Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mexican Quinoa & homemade garlic bread.

What to do for dinner? The holidays are over & I have yet to get to the store to restock. Being it's so cold here & almost all of our smoke alarms malfunctioned during the night, I knew grocery shopping wasn't going to happen today. I'm also currently in the mindset, I ain't wasting nothin'. I'm about saving money this year, not tossing it in the trash. Which, unfortunately, sometimes I did in the past.

I knew I had 2 lbs. of hamburger meat. I knew I had a box of Quinoa, which I plan on incorporating into a lot more of our meals. Quinoa is so healthy! Do some googling. I had some onions that my husband had cut up a few nights ago, & I had some celery stalks that had gotten lost amongst frig items. Using those 4 ingredients, I sat down & googled. And found this recipe.

I dug in the pantry & found a can of diced tomatoes (that's luck - I don't buy them - my husband must have). When reading the recipe, I also read the comments. Some noted the recipe was good, but bland, & that they added taco seasoning. Great! But I didn't have any taco seasoning. I was searching for a homemade recipe, when one of my Shaklee partners led me to this recipe. Fortunately, I had all the ingredients! But one. I made it anyway! I was very leery about homemade taco seasoning but I have to say - it tasted great! Will use it from now on.

Here are the ingredients I used for my Mexican Quonia:

2 lbs. ground beef.
chopped onion - I didn't have as much as I would have liked - probably 1 cup or less.
chopped celery - I didn't measure - just chopped some up & tossed it in. I'll include this every time - added a nice crunch.
(I browned the meat with the onion & celery, & also threw on some dried onions & garlic salt. Why not?)
1 can diced tomatoes - could have used 2 cans, but we aren't huge cooked tomato fans - so one was ample for us.
2 cups uncooked Quinoa (rinse it first, which I did).
1.5 cups water.
Taco seasoning - I didn't measure, but probably used about 2.5 tablespoons - next time I'll use just a tad less. It had a yummy kick!
Cooked uncovered, stirring frequently, until the Quinoa is done.

Topped with just a tiny bit of sharp shredded cheese (I shred my own now - no more preshredded!)

Recipe makes a ton & is very filling. Fed 5 (my youngest did not like it - no surprise there - other 3 kids loved it!) & have a lot left over. Next time, & there will be a next time, I'll add corn & beans & will probably top with a bit of sour cream. Really, you can change this recipe up any way you want. My husband thinks it would be great in a taco shell.

I decided to make some garlic bread to go with it. This is my sister's-in-law recipe that I've used for years. Sometimes I cheat & buy the frozen, but most of the time, I make this.

Generous amount of butter (real butter!).
Light sprinkle of garlic salt (don't do too much!)
Top with parmesan.
350 degrees, top rack, for about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

So good! I forgot to add a veggie with dinner. I'm a tad tired due to last night. We'll blame it on that. I did attempt grapes, but they didn't look too good. They, too, had gotten lost in the frig. So I tossed those. No one seemed to mind.

I better get to the store tomorrow.

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