After a couple months of heavy holiday indulging, it feels much better to be back on the clean eating routine. Another cooking-obsessed friend of mine got a couple of new cookbooks and this dish caught my eye. Obviously there could be variations galore, but this combo works pretty well. I can’t wait to make it again next week with some different fresh herbs and other veggies.
RECIPE: Veggie Chop Quinoa Salad
1 cup cooked quinoa, room temp or chilled
1 cup chopped carrots
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup sliced, steamed green beans, room temp or chilled
1/2 cooked, sliced mushrooms (lightly sauteed in olive oil)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
juice of 1 lemon
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
DIRECTIONS: Add all chopped veggies and walnuts to a large bowl and toss to combine. Add quinoa and toss again. Then whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour over the veggie/quinoa mixture and toss well. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
A friend of mine posted a pasta dish she made with radicchio recently and the flavor combination was interesting. Since I don’t eat a whole lot of pasta, I wanted to use those flavors in another way. Of course quinoa is my go-to carb because it’s super clean and has more protein than any other starch. So yes, here is another quinoa recipe that even my picky strongman boyfriend ate with very little grumbling.
RECIPE: Warm Quinoa and Radicchio Salad with Balsamic Glaze and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
DIRECTIONS: Bring 2 cups of stock to a boil and add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until liquid evaporates; about 20 minutes (do NOT overcook). Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds; then add tomato paste and stir for another 30 seconds. Pour in reserved 1/3 cup of stock and stir garlic/tomato paste until it reduces by half and it’s all incorporated. Add quinoa back into the skillet and stir until garlic mixture is evenly distributed. Drizzle a TBSP of balsamic into quinoa along with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat; toss in radicchio and parsley. Pour onto a serving platter. Drizzle with more balsamic glaze and top with the shaved parm and reserved parsley. Enjoy!
Whenever I make quinoa for a recipe, it never ceases to amaze me how it makes five times as much as I plan for every single time, so there is usually a big container in the fridge for the next day or two. There isn’t always a plan for the leftovers, but the other day I was craving fried rice. So I had (plenty of) quinoa, happened to have all the traditional veggies in the fridge, and even found some little salad shrimp in the freezer. (I wish I had fresh shrimp in the fridge instead, but it just wasn’t in the stars that day). Nonetheless, here’s what I whipped up.
NOTE: This can be made into a vegetarian meal by substituting diced, baked tofu instead of the shrimp. ANOTHER NOTE: I recommend cooking the quinoa in stock instead of water to give it more flavor.
RECIPE: Shrimp Fried Quinoa
3-4 cups leftover quinoa, chilled
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
8 green onions, chopped (reserve 2 TBSP)
1 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ lb cooked salad shrimp or cooked large shrimp diced
3 eggs, beaten
3 TBSP teriyaki sauce
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
3 TBSP safflower or light olive oil for stir frying
Begin by making the sauce. Mix together the soy, teriyaki and sesame oil and set aside. Then start stir-frying the ingredients in layers. Using a wok or large saute pan, heat the oil and cook the carrot and onion for a few minutes before adding the green onions, ginger and garlic to the pan. Stir for a couple minutes more. Make sure the pan is super hot, then add another drizzle of oil to stir fry the quinoa. Next add the shrimp (or tofu), peas, sauce mixture and stir over high heat until it’s evenly distributed. Then scrape everything to the edges of the pan so there is room to scramble the eggs in the middle. Once the egg is cooked, mix throughout the rest of the fried quinoa. Top with remaining scallions for garnish and serve. Makes 3-4 servings, depending how hungry you are. Enjoy!
My friend, Geri, brought me the fixins’ for this salad a few months back because she had picked some fresh kale out of her garden that morning. It blew my mind. It’s one of those dishes that each ingredient is independently delicious, but together it’s even better than the sum of its parts. I’ll do my best to be precise, but from what I understand this recipe has evolved like a game of ‘whisper down the alley’ among a group of Santa Fe friends. No one follows a specific recipe so we all have our favorite variations. But the one I’m posting is Geri’s favorite. (Another friend, Allyn, adds shredded carrots to hers.) I actually like it without the fruit and cheese, but honestly I eat it differently almost every time I make it. Here goes.
RECIPE: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Mango & Feta
3 cups cooked quinoa (nice and fluffy)
2 cups kale, shredded/chopped into small pieces
1 mango, peeled and diced
handful of fresh, chopped herbs (mint, dill, chives, basil – whatever you have)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup of crumbled feta (add as much as you like)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBSP agave nectar, honey, pure maple syrup
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS: Add quinoa, kale, mango, fresh herbs, scallions and feta to a large mixing bowl. Shake all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Drizzle the dressing into the salad a bit at a time until it’s to your liking. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
NOTE: When I make this salad, I add a little feta each time I dish it out, rather than in the bowl. The feta taste seems to take over the freshness of the salad as it sits in the fridge. Don’t worry if you don’t eat it all in one sitting – this is even better the next day! And I hear it’s great with blueberries instead of mango. Enjoy!
I love spanakopita; simple as that. Sauteed spinach and soft warm feta is the perfect combination of flavors, but when you pack it between sheets and sheets of buttery phyllo, it’s not the healthiest way to consume all of those greens on a regular basis. Here’s a fresher, lighter way to enjoy those flavors in what can be a hearty side dish or great vegetarian meal.
Recipe: Quinoa and Spanakopita Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
4 large portobello mushroom caps
1/2 pound fresh spinach (or a 1 1/2 bags)
medium onion, chopped
4 scallions, diced
3 TB fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 cup feta (set aside 2 TB)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup white quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
toasted pine nuts, rough chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Gently wipe off the mushroom caps with a damp towel; carefully remove stem and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Place the caps on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through, just to soften before stuffing.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions and scallions until tender. Add the spinach and dill and cook until the spinach is wilted. Sprinkle (or grate) a little nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool, rough chop and stir in feta.
Cook quinoa per package directions, using chicken stock instead of water to add more flavor. It should be fairly fluffy when cooked, not heavy, dense and clumped together
Assemble and bake:
With mushroom caps gill side up on the sheet pan, spoon in 1/4 cup of quinoa into each one. Then top with a heaping spoon of spanakopita filling, even divided among the four caps. Sprinkle with the reserved feta, drizzle with a little olive oil and put back in the oven for 15 minutes until warmed all the way through. Put under broiler if your oven doesn’t brown the top to your liking during the baking process. Sprinkle with pine nuts for a little crunch. Drizzle with a little more balsamic if you wish. NOTE: Before assembling, taste the filling and the quinoa to make sure each layer is sufficiently seasoned for your taste; adjust as needed. Enjoy!