Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zipzicles - Homemade Ice Pops

Last June was quite a bit warmer than the 46 degree cold fronts we've been experiencing this June and when I saw these Zipzicle bags somewhere on Pinterest, I had to get some and try them out. Ice Pops or Popsicles are the perfect summer treat but they're usually so full of artificial everything that I hate to buy them. These were the perfect opportunity to have the yummy treats, but make sure I knew what was going into them.

 The girls had a great time helping me make them and were so excited to try them out after their hard work. We tried three different flavor combinations: Pinapple; Coconut Key-Lime; and Watermelon. 


For the pineapple, I just made my normal pineapple juice blend and poured it into the bag. Since the sweetness of each fruit is different, the sugar amount and water will vary for each recipe. The trick is to start with a little and add a little at a time, until it's just right for your liking. 

For the watermelon, I made my fresco de sandía (watermelon juice) and at the end, I just added a few chia seeds for the look of tiny watermelon seeds - chia is a super food that can be added to just about anything and is great for hydration, endurance, digestion, omega 3's, etc. 

Finally, I made a coconut key-lime with banana:

Coconut Key Lime:
1 can coconut milk - refrigerated
1/4 c key lime juice
1 banana
agave nectar or sugar to sweeten

Remember, do not over-fill them - there is a fill line on them. Make sure to stick to it so that when they freeze, they don't burst. 

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quinoa Enchilada Bake

This year, I've been trying to eat healthier and find healthy things that my family will eat. This is a recipe that I came across that I thought everyone would fall in love with  . . . I fell in love with it . . . as did my friend Lisa and her family, so it was a success. The next time I make it for my family, I'll leave out the jalapeño--or at least put less in. 

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 yellow or orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups enchilada sauce (red or red/green mix)
2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded

For serving and garnishing:
Corn chips or tostadas
chopped cilantro
green onions
sliced avocados

1) Cook Quinoa
Cook quinoa according to package directions - which are usually to bring water to boil with quinoa. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until  water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Set aside.

2) Saute Veggies
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño. Saute until onions are clear. Add garlic and peppers and saute until fragrant - make sure not to let garlic blacken. Add corn and cook for about 3 minutes. Add lime juice, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.

3) Mix Ingredients
In a large bowl, add the quinoa, rinsed black beans and sauteed veggies. Stir to combine. Pour in enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup of cheese and stir to combine.

4) Bake
Pour ingredients into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven. Let casserole stand for about 10 minutes.

5) Serve
Serve casserole warm with fresh garnishings. I enjoyed it both with tostadas / chips and with avocado and cilantro on top. 

Original recipe found at Two Peas and their Pod.