Tag Archives: Quinoa

Quinoa, Cinnamon And Chia Seed Bars

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It’s been a lot of years since I have eaten store-bought muesli bars. They have too much sugar for my liking and added preservatives that I just don’t care for. I prefer to make my own.

This simple recipe is adapted from one I wrote for Who Magazine last year.

Oats and quinoa flakes are combined with spices, dried fruit and nuts. It uses rice bran syrup as a natural alternative to highly processed sugar, and chia seeds soaked to a gel to help hold it all together during baking.

 

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Using rice bran syrup makes these quinoa and chia seed bars low Gi, and that’s a good thing! Low GI foods are digested slower, causing a lower rise in blood glucose levels making it a more sustainable energy source, which also keeps you fuller for longer.  Yay! 

For those of you with children who face the weekly ordeal of packing lunch boxes,(I have two of them that like to inspect the contents of their boxes each day), teach them good food doesn’t come from a packet and add these to their weekly routine.

For hikers and bushwalkers, these bars can quickly become a backpack staple, and one you’ll be happy to have near by when hitting those mountains.

And if you are the type of person to have breakfast on the run (not me, I am truly dedicated to this first meal of the day, and cannot leave home with out it) these bars would get you off to a good start.

Get baking!

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Quinoa and chia seed bars 

1 tbsp (Australian standard size: 20ml) black chia seeds

1/2 cup rice bran syrup

1/4 cup rice bran oil, or grape seed oil

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup quinoa flakes 

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups trail mix (dried fruit and nut mix)

Pre heat oven to 175C

Place the chia seeds and 1/4 cup of cold water in  a small bowl, whisk and stand for 10 minutes till chia seeds turn to a thick gel.

Place the rice bran syrup, oil, honey (if using) and spices in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa flakes, rolled oats, shredded coconut and trail mix.

Add the soaked chia seeds to the warm rice bran syrup and whisk to combine. Pour onto the quinoa and oat mixture and stir till well combined.

Line a 30cm shallow baking tray with baking paper. Place the quinoa mixture  into the lined tray and using a spatula press it firmly all over till it’s smooth and level.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tray before cooling on a wire rack.  Once bars have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut bars to desired size. Store in an air tight container for up to one week.

Note: For a vegan version of these bars, leave out the 2 tbsp of honey.

(C) Copy right foodfrommichelleskitchen 2016 –  Quinoa and chia seed bars

 

 

 

 

Quinoa tabbouleh with feta and pomegranate

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This salad was inspired by my yoga teacher,  Linda Apps, who runs the Yoga Nook , a small yoga centre in Dulwich Hill, in the Inner West of Sydney. She follows my blog and every now and then, when not discussing yoga, we talk about food. She asked for a recipe that was yummy, and vegetarian, that she might share with the readers of her monthly newsletter. This salad immediately came to mind because it’s largely plant based and is healthy and delicious. Plus, i’ve been keen to write a recipe that uses pomegranate. Up until a few years ago, I was ignorant of it’s beauty.

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Traditionally tabbouleh is made with cracked wheat also known as bulgur. For a more nutritious salad, I like using quinoa. Any of the coloured varieties can be adapted here – red, white, or black. This salad relies on fresh parsley and mint. If you can snip these straight from the garden or planter box you will be rewarded. If you must buy your parsley and mint, smell it first! When demand out grows my supply of fresh herbs I’ll only buy them when I can smell them. If they have no smell they get left on the shelf. Both parsley and mint act as a digestive aid and this is reason in itself to eat this salad.

Pomegranate truly is one of the prettiest fruits I know. The jewel shaped kernels burst in the mouth with a sweet yet slightly bitter flavour. And the bright red colour is not only attractive to the eye but makes such a decorative garnish. For us Southern hemisphere folk, pomegranate are in season from March to May. Northern hemisphere dwellers will have to keep this salad in mind for September through to February.

You only need a little extra virgin olive oil to dress the quinoa. You can also drizzle this salad with avocado or hazelnut oil.

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A few other simple ideas include serving this salad with grilled salmon – a dear friend of my Mum’s served it this way – It’s a really nice combination and makes a fancy yet simple meal. When served with salmon I prefer to leave the feta out as I tend to stick to the rule of – don’t mix fish and cheese.

I also like to add sliced avocado and eat this salad with a piece of toasted rye bread, or sourdough to the side.

Quinoa tabbouleh – serves 2-3 or 4-6  as a side dish

Ingredients 

1 cup organic quinoa – white, red or black

3/4 cup picked and washed parsley leaves

3/4 cup picked and washed mint leaves

1/2 a pomegranate, seeds removed

1/2 lemon, juiced

Extra virgin olive oil

50g feta, crumbled

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Cook quinoa in plenty of boiling water for about 15 minutes, Drain well and set aside to cool.

Once cool, place cooked quinoa in a medium bowl, add washed mint and parsley leaves, lemon juice, sea salt, cracked black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to combine and either place on a serving platter, or divide between bowls.

Cut the pomegranate in half and gently break the membrane around the pomegranate to release the seeds. Collect them in a small bowl. Sprinkle the salad with plenty of pomegranate seeds and crumble over some feta. If preparing this ahead of time, don’t dress with the lemon juice or extra virgin olive oil till ready to eat.