Quinoa Salad

My daughter is a vegan, so I need to have creative and tasty recipes for her.  I have written about our efforts to eat meatless on Mondays, so often times I cook those vegan recipes, even when she is away at school.

One of our favorite recipes is Quinoa Salad with Black Beans.  This is something I came up with after Hannah told me about a salad she had that she really liked.  She told me what was in it, so I tried to replicate it and somehow I created something delicious.

quinoa ing


Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 14 oz can black beans

1 cup corn

2 avocados

1 tomato ( you can use more if you prefer)

1 tbsp cilantro (I normally use fresh, but did not have any tonight)

2 limes

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Boil the quinoa in the water.  Bring to a boil, when it starts to boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  While quinoa is cooking mix the lime juice, olive oil and cilantro, set aside.  When quinoa is done, add all the ingredients together and mix in the lime juice dressing.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes (preferably longer) to let the flavors mingle.  Serve with crusty bread and fruit salad.

quinoa salad




Cheesy Brown Rice and Bean Bake

Tonight’s dinner was another simple meal, easy on the budget and delicious.  I used ingredients I had on hand, saving money and time.  Cheesy Brown Rice and Bean Bake proved to be a hit at this house, leaving enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.


Cheesy Brown Rice and Bean Bake

3 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cup brown rice

1 onion

1 can black beans

1 cup corn

8 oz green chilies

1 cup salsa

8 oz sour cream

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice according to directions.  I use chicken broth in place of water (I always make broth out of the chicken bones after we have chicken).  While rice is cooking, saute onions and add the cumin and garlic salt.  When rice is done, mix in onions, corn, beans, salsa, sour cream, mozzarella cheese and cilantro, add salt and pepper to taste.  Once mixed, pour into baking dish and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 until bubbling.  I put aluminum foil on dish for most of the cooking time to avoid burning cheese.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.



Meatless Monday and Our Favorite Recipe

I try to prepare meatless foods on Monday.  It is better for our planet to try to eat meatless a few time a week and since so many of the blogs I follow remind me of this, I tend to comply.  One of our favorite recipes is homemade macaroni and cheese.  I love it, it’s easy to make and easy on the budget.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb pasta of your choice

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups of milk

2 cups cheddar cheese

4 ounces goat cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to directions.  Set aside when finished.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan, once melted and the flour and whisk.  When smooth, add the milk and cheese.  Once cheese is melted add pasta, mix, put in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.  Absolutely delicious.  I serve with a salad and dinner is served.

What are your favorite meatless meals?


Mac and Cheese


Coconut Cake

During the spring, a coconut cake is a yummy dessert that is not very hard to make. This is a great treat to make for Easter, or just any spring day.

I think that cakes are one of the most enjoyable desserts to make. I love finding new recipes that create new challenges when baking. I am always learning new things every time I make a new dessert, and this one was no exception. This recipe helped me progress as a baker, but it was still a fun and not to hard recipe to recreate.


I got this recipe from https://www.shugarysweets.com/


Two 9-inch cake pans

Baking spray

Mixing bowl


For the cake:

5 egg whites at room temperature

3/4 cups of milk

3/4 cups of softened unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of almond extract

2 1/2 cups of cake flour

1 Tbsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of kosher salt

1 cup shredded and sweetened coconut

For the frosting:

1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter

2 8 ounce packages of softened cream cheese

6 cups of powdered sugar

1/4 cup of heavy cream

2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut


Time to start the cake! The first thing that you will want to do is preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Then whisk all of the egg whites together with 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl until they are slightly combined and then set them aside.


Now, in a mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract at medium speed for two minutes. Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix them until they are combined. Beat the egg white mixture in until everything is blended completely. Add in the rest of the milk and beat it for 3-4 minutes, then fold in the coconut.


Take out the two 9-inch cake pans and spray them with the baking spray. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans and bake them for 26-28 minutes, or until they are completely cooked through. Then remove them and let them cool on a wire rack.

Now that the cakes are finished, you can start making the frosting! Beat the butter and cream cheese for three minutes using the whisk attachment on an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream to the mixture. Then beat it together for and extra 4-5 minutes.

It is finally time to assemble your cake. Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand.  Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the frosting onto this layer, and then add the second layer. Then add frosting to the rest of the cake. Add coconut to the top and sides of the cake. Now that the cake is finished, grab a slice and enjoy your delicious coconut cake!


I hope that you enjoyed creating this very springy cake, and I hope that you found it very delicious.