we love this so much that she makes it several times a week!

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Craisins (if tolerated – cause migraines in some)
1/3 cup brown sugar

  1. Blend pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice blend, and brown sugar.
  2. Add oats and stir with a spoon to coat evenly.
  3. Add CranRaisins and toss.
  4. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and press firmly.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and stir, leaving chunks.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then stir.
  8. Repeat step 7 one more time.
  9. Turn off the oven and place the baking sheet into the cooling oven to dehydrate the granola to a crunchy texture.  This will take 15 to 30 minutes during which an additional stir may be required to prevent the granola from burning.

Quinoa Bread

Quinoa Bread Slices

Per my doctor’s recommendation, I eliminated wheat from my diet several years ago in an attempt to reduce my overall body pain.  This definitely helped, so I have not reintroduced wheat or other grains that include gluten.  However, I have missed bread.  Since I have more recently eliminated so many other foods, I have been looking for something to eat!

My daughter found this recipe which has given me a tasty bread option:)  We like it so much that we make it every day or two.  Obviously, we eat quite a bit of it.  In fact, because of the volume we eat, we have had to eliminate the chia from our recipe because it introduces….well….too much fiber.  Evidently, chia can absorb up to 27 times its volume in water – enough said.  The recipe is great with or without the chia though, so I have included it as an optional ingredient.  I use distilled white vinegar instead of the lemon juice to eliminate this migraine trigger.  There is no vinegar taste to the bread; the small amount of vinegar is necessary to activate the baking soda.

Quinoa Bread

The final change I have made is to bake the bread as 3 mini loaves rather than 1 full-size loaf.  Since this bread is rather dense, a full-sized loaf ends up being flat for us.  We prefer having small but square-ish pieces rather than long rectangular pieces.  This is just a matter of personal preference, so I have included baking times for each version.

We like this bread warm or toasted in a skillet.  Since the pieces are small, it is difficult, but possible, to toast them in a vertical toaster.

Links to some of the ingredients that we use are included, but please contact companies to confirm for yourself that they will meet your food allergy needs.

Quinoa Bread

Quinoa Bread Slices

1 3/4 cups quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water (if needed for batter consistency)

  1. Place the quinoa in a bowl and cover with water and a lid.  Soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In the morning, drain and rinse the quinoa.
  3. Place the quinoa, olive oil, sea salt, baking soda, and vinegar in a food processor and blend until a batter forms.  If you need to add water to get the batter to form, do so gradually up to 1/2 cup.  Due to the size of our food processor, we do this step in 1/2 batches and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Blend for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Spoon into 3 small (or 1 large) loaf pans lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes (45 minutes for the large pan) at 350 degrees.
  7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
  8. We like this bread warm or toasted in a skillet.  Since the pieces are small, it is difficult, but possible, to toast them in a vertical toaster.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Rice and Quinoa

DSCF5438

I had never heard of cauliflower rice until my daughter brought it to my attention.  I admit that I was a bit skeptical about the concept.  I figured that pulverized cauliflower would just end up being a mushy mess, and I didn’t want to waste the cauliflower.  How wrong I was!  This is definitely a time that thinking outside my box paid off.

Our family has loved this recipe from the first time I made it.  I have included quinoa as an ingredient to add a complete protein.  The hardest part was figuring out what to do for soy sauce due to the migraine triggers and allergens present in commercially available products.  However, this recipe provided inspiration.  Without the balsamic vinegar, it works wonderfully in this stir-fry, and I hope to try it in other recipes soon.

Note that any broth can be used, but I use this one, because the ingredient list doesn’t currently contain peanuts, cashews, or any chemical additives like MSG. Please note that it does contain onions, but our family has not noted headaches following use of it.  It currently meets our food allergy needs, but please contact the company to confirm for yourself that it will meet your food allergy needs.

Soy Sauce


1 cup broth
2 tsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper

Stir all ingredients together and heat in a saucepan.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Rice and Quinoa


DSCF54381/2 cup white quinoa, uncooked
1 cup water
1/2 head cauliflower
1 to 2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup corn
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup soy sauce

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and cook in water.  Set aside.
  2. Remove cauliflower florets from “trunks” and cut into 1 inch chunks.
  3. Process in a food processor until rice-sized.
  4. In a medium skillet, saute carrots and garlic in olive oil.
  5. Add corn and warm.
  6. Add cauliflower rice and and quinoa and cook covered for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add soy sauce and cook another 2 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.

 

Flax and Quinoa Crackers

DSCF5165

I used to snack on almonds, cheese, and grapes.  They taste great alone or all together, but I have accepted that, for me, this treat is no more.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other tasty snacks though – I just have to figure out what they are!

When I first cut out so many foods, I found myself snacking primarily on carrots.  Then, I found sunflower seeds.  I thought I had truly found the answer to my snacking needs. Sunflower seeds were crunchy and transportable, didn’t require any preparation time, provided me with protein to keep me going, and tasted yummy.  I even found Sunbutter which I used as a replacement for almond butter in many recipes since it met my food-allergic child’s needs.  I found that I was snacking on some form of sunflower seeds much of the time until another migraine came.  Although I thought this one was due to an abundance of fragrance present in the air at a department store during a shopping trip, I stepped back to consider what I had eaten as well.  I had been loyal to my changed diet, so I didn’t think this was the issue.  However, a low-grade headache lingered for awhile, so I tried to figure out what had changed to cause the pain.  The only thing I could figure out was the drastic increase in my consumption of sunflower seeds.  I had never bothered to research whether these contained a significant level of tyramine or not.  Now, I know, and I want you to know too – they do.

Initially, I felt discouraged, but hunger and the desire to avoid pain prompted my search for something else.  I found several recipes for quinoa snacks, and it doesn’t appear that quinoa has high levels of tyramine.  However, the information I could find was minimal.  I decided to give it a try, and I have not had migraines after eating quinoa despite eating larger portions during my trial.  I sometimes still eat small portions of almonds or sunflower seeds, but I limit myself to the amount that seems to work for me.  With all of the other foods I have cut out, I can tolerate occasional small portions of some foods that I still really want to eat.

DSCF8311One really awesome snack recipe that I use is for quinoa crackers.  I don’t know why this happens, but these crackers end up tasting buttery even though there isn’t a dairy product in them.  I have thoughts of buttered popcorn as I snack.  The only change I have had to make to this recipe is to add an additional 2 tablespoons of water to form the dough ball.  I mill my own quinoa flour because I have been unable to find a product that is not cross-contaminated with peanuts and cashews.  After all, a food allergy requires complete elimination, while a food intolerance that causes migraines may or may not.

Another great option for quinoa crackers (shown below) was originally inspired from Wendy Polisi’s recipe.   I replaced some of the ingredients with others that would be less likely to trigger my migraines, and I changed the baking procedure slightly.  Eaten alone or with a salad, these crackers are a treat!  And…..they smell like pizza while they are baking due to the use of garlic and thyme:)  I haven’t figured out what to do about pizza on this diet, so I appreciate this sensation greatly.

Quinoa Crackers

1 cup milled flaxDSCF5165
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1 tsp. thyme (optional)
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 identical baking sheets with sides

  1. In a bowl, mix flax, water, salt, garlic powder, and thyme.
  2. Add olive oil and cooked quinoa and blend well.
  3. Place the dough on a large parchment-lined baking sheet with sides.
  4. With fingertips, flatten the dough to the edges of the pan.
  5. Slide the dough and parchment off the pan onto the counter.  Cover with plastic wrap and gently even out the dough thickness with a rolling pin.
  6. Slide the dough and parchment back onto the baking sheet and carefully remove the plastic wrap.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the parchment paper easily pulls away and the dough is cooked but not crisp.
  8. Place the remaining baking sheet upside down on top of the sheet with the dough.
  9. Holding both sheets together with hot pads, flip the pans over so that the dough transfers to the colder sheet.
  10. Carefully remove the parchment.  Use a knife or spatula to ease the dough off of the parchment if necessary.
  11. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into cracker-sized pieces.
  12. Bake for an additional 40 minutes until the crackers are crispy but not burned.  Depending on your oven, more or less baking time may be required at this point.  However, it is easy to overbake these crackers resulting in a slight burn-like taste.
  13. If the crackers lose their crispness during storage, reheat in a toaster or oven until crispy.  If you have a dehydrator, you could dry at 110 degrees for an hour or two.