Games Night

Recently, we hosted a games night.  Or, should I say, a game night because Diplomacy is the only game you can play in the span of an evening.  As the rules suggest, set aside four hours for a game.  We, however, were playing for the first time and had to read the rules and play the sample game.  Fun evening, but glad we had sustenance along the way.

As you plan, plot, negotiate, and strategise (click for more Diplomacy information) the best food to have on hand is dips, breads, and spreads.  Hot meals would be far too dangerous!

A portion of our spread looked like this:

games night

We served a variety of multigrain, naan, pita, and sourdough breads; an assortment of crackers; cold vegetables for dipping, as well as broiled eggplant; and various dips and spreads.

Below are recipes for some of the food served that evening.  As usual, I am unable to give exact measurements as Boyfriend glances at a recipe and then changes everything as he goes along.  Sigh.  I will do my best.

Tabooli:

We used quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur.  Cook a cup of quinoa for ten minutes, drain, and let cool. Add:

  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Diced tomato (a real tomato, not a can of)
  • Green onion
  • Mint
  • Garlic

Toss it all together and let it sit in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Hummus:

You will need a food processor for this one.  Blend together a can of chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt (we used our usual Herbamare), and anything else you can think of that will add to the flavour.  Add sparingly until the hummus tastes the way you like.

Curry Cashew Bean Cheese Spread:

This was a new one for me and it was delicious.  Once again, you will need a food processor.  Blend the cashews until they are a fine powder.  Add cooked white beans (a can will do), lemon juice, tahini, curry powder, and Herbamare until the mixture is spongy/creamy/pasty like cream cheese.

The best thing about dips, spreads, and breads is that you can still eat them the next day.  We made a lovely little indoor lunch picnic out of our leftovers.  🙂

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice pasta with homemade tomato sauceOnce again, a lovely meal was thrown together by the Boyfriend – quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice pasta topped with homemade tomato sauce.  While I am more of a follow-the-recipe type of girl when it comes to sauces, he is willing to take whatever is in the fridge and throw it in the food processor.  So far, he’s done everything right and hasn’t made a bad meal yet.  🙂

You will need:

  • 5 tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot

Toss these ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a nice, smooth mixture.

You will also need:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • nutritional yeast (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • smoked paprika (to taste)
  • small tin of tomato paste

In a saucepan, heat up the coconut oil (not too hot).  Now add the ingredients from the food processor PLUS the remaining ingredients listed above.  Start with small amounts of each ingredient until the tomato sauce is to your liking.  Easy peasy!

This made more than enough sauce for two people, so the next day Boyfriend varied it slightly.  He added almond milk and some additional nutritional yeast.  This made for a lovely creamy pasta sauce and cut down on some of acidity of the tomatoes and the garlic.

Quinoa and Lentil Salad

quinoa lentil pilaf

Fresh and tangy, this salad hits the spot when looking for a light-tasting lunch.  I have made this recipe quite a bit and it’s been a hit with everyone who has tasted it.  You can make it as a side dish, eat it for lunch, or bring it to a neighbourhood barbeque (like I’ve done).  Make sure you rinse the quinoa and lentils before cooking.

You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1-2 red peppers, diced
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) tamari
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup unsalted cashews

Cook quinoa and lentils together for 10 minutes.  You can put them in the cold water, wait to boil, and then keep on medium high.  Drain the quinoa and lentils and let cool.  Typically, I put them in the fridge until they get really cold.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  The salad is ready to eat; however, you may want to let it sit a while to let the ingredients get to know each other.  The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Quinoa Berry Cereal

quinoa berry cereal

Looks yummy, right?  That’s because it *is* yummy.  Although quinoa is not a true cereal or grain, its edible seeds are of high nutritional value.  Quinoa is also gluten-free, high in protein, and has a low glycemic index, which I think makes it a perfect breakfast food.

You will need:

1 cup quinoa

1 cup almond milk (I prefer Silk True Almond unsweetened)

1 cup water

15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) molasses (less sweet, more sweet, it’s up to you)

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries if you like a tarter taste)

1/3 cup sliced almonds

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon

Using medium heat, combine quinoa, milk, water, cinnamon, and dried fruit in a saucepan.  Cook until the contents are simmering, stirring occasionally.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Cook until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid.  This may take 10-15 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Best when served warm, although I’ve eaten it cold and it’s just as yummy.