Ancient Harvest Quinoa Mac and Cheese Review

Have you noticed that I get obsessed with things super easily? Are you sick of quinoa posts yet? I hope not because I really want to tell you about this Ancient Harvest Quinoa Mac and Cheese!

Ben’s mom has started eating gluten free and whenever she cooks, most of the food is gluten free. I never would have tried that stuff on my own, so when I found out there were gluten free mac and cheese options, I just had to try a few. This quinoa mac and cheese intrigued me because I’m trying to cut down on refined pastas, but still need my mac and cheese!

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Mac and Cheese Review

Sauce: I loved this sauce. It was creamy and had a cheese flavor that I’m a fan of from boxed mac and cheese. It wasn’t gritty, but you will want to mix the sauce with milk before adding your pasta. It makes the sauce powder dissolve better for a creamier sauce. I did not use butter, just 2% milk.

Pasta: The pasta was noticeably quinoa. It had a grittier quality than white pastas and while it was different, it definitely wasn’t enough for me to shy away from almost eating the whole box.

Quinoa Pasta

Overall: I compared the nutritional information of this to Kraft Original and had a few surprises. Ancient Harvest was the winner when it came to calories, fiber, and lower sodium, but quite frankly I still don’t think it’s something to eat if you’re trying to eat healthy.

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Would I eat it again? I probably would get this again if it were on sale. I am trying to eat less refined pasta and more fiber, so if I can still get my mac and cheese fix while keeping these things in mind, I’ll do it!

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Caramel Cider Cocktail

Caramel Cider Cocktail Recipe

The first day of Fall 2014 is next Tuesday! I’m not one of those people that gets all giddy about sweaters and boots and whatever else, because I like the hot summer. But, I will admit, Fall has its perks. For one, the leaves are starting to change here in West Virginia and I moved here last fall in early Novemeber and the changing leaves, along with the mountains, were probably some of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Second, it’s time for apple and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I am kind of tired of all these pumpkin-bashers lately. If you don’t like to pumpkin-ize everything, then don’t! Let us pumpkin-lovers be happy in this one time of year we can rejoice. This post is actually about apple, though. Sorry! (I’m not really sorry.)

Caramel Cider Cocktail Recipe:

2 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum (or whatever spiced rum floats your boat)
4 oz. apple cider
1/4 teaspoon caramel coffee syrup
Cinnamon stick and apple wedges for garnish
Ice

Fill your 8-oz. glass up with ice. Pour the rum, cider and syrup over the ice. Stir and top with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.

Caramel Cider Cocktail

I recommend dunking the cinnamon stick into the drink and letting it sit for a bit! The flavor isn’t overpowering, but you get a great sniff of cinnamon before every sip.

Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail

ps. Eat those drunken apple slices when your drink is gone. Basically that makes this drink healthy.

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Spicy Shrimp with Lemon Quinoa

Spicy Shrimp Lemon Quinoa Recipe

This has become my go-to lunch recipe. I like to make a batch and then keep it in my fridge to eat for the next few days. Obviously, I’m not the type of person that really gets sick of foods (I’ve eaten mac and cheese almost daily for 20+ years), so this is actually a half recipe from what I usually make. You can double it, like me, if you like leftovers. Or, keep it like this for a single serving for 2 people.

Make it easy on yourself by using pre-cooked, frozen shrimp. I know I say this too often, but I can’t say it enough. Too many people are scared to cook seafood, but with these little babies, you don’t have to shell them or clean them. Just defrost and warm through and they’re ready to eat!

Spicy Shrimp with Lemon Quinoa Recipe:

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice from a whole lemon
1/4 cup frozen peas
10-15 medium or large sized shrimp
2 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic – minced
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
Salt
Pepper

To start, you’ll need to rinse your quinoa and drain it. If you don’t rinse it thoroughly, it will taste bitter and you really don’t want that.

After rinsing, add your clean quinoa to a saucepan with 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and then cover it and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the water is completely gone.

While your quinoa is cooking, thaw your shrimp in cold water. Once they are thawed, remove the tails. If you’re using raw shrimp, just make sure they are cleaned and have the tails removed.

Pre Cooked Shrimp

Next, heat a skillet on medium heat and add your butter and garlic. Once your garlic starts to sizzle in the butter, add your shrimp.

Garlic Shrimp

Once your shrimp are warmed through (if you’re using raw, as soon as they become pink), add your Sriracha sauce (as my friend Katie calls it – a little fart of Sriracha).

Spicy Shrimp

Turn the heat down to low. You don’t want them to cook any more, just mingle with the sauce a little bit. While they’re mingling, add salt and black pepper to your liking.

Shrimp Sriracha Sauce

Once the water has completely disappeared in your quinoa, it’s done! Add your frozen peas and lemon juice. Put the lid back on to warm the peas through.

Lemon Quinoa

All you have to do next is top a pile of quinoa with a pile of shrimp. It’s that easy!

Spicy Shrimp Lemon Quinoa

Spicy Shrimp Quinoa

*If you like to have a little more sauce, just stir in a little cream or milk and adjust the Sriracha level to still be as spicy as you like it.

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