Category Archives: Beans, Rice, & Grains

Quinoa Pizza


It’s not often I find a recipe worth bookmarking and creating and reviewing.  But this pizza crust!  Oh my, oh my.  It is awesome!  A slight earthy flavor, real crust texture, and most important so easy for a gluten free recipe!  I came across this recipe over a year ago and saved it in my bookmarks for a future date.  It’s never been forgotten but I’ve never felt compelled.  Until now!

If you remember I recently made a double batch of my golden tomato sauce.  I was eating it on eggs for breakfast when it occurred to me ‘this would make a great pizza sauce’.  Immediately this crust came to mind so I dug out the recipe.  I was pleasantly surprised when I read through the post; very few ingredients and very little leg work.  No wonder why I had bookmarked it!  I have made many other gluten/grain free pizza crusts and despite their deliciousness they are way too much work!  Trust me when I say this is your solution!


I made a 12″ crust for Josh and I to split and an 8″ crust for the kids to split.  The kids weren’t sold on this recipe, but they did eat it.  I think it was a bit too crispy for them, and I did use sprouted quinoa which offers more quinoa flavor.  This was no issue for Josh or I, but I will use ‘normal’ quinoa next time for the kids sake.

Quinoa Pizza

Quinoa Pizza

A gluten free pizza crust for the win!


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • water, for soaking and blending
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tallow or a high-heat oil
  • toppings:
  • tomato sauce
  • turkey pepperoni
  • baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
  • manchego cheese, grated
  • serve:
  • tomato sauce
  • basil leaves
  • tomato, sliced


  1. Place quinoa in a large bowl and generously cover with water. Soak 6-8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450
  3. Drain quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well. Place rinsed quinoa in a blender with garlic, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend until a smooth and pourable consistency is formed. Add a bit more water if necessary. The creator of this recipe suggested it to be like a pancake batter, not too thin or thick.
  4. Place the skillets in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add a bit of tallow (or oil) to each pan. Once melted tilt pan around to evenly coat.
  5. Pour batter into pan and spread into an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. I did 15 the recipe called for 20. Remove from oven, flip crust over, and bake another 5-10 minutes. I did 5 minutes the recipe called for 10.
  6. Remove crusts from pan and place one a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Add sauce using enough to make a thin layer across the whole surface. Top with pepperoni, sliced mushrooms, and grated cheese.
  8. Place in oven and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and browned or bubbly (depending on the kind of cheese you use).
  9. Serve with more sauce, fresh basil leaves, and fresh tomato slices.


This crust will hold up to any toppings so go ahead and have your fun!

Also don't hesitate to add in some fresh herbs to the crust.. rosemary will be my first addition for our next pizza night!

Chickpea Tabouli


I’ll be honest and say this was my least favorite of my recent chickpea meals.  I prefer the creamier texture and richer flavors of the previous recipes.  But for those looking for a gluten-free or grain-free tabouli this is definitely a solid recipe.  The flavors are good and the taste is close to the same as a traditional tabouli.  I think my recipe would be great served in a pita sandwich, vegetarian or not.

We enjoyed this served over a salad of kale, sunflower sprouts, cucumber, and tomato.  I made a roasted garlic tahini dressing to serve with it.  I really liked this dressing.  We all know tahini goes great with chickpeas and I personally love how roasted garlic makes a dressing creamy.  So I figured I’d mix the two.  The end result was delicious.  Thick and flavorful – perfect for kale, and it complimented the chickpea tabouli.


Chickpea Tabouli

  • 25 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • juice of 1 lemon, maybe more if they are small (~3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • s&p
  1. Rinse chickpeas well, drain, and lightly try with a paper towel.  Smash with a potato masher until most chickpeas are ‘flaked’.
  2. Add all ingredients and season with s&p.

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

  • 2 bulbs garlic roasted
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 lemon, ~3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • s&p
  1. Remove roasted garlic cloves from bulb and food process with all ingredients.  Season with s&p.

Snap Pea & Barley Salad


These days I try to avoid most grains.  My personal preference is to keep my diet low in carbohydrates.  Nutritionally I don’t feel my body requires them, and I feel better without them.  Of course I still enjoy carbs, but when I do, on occasion, I try to balance the meal with protein and vegetables.  


This meal is based off a recipe featured in the latest Bon Appetit issue.  The dressing is exact but I switched the salad up a bit to fit my style.  I was surprised at how well everything came together.  The dressing contains fennel seed, coriander seed, and cumin seed.  It’s strong in seasoning but not overpowering like you might think.  Along with a few other tweaks I added in chicken sausage, using Dogfish Head Greek feta brats – chicken brat with feta cheese, mint, spinach, cumin, lemon and Midas Touch.  I’ve had these before and they are delicious.  The perfect substitute when I’m not at Whole Foods to buy raw sausage.

Everything in this dish came together really well.  It’s not heavy despite the barley and sausage.  I’m always trying to increase the veggie count in my dishes so I served this over a bed of broccoli sprouts and chopped pea shoots.  This adds to the lightness.  Just to note, I have found a really cheap source for organic pea shoots which is why they are currently in most of my meals.  Plus I love their flavor.  But you can leave them out or substitute a different sprout or leafy green.


Snap Pea & Barley Salad

  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 8 oz snap peas, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 12 oz Dogfish Head Greek Feta Brat (or any other sausage/brat you prefer)
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin half moons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • s&p
  • 2 oz feta, to serve
  • grape tomatoes, halved to serve
  • sprouts or greens, to serve
  1. Cook barley according to package.  I rinsed mine, placed in a pot with 3 cups of water, brought to a boil, partially covered, and simmered over low until tender, about 40 minutes.  Barley makes the water foam up so be aware to prevent overspilling.  Once barley is cooked rinse well and place on a plate to dry.
  2. Heat up the olive oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan.  Add the snap peas and cook 5 minutes to barely soften and just brown.  Place in a bowl.
  3. Slice sausage into 1″ rounds and then into half moons.  Add to sauté pan and brown.  If you are using raw sausage cook whole and then slice.  Add to snap peas.
  4. Stir in the barley, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, and dressing.  Season with s&p.
  5. Serve over a bed of sprouts and/or greens topped with feta cheese and grape tomatoes.


Toasted Spice Vinaigrette (from Bon Appétit)

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon styled mustard
  • s&p
  1. In a dry skillet toast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Cool and chop.
  2. Whisk all ingredients, including chopped seeds.  Season with s&p.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad


Ever since my recent chickpea salad post I’ve been thinking about making more.  I am still amazed at how delicious mashed chickpeas are.  I like chickpeas but have never been a huge fan of eating them as the main component of my meal.  That is until now.  Seriously chickpea salad is so good!  Josh shares in my excitement too, being just as surprised at how yummy these salads can be.


Here I opted to make a mediterranean styled salad.  I always have typical Mediterranean ingredients on hand – capers, kalamata olives, and sun dried tomatoes.  I love the salty flavor of capers and olives.  As a child I would eat spoonfuls of capers.  I have vivid memories of using a small espresso spoon, since it would fit in the narrow jar, eating bite after bite.  For sun dried tomatoes I prefer to use oil packed.  They are softer in texture and add a bit of olive oil to my recipes.  Along with these three ingredients I used a bit of fresh lemon juice to add some acid and a bit of vegenaise for an extra touch of richness.  You can easily omit the vegenaise though.  And lastly some crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese.  I let the salad marinate in the fridge for a few hours before serving over a bed of greens, pea shoots, cucumber, and tomato.  This is a perfect summer salad!  Light with plenty of protein and fiber.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 4 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vegenaise
  • 2 oz feta
  • s&p
  1. Place chickpeas in a bowl and smash using a potato masher until they have a flaky consistency.  You could use a food processor for this too, just be conscious not to puree.
  2. Mix all ingredients, season with s&p, and chill until serving.  If desired use olive oil in place of the vegenaise, I was going for a richer flavor and creamy texture.

Chickpea Salad


Don’t mind the poor pictures in this post.  I’ve been taking an interest in playing with my camera settings and sometimes things don’t turn out as well as I’d like.  I’m trying to learn the manual settings so it’s all trial and error.  And it doesn’t help that the lighting in my kitchen is awful!

But anyway this is a salad worth sharing.  It’s along the lines of a tuna salad only made with chickpeas instead of the tuna.  Smashed chickpeas are pretty incredible.  In fact they are fabulous.  The texture is awesome.  Don’t get me wrong I do love tunafish, so this attests as to how good chickpea salad is.  I seasoned this with yellow mustard, mustard seed, dill, lemon juice, and freeze dried shallots.  I’d recommend using green onion or red onion instead of the shallots but I didn’t have any in the house.  It was still plenty tasty and I placed it in the fridge for a few hours before serving to let the shallots soften.


You can tell by the pictures I served this on a bed of endive.  But it would be great in between two slices of bread too.  I would suggest adding in cucumber, lettuce, and tomato.  Or even inside a grilled cheese.  Another idea is chickpea salad endive boats.  I’m fully inspired by smashed chickpeas and plan to try another version soon, stay tuned!


Chickpea Salad

  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried shallots (or a few fresh green onions)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • s&p
  1. Place chickpeas in a bowl and smash using a potato masher until they have a flaky consistency.  You could use a food processor for this too, just be conscious not to puree.
  2. Mix all ingredients, season with s&p, and chill until serving.