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Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili & Is Beer Vegan?


Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili, vegan and gluten free

 Is Beer Vegan?

From an outsiders perspective, the question might seems silly. Beer, after all, is made from plants and water. At its most basic, the ingredients to make beer are simple: water, malt, hops, yeast; all of which are clearly non-animal. And while brewmasters have a way of working everything from bacon to whole chickens into their beer, the biggest culprits are more subtle.

 Is Beer Vegan?-2

Sometimes, the de-veganized beers are easy to spot, a milk stout that uses lactose, or a honey kolsch, but more often than not, our veggie loving beer friends are in the dark as to whether an animal part has made its way into their pints. Since the CDC, the TTB, the FDA and all the other acronym loving agencies that have their grubby paws in what we consume do not require anyone to disclose the use of animal byproducts in the processing of food or beverages, it often gets left off the label (in fact, almost always).

The biggest offenders are what brewers use to clarify beer. While the need for clarifying is often done with non animal ingredients, or replaced with a centrifuge machine, it’s still common for breweries to use ingredients like gelatin or fish bladders as clarifying agents rendering beer not only non-vegan but non-vegetarian. There is also the foam control issue, and I’m not talking about the frothing of the mouth that occurs when your favorite stout is on Nitro, but the desire brewers have to give you that perfect level of foam head on your pints. To gain control on that lovely can’t-you-settle-yet-I-need-a-drink-now head on your beer, brewers have been known to use pepsin (made from pigs) or albium (made from animal blood) to give you the perfect pour.

Is Beer Vegan?

But if you are one of the growing numbers of craft beer loving veggie devotees, don’t despair. Many, many breweries are hip to your vibe, vegan beer is a concern for many. When it comes to finding out if your beer is sans-beasts, google is your friend. Also, websites like Barnivore give a great and growing list of vegan friendly breweries and beers.

For this recipe I used Sierra Nevada Porter, a vegan beer. In fact, as a company, Sierra Nevada is 100% vegan friendly.

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili, vegan and gluten free

As an addendum to this, it needs to be mentioned that there is nothing wrong with the use of animal products in beer. Milk stout is a favorite of mine, and a good honey kolsch is great to pair with a summer cook out. However, disclosure is key and giving people the information they need to keep the diet they choose is a way to keep us all friends in this craft beer community.

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, minced
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups broth
  • 1 cup porter or stout beer, divided
  • ½ cup red quinoa, dry
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha (or other red chili sauce)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium high heat, add the mushroom, sauté until darkened and softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic then add the broth and ½ cup beer. Stir in the dry quinoa, allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the beans, bell pepper, corn, smoked paprika, pepper, salt, cumin and garlic powder, allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining beer, jalapenos, tomatoes, and sriracha, simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced.
  6. Ladle into bowls, top with avocado, green onion and cilantro.
https://domesticfits.com/mushroom-quinoa-porter-chili-beer-vegan/

Passover Risotto: Quinoa & Roasted Mushrooms

I’m over at a Passover Potluck today with Tori at The Shiksa In the Kitchen! Check it out, if you are Jewish or a Shiksa (non-jewish girl) I think you are gonna love it. Tori and I have acctualy known each other since the 4th grade and reconnect as adults through blogging.

She is one of the most genuine people I have ever known, sweet, smart and generous with her talents and knowledge.

Tori recently interviewed a man I know, Michael, who is an 81 year old Holocaust survivor who was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp when he was 13. His story is incredible and Tori even got is World Famous Tiramisu recipe! The interview is inspiring, you should read it (Click here).

The recipe I created today for the Potluck is one of my favorite dishes, risotto, that I have re-made using the rules of Kosher cooking, which Tori was sweet enough to walk me through! I love Risotto, which is traditionally made with rice, but during passover, it isn’t considered Kosher. You all know my love for quinoa, so this was a fabulous stand in when rice is not an option! Roasting the mushrooms was so quick, and developed a rich flavor quickly.

Check it out over at The Shiksa!

Roasted Mushroom Quinoa Risotto For Passover

Quinoa Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

I’m a breakfast girl. It isn’t possible for me to go the 16 hours between dinner and lunch the following day without eating. I become a crazy person when I’m hungry. Like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors yelling "FEED MEEE!!!" at random strangers. If I ever get stuck on a deserted island, or in a plane crash in the Andes, don’t pray for me, pray for which ever poor soul has to deal with the hungry version of me. Not pretty. Plus I just make bad decisions when I’m hungry, which results in me coming to the conclusion that an entire jumbo sized bag of Jalapeno Kettle Chips is just one snack, and it’s totally fine for me to eat the entire thing. 

Because of this, I must eat breakfast. And besides my long standing love with Saturday Morning Breakfast indulgences, I want a super healthy breakfast 6 days a week. 

And you are probably sick of all the quinoa, but I’m not. Not yet. It SO good for you, and if you cook it the right way, it has a great flavor and texture. Don’t cook it the same way you cook rice or it will be mushy.  

My Morning Magical Quinoa Muffin Stats, calculated by Spark People Recipe Calorie Calculator:

191 Calories

3 grams of fiber

4.3 grams of protein 

Plus a healthy dose of Calcium, Vitamins A, B-6 & C

Only .5 grams of the bad Saturated Fat

Not too bad. And an easy thing to grab on your way out the door in the morning. 

So that you can conquer the world without being a whiney and unreasonable. Or maybe that’s just me. 

Beer Braised Chicken and Hefeweizen Cornmeal Dumpling Soup

Ingredients

    For The Soup
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets, cup into bite sized peices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet white corn kernels (fresh is best, frozen is acceptable, canned is disgusting)
  • 2 cups Hefeweizen Beer
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • For The Dumplings
  • 1/2 cup Masa Harina (corn flour used to make corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup fine ground corn meal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbs butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Hefeweizen beer

Directions

  1. In a large pot with a lid, like a dutch oven or enamel cast iron pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until seared on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, onions, celery, carrots and corn, stir. Add the beer and broth, stir. Allow to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the pot and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and slowly add the cream while stiring. Return to medium/low heat.
  2. In a large bowl, add the masa, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary, stir to combine. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingers until completely combined.
  3. Add the milk and hefeweizen and stir until combined. You don't want the dough too thin or it will fall apart during cooking, you want a biscuit like consistency.
  4. Drop mounds of dough, about 3 tbs in size, equally spaced on top of the pot until all dough has been used. Cover the pot and cook on low heat until the tops of the dumplings are dry, about 15 to 20 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/quinoa-carrot-cake-breakfast-muffins/


The Best Little Quinoa Salad Ever

By now, you  have probably heard a thing or two about this scandal with Paula Deen. If you haven’t, here is a recap:

Paula Dean was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

Three years ago.

The number 1 treatment for Type 2 Diabetes is diet and exercise.

She continues to cook large volumes of high fat, high sugar food on TV, in her restaurants and cook books.

She now wants to endorse a Type 2 diabetes drug and "comes clean" about her diagnoses.

The public freaks out.

Although we all have opinions about, well, just about everything and everyone we have ever met, I’m not concerned about Paul Deen. I don’t know her, and it’s none of my business.

But I am concerned about you. And me. And what I feel like is my responsibility to you. I have quite a few "special occasion" food recipes on this blog, made with high fat, high calorie, high sugar ingredients. And I hope that doesn’t give you the wrong idea.

I hope you all read my post about how I don’t eat like that all the time and how I stay in shape.

Learning from someone else’s mistakes is better than making one yourself, the same dramatic positive changes without the mess to clean up. Use her as inspiration, not as fodder for gossip. She is unhealthy and needs to make changes in her life, but that’s her business.  How can we take this all in, look at ourself and see how to make our own changes rather than making her the villain? How can we help the people we love who are living unhealthy lives? How can we all be in this together and use it as a way to live better and eat better?

How can we have those uncomfortable conversations with people we love who are killing themselves with food? You know who just popped into your head when you read that. Why haven’t you talk to that person?

Use Paul’s story as an icebreaker in your own life. As inspiration to change. 

Whether she decides to change or not, who cares? 

I’m glad this came out, but can we stop pointing fingers and starting living better?

Here is my salad, my way of staying in shape. I eat it about 5 days a week in various forms and this one is my favorite.

Chocked full of protein, iron, amino acids, general good stuff. It also keeps me full until dinner.

Best Quinoa Salad Ever

 2 cups arugula (or spring greens), chopped

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (Here is how you cook Quinoa the RIGHT way don’t cook it like rice or it will be mushy)

2 tbs pine nuts

1/2 an avocado, chopped

1 oz goat cheese

1/4 cup Pomegranate seeds

2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

Toss it all in a bowl, makes about 2 servings.

Printable: Best Quinoa Salad

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

I get asked a lot of questions as a food blogger. Some are about food. Some are about blogging. Some are more personal. But one of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you stay so skinny when you cook so much food?!"

First, it’s hard. Really.

Work, being a mom, a wife, a blogger. AND trying to stay in shape is a lot of work.

A lot.

Here are some of the rules that I use to a balance food blog and skinny jeans:

1. I don’t eat fast food. It is a really rare occasion when I do, and never, ever, ever for dinner. More of a road trip occasion, or an I’m running late so I’m going to grab the one sandwich under 400 calories at Quiznos occasion. And no chips, and an unsweetened iced tea.

2. I always eat breakfast. Once in a while I have fatty things, like that french toast I still can’t stop thinking about. But 5 out of 7 days, its 2 slices of reduced calorie whole wheat toast (or whole wheat english muffin) with 1/2 tbs peanut butter each. For breakfast, you want the trifecta: low cal, high protein, good carbs.

3. I read ALL the labels of everything I put in my mouth. And just assume that you will have more than the serving size. For instance: most cereal puts a "serving size" of 3/4 a cup. Really? That’s less than my cup of coffee. You will probably have more like 2 cups. So that cereal that you think is only 175 calories. It’s probably more like 430. Thats like eating a burger. But at least the burger is worth it. Bottom line, if you are counting calories, measuring your food is a BIG part of that.

4. Snack well. I like to get the most food possible for the least amount of calories. It’s like a game. But I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, and even when I did, those 100 calorie packs aren’t really a calorie bargin. I want 2, and if I’m going to eat 200 calories, I’d rather have a snickers. This is one of my go to snacks: 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced, drizzled with lemon juice, sprinkled with salt and chili powder. It’s like 15 calories. I also do that to radish slices.  Crispy and salty. Like chips, but good for you.

5. Know your weaknesses. I know I like to cook big breakfast on the weekend, and eat more for dinner when I get to cook for other people. So on the weekdays, I eat a low dairy, high plant, low fat diet. Such as: Salads with low-cal dressing (or just balsamic vinegar) or even my favorite salsa instead of dressing, non-dairy soups, roasted veggies with skinless chicken.

6. Know your calories. I have the Lose It app on my phone (it’s free) and I try to stay under 1,600 calories a day during the week. Give up calories where you can, but don’t feel like you have "earned" an extra slice of pie. That just ruins all the work you did. The truth is, unless you are an Olympic swimmer who burns 14,000 calories a day, you will never reach your goal weight with exercise alone. Never. You have to get your eating in check. Can you indulge? Sure, once in a while, but make sure you make up for it but eating lots of plants. Don’t starve yourself, it makes your body store everything as fat. So you are hungry and still gaining. That sucks. Think of calories like you think of money. You only have so many (probably around 1,700 a day if you’re a girl) to spend before you go "into debt" (meaning: gain weight). Is that mediocre lunch really worth half of your calorie budget? Do you like that White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks 600X more than a regular cup of coffee? Because that’s how many more calories are in it (a venti White Chocolate Mocha, with whip has 620 calories, a plain cup of coffee has about 5 calories). Spend where it counts, cut when it doesn’t.

7. Find the WHY. I have a Masters Degree in Psychology. Did you know that? It’s true. The mental part is hard. Probably harder than being hungry, is being unmotivated. Write a list of WHY you want to stay (or get) in shape and post it everywhere, and keep updating it. And talk yourself down when you do want to grab for that bad stuff. Oh, and don’t keep in the house, it just makes it that much more difficult for yourself.

(pretty much my WHY for everything good in my life)

8. Replacement behaviors. This is an important part of therapizing yourself. Find your bad habits and replace them with good ones.  For me: 3pm candy jar. My coworkers all have them, and I do as well. Instead of wandering around chatting with the intention of snacking, I walked my office building for 15 minutes, stairs and all. Now, my candy jar is filled with candy I don’t like and I’m not even tempted to eat, just for those people who come to visit with the intention of snacking.

9. Just have one. If you really want to try a new recipe for cupcakes, pie, cookies, thats OK. Try and plan to make them when you can give the rest away. For me, most of the fun of cooking is having a recipe in my head and trying to figure out how to make it work in the kitchen. But most of my food, the sugary, high fat stuff, is given away. Take it to the office, or to a friends house, or let your husband take it to his office. Find a charity, like a women’s shelter, that might want it. Or throw it out. It sucks to waste food, but is it really doing any good taunting you from the fridge? Or, you can make a half or a quarter of the original recipe using an online site like Half Recipe.

10. Move a lot. Even though exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as we would like, it’s still important to move. For me, it’s spin class. Because it’s the most amount of calories I can burn in the least amount of time. If I really push myself, do everything that spin guy is yelling at me to do, I can burn nearly 700 calories in an hour. Thats a lot. Do that 3 times a week and thats 30 lbs a year. Find something that you will actually do, and do it. A lot. Spoil yourself with dance class, then treat yourself to shrimp cocktail (fairly low cal treat).

11. Water is essential. Get a water bottle and carry it around like a security blanket. First, it flushes out your body. Second, the human thirst reflex is so weak, it is often mistaken for hunger. Drink a lot of water and you will eat less and glow more.

Now onto the recipe. This makes 2 large entree sized portions, at about 330 calories each, or 4 side salad portions at about 165. If you want a little more, you can add 3oz grilled skinless chicken.


Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 tsp fresh sage, minced

1 1/2 cups fresh kale, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped

2 tbs shallots, minced

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 tsp raw honey (sub agave for vegan)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water until fork tender, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, allow to drain. I did a guest post of Eating Rules about the proper way to cook quinoa, if you are interested.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sweet potatoes, sage, kale, cranberries, and red pepper. In a small bowl, add the shallots, balsamic, honey, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Drizzle over the quinoa salad, tossing to coat.

Legal Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionsinst. The ideas presented here are just what works for me.