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It’s the new year, which means some heavy salad eating is in order to make up for the Christmas cookies and indulgence of December. Food & Wine’s Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad is so flavorful though that you won’t think twice about eating salad for dinner. The thinly sliced carrots provided the perfect excuse to use my new mandolin as well.
Alterations: Based on my pantry, I used a tricolor quinoa blend, baby spinach and dried cherries instead of cranberries.
Do-again?: I served this with a boxed Thai sweet potato soup, which I promptly scoffed and just ate two helpings of salad instead. This is definitely going on the make again list.
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Once again, the basil plant overfloweth. This means its time to make some more pesto (few handfuls of basil, a handful of arugula, half handful of pine nuts, a glug of olive oil, a few cloves of garlic = blend and then throw in some grated parm). And thankfully, over the weekend I had pinned a new recipe to take advantage of the pesto - The Shiksa in the Kitchen’s Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto and Goat Cheese.
Alterations: I scaled the recipe down to use four tomatoes (bought today at the farmer’s market). I also opted to use feta cheese instead of goat cheese since I had a half block in my fridge and my boyfriend falsely claims he doesn’t like goat cheese.
Do-again?: This was delicious and easy. I liked that The Shiksa’s recipe allowed me to use the innards of the tomatoes as part of the quinoa cooking liquid. Tomatoes at this time of year are so perfect and juicy, it would be a shame to waste them.
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My boyfriend likes to joke that I like weirdo foods, specifically calling my favorite “flavor” mango quinoa but I think that Whole Living’s Quinoa and Corn Salad even converted him into a quinoa fan. I had to rename the recipe though because Quinoa and corn doesn’t get into enough detail on all the goodness that is in this salad.
Alterations: I slightly scaled back the recipe, cooking 2 cups of dried quinoa, using 3 half-ears of fresh corn, one cucumber and half of a package of chopped cherry tomatoes and one and a half avocados. I forgot to buy scallions so I left them out. I cooked my quinoa in a bit of mushroom broth.
Do-again?: This was a crowd pleaser at the Hollywood Bowl picnic. The cumin, jalapeno, cilantro and citrus juices combine for a bright and slightly spicy flavor and all the veggies add great texture. This tasted equally good for lunch the next day too. This makes me want to eat quinoa all the time.
Since I have plans to get burgers for dinner tonight at The Golden State, I decided a healthy lunch was in order. I whipped up 101 Cookbook’s Double Broccoli Quinoa in about 15 minutes!
Alterations: I used broccolini and subbed a little low fat milk plus greek yogurt for the cream. Since I didn’t have quite the recommended amount of parmesan or the fresh lemon juice, I opted to sprinkle some lemon pepper seasoning in as well. I also added some chopped avocado on top at the end as recommended.
Do-again?: I would try this again following the recipe more closely as I think I lost some of the salty-umami-ness by lowering the parmesan amount. But this was not bad as a quick healthy lunch option with ingredients that are commonly in my kitchen.