January: Citrus + Quinoa

Emily Waters’ “Chopped Junior” entry: Roma Tomato Pasta with Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 package of your favorite pasta
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 t. of pepper, paprika, salt, sesame seeds, oregano, and basil
  • Step 1: Boil water and add in your favorite pasta. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Season chicken with spices. Add 1 T. of olive oil to frying pan and add chicken. Cook thoroughly. Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Step 3: Dice tomatoes and set aside.
  • Step 4: Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks.
  • Step 5: Pour the juice from canned tomatoes into the chicken, add fresh tomatoes.
  • Step 6: Simmer all of the ingredients and stir. Serve over your favorite pasta.
  • Step 7: Grate parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of the dish.

Claire Hollingsworth’s “Chopped Junior” dessert: Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 orange, to taste
  • 6 cups bread, cubed

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400-degrees, and them mix all ingredients in a bowl (except bread).

Step 2: Add in bread, and mix with hands until all bread is coated.

Step 3: Portion into cupcake tin. (If you do not have this, then can use cupcake pan with aluminum foil liners.)

Step 4: Bake 10- 15 minutes — but be sure to check at 10 minutes so you don’t risk burning the bread. You’ll know it’s done when you smell it, and the bread mixture is golden brown and bounces back to the touch when you poke it with your finger.

Step 5: Sauce is optional, and this is where you can experiment with an sweet orange zest sauce or a caramel sauce, which are two of my favorites. I like to serve it with a small side of fruit and scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.  If you are a chocolate lover, you can put some chocolate chips in the bread pudding.  Or you can add in some raisins or dried fruit.

Chopped Junior winning dish: When I got to be on the January 5 episode of Chopped Junior, this was the dish I made in the final round. It was a close one, as my competitor Michael did a great job with his dessert. If you are fan of the show, you know I had to use the funny surprise ingredients that they gave us — including gummy candies, and cupcakes decorated like crabs. For my dish, I melted down the gummy candies, added water, some milk and orange zest. I am so glad that the judges liked it!

Easy New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 package turkey bacon
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Equipment: 8-quart pot, large bowl, measuring spoons, stirring spoon, blender or food processor

Step 1: Open can and spoon into 8-quart pot.
Step 2: Add water, bacon, garlic, onion, chicken bouillon, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3: Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor, and blend until the tomatoes are liquefied. Add to black eyed pea mixture. Stir well to mix.
Step 4: Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Candied Orange Peel

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes Prep Time: 1 hour
  • 2 large oranges, 1/4 inch of top and bottom cut off
  • 4 cups organic sugar, divided
  • 3 cups water

Step 1: Bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel.

Step 2: Return to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.

Step 3: Toss peel and 1 cup sugar on rimmed baking sheet, separating strips.

Step 4: Lift peel from sugar; transfer to sheet of foil. Let stand until coating is dry. Wrap and freeze up to 2 months.

Apple Quinoa Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1/8 c. agave
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Topping: 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 T. brown sugar, 1 T. olive oil

Step 1: Mix together all ingredients.

Step 2: Pour into a square baking dish.

Step 3: Mix together topping and pour over fruit mixture.

Step 4: Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes, or until brown.


Spicy Tropical Quinoa

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes (25 to cook quinoa, let sit for 5 minutes, fluff) Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 cup tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 t. jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • Add spices to taste: 1/2 t. sale, 1/4 t. cumin, 1/4 t. ground red pepper, 1/4 t. paprika, 1/4 t. chili powder, 1/4 t. black pepper, 1/8 t. allspice, 1 minced garlic clove, dash of hot pepper sauce or Sarichi

Step 1: Cook quinoa (2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 cup water, 1 cup quinoa) for about 25 minutes until liquid evaporates. Pour into a large bowl and let sit 5 minutes, fluff.

Step 2: Add rest of ingredients, and toss well.

Step 3: Mix in some or all of spices, to taste.

Step 4: Serve with grilled veggies, salmon, chicken or your favorite lean meat.

Quinoa Pilaf with Veggies

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes (to cook quinoa) Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Add in veggies: 1 cup each of asparagus, diced carrots, red peppers, onions, mushrooms
  • Make it a Mexican Fiesta: Add 1 can black beans, 1 diced tomato, 1/2 cup corn, fresh cilantro
  • Go Greek: Add 1 can black olives, 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, 1/2 cup feta cheese

Step 1: Prepare quinoa (2 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup water, 1 cup quinoa; cook for 25 minutes).

Step 2: Add in your favorite toppings (veggies, Mexican, Greek).

Step 3: Mix well, and serve alone or as a side dish to your favorite fish, chicken, or lean meat dish. We love pairing it with Broiled Salmon with Lemon Vinaigrette!


Quinoa Cakes with Sour Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Side dish: Grill up a little asparagus in the broiler. Cut off the ends and line a baking sheet with tin foil, place asparagus down in a row, drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil for 5 minutes. Yum!

Equipment: food processor, measuring cups and spoons, saucepan, frying pan, baking sheet

  • Step 1: Place all ingredients in a food processor, except for the olive oil and puree.
  • Step 2: Remove about 1/2 cup and form into ball, then flatten and place on wax paper. Makes about 6.
  • Step 3: In a large saucepan, heat 2 T. olive oil and cook each patty for about 4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
  • Step 4: Put into oven to keep warm until all the patties are prepared.
  • Step 5: Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and garnish with cilantro.

Broiled Salmon with Lemon Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 1 hour (to marinate) Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Fresh salmon (preferably not farm raised)
  • Paul Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Step 1: Marinate salmon in Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing for about an hour.

Step 2: Top with lemon slices and broil at 500-degrees for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish.

Step 3: It should be about 145-150-degrees when done, and you’ll know when the fish is ready for it should be moist and opaque, not flaky.

Step 4: Garnish with chopped dill, and serve with Quinoa Pilaf.