Two Colors Quinoa Pie

slice of two colors quinoa pie
Yes, it is one of my favorites – quinoa. So many things are written about quinoa: that is very good for you (“superfood”), that it is a very good source for protein, fiber and iron – but enough with health talks – it is simply tasty.
I use quinoa in its simple form (cooked with water like rice), to stuff vegetables, in meatballs, in salads…but this time I made a pie out of it.
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Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans Salad

tomato and galbanzo beans sideThe most flavorful dishes are usually also the simplest.
A couple of months ago we visited Jaleo in Las Vegas, a great Spanish tapas restaurant. Of course we had 5-6 different plates on the table, but one dish was so different in its simplicity, I had to try it at home. It is a combination of two basic ingredients like Garbanzo beans and tomatoes in a way I have never tasted before. All you need is a grater, a few tomatoes and a can of garbanzo beans to make this salad/starter. Try not to skip the smoked paprika – the smoky flavor with the fresh tangy taste of the tomatoes creates a perfect combination. Try it!
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Pan Seared Tilapia With Red Peppers Sauce

pan seared Tilapia with red peppers sauce
It’s been a while! I guess sometimes you need to miss your hobbies… Well, it’s not that I didn’t cook for so long but just that I didn’t find the time to write about it (I tried to keep you posted on the Facebook page though). Anyway – my apologies!
So what is the best way to get back to business? Let the produce lead the way. This year we planted about 5-6 different types of peppers: Cayenne, Thai, red Jalapeño, Cherry and I’m pretty sure there was one more that I can’t remember. Once harvested (and forgotten on the counter top for a week or so) there was a beautiful pile of daring red peppers that waited to be treated, and the result was seared Tilapia with amazing velvety red pepper sauce. Let’s go to work:

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Grilled Turkey Burgers

Grilled turkey burgers

Now that we are done with the finger food (the wings), it’s time to make some burgers. Whenever I’m having turkey rather than red meat, it makes me feel good about myself. The thing is that turkey can be boring and when you use the turkey breast it might get dry quickly since it’s very lean. So, lets spice it up! Some Thai hot peppers, cilantro and peanut butter will do wonders for the moistness of our burgers. Let’s start!
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Grilled BBQ Chicken Wings

bbq chicken wings

Apparently, Independence Day BBQs are a global phenomenon. In the US, everywhere you look recently you get some kind of a commercial for BBQ-related products. This is a good enough reason to remind myself that the object in our backyard that is covered most of the year is actually a grill that begs to be used. I didn’t need more than that to think all week about what I’m going to grill this weekend, and eventually the decision was made. The first dish I grilled was chicken wings with awesome homemade sweet-ginger BBQ sauce which, when grilled, get caramelized beautifully, almost causing the wings to taste like chicken lollypops. The second dish was spicy turkey burgers that came out moist and unbelievably tasty (will be posted in the next post). Let’s start!
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Turkey Squash Moussaka

Turkey Moussaka

The traditional Moussaka includes layers of fried eggplant, ground beef and tomatoes sauce. If you follow the standard recipe you would also include béchamel sauce on top of everything. I switched the beef with lean turkey meat, baked the eggplants instead of frying, and mixed the tomato sauce with butternut squash to get the creamy effect instead of the rich béchamel. The result is layers of goodness with amazing flavors that you cannot stop eating, but much healthier and lower carb than the original. Enjoy a healthy dish with a touch of Greece (or turkey, depends who you ask).
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Healthy Homemade Crackers

Helathy Cracker
I have learned that the best way to control what you put in your body is to make your own food rather than buy the processed products. So I make my own burgers, salad dressing, hummus – basically everything I can I make from scratch, I adjust the recipe to my taste and it’s always healthier. Crackers are one of those foods I simply got used to buying and not even think of making. Recently I came across some very good recipes that suggest the home version of crackers and I kid you not – it’s the easiest thing ever and tastes so much better. These crackers are full of healthy ingredients and have many substitution options. Try it! You won’t buy crackers any more, I can promise you that.

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Mexican Food Tour In San Jose

torta
This weekend we went with our friends Pari and Moshik to visit great Mexican food places they like in San Jose. They kept telling us that Mexican food in San Jose is different than what we are familiar with and that we need to join them for a true Mexican tour and enjoy the places they love. Today we took them up on their offer and Moshik planned for us a tour in what he calls “Little Mexico” in San Jose. It was a day before Cinco de Mayo, so the streets were full of flags and people getting ready for the big day. Mexican food in California is very popular, but the places we visited really gave Mexican food a different meaning. Everything was very authentic, fresh, not industrial and more than anything – tasty like we expected, even more.
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Grilled Chicken Rolls

Grilled Chicken Rolls
Even if you are an excellent cook, you cannot stay indifferent to this gorgeous dish. This recipe might fool you to think it’s very time consuming, but it really isn’t. These beautiful rolls are a Vietnamese dish, which together with a vermicelli sauce make a perfect low calories lunch or dinner.
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Cauliflower Dough Pizza

cauliflower pizza from top
Pizza is my favorite food. But like most of the good things in life, it comes with a price significant price tag…the calories! Most of the calories are attributed to the dough and the cheese of course. So a quick calculation tells me that if I want to get healthy and drop a few extra pounds (well, summer is here soon), I have to give up pizza for the near future. Well, do I?
A few days ago, when I was killing time on Pintrest (isn’t that what everybody does on Pintrest?) I noticed a version of this genius recipe – pizza with cauliflower crust. Well, allow me to present the flourless pizza crust, the dream of every pizza lover who cares about calories and cant give up pizza. With some modifications on the recipe (it’s improvising food after all,) I gave it a first try last week, and I’m telling you – it was awesome! When we ate it, we agreed that is definitely fulfills the craving to pizza, real pizza, but it’s only about 30% of the calories. Worth a try?

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Stuffed Kale With Quinoa, Pistachios And Mushrooms

Stuffed Kale With Quinoa, Pistachios And Mushrooms

How many times did you hear someone tell you “try it, it’s healthy! It’s good for you!”? I bet you heard it a thousand times. And then you challenge yourself and give it try and…most of the times you regret you did. There is a reason it’s healthy, you say to yourself…
To me it happened with kale. First time I tried it, the kale was raw in a salad with feta cheese. The kale was fibrous and had a strong leafy flavor. But since its “good for you”, I decided to take control on the flavor and came up with this great and healthy recipe that is both good for you AND tastes great.
Kale is a kind of wild cabbage that comes in different shapes of leaves (curly, purple, narrow and long). So if it tastes like a cabbage and looks like a cabbage, why not treat it like a cabbage and create a stuffed cabbage-like recipe, using Kale? Guys and gals, once you tried this version of kale, you will add this to your recipes book.
What’s good about this dish: it tastes great (seriously, we loved it), very healthy due to the ingredients, and it’s vegetarian. The down side is it takes some time for the preparations, but it’s very much worth it. Ready?
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Spring In Our Backyard

cuccumber and squash

Spring is here! I took a few pictures in our backyard, to capture some of the of the fruite and veggies we planted recently (to be honest, im not responsible for planting and growing, but more on the culinary side of things).
Its really amazing to see the old plants “wake up” as it becomes warmer and start to bloom…
Btw, Needless to say everything is organic. take a look.
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Black Rice Mushroom Risotto

Risotto from the top

Rice is one of these ingredients you can cook in so many variations.
My favorite type of rice is the black rice. It is less popular than this white brother, although these days you can find it in almost any store. This is my second post with black rice; the first one was the black rice salad. Back to the dish – Risotto is the upscale version of rice that requires some TLC to get to perfection. Black rice risotto tops a regular risotto by refreshing the dish with unique flavor and color added by the black rice. Do not skip the mushrooms!
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About Me

Welcome to my blog! My name is Mark, I was born in Israel, and currently live and work in California. Cooking by following recipes can be tedious and boring and you don’t always have all the ingredients at home. I believe that cooking is not rocket science, it's creative and Intriguing. In my blog you can always find improvising options for those ingredients you don't have or don't like. Ideas? questions? suggestions? I would love to hear them: [email protected]
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