Archive for the 'Dinner' Category

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Jun. 24th 2014

Would you believe today’s featured recipe took a year to post?  After preparing this family favorite for my daughter’s Cinco De Mayo themed bridal shower last year, I received a bunch of requests for the recipe. Perfect! I’ll send it out to my newsletter subscribers and post it on the blog! Several batches were prepared throughout the summer and immediately enjoyed. It was early September before I made a batch to photograph. Then it got cold. So here it is a year later. Some things are worth the wait. Southwestern Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette is one of those things.  

Light, fluffy quinoa. Black beans. Fresh veggies. Honey lime vinaigrette. Oh Yeah! This salad will rock your world. Did I mention that I love, absolutely love, quinoa? Dearest quinoa let me count the ways… You cook up light and fluffy in just 15 minutes. Many mistake you for a grain, but you are really a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. Your relatives include beet, chard and spinach. A protein powerhouse, you contain all nine essential amino acids. You have more calcium than milk. Got Quinoa? Manganese, magnesium, B2 and vitamin E Rich with flavenoids and phytonutrients, you are an anti-inflammatory warrior. Easier to digest than grains and you are gluten-free. It is no surprise that quinoa is considered a “superfood”! Make this salad for Cinco De Mayo, a family cook-out or weekday lunches.   DSC_0060   Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Viniagrette Salad Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, uncooked 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup diced red bell pepper 1 cup diced tomato, diced 3/4 cup peeled and diced jicama* 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 cup chopped cilantro 1 jalapeno pepper (or Anaheim), seeded and finely diced Kernels from 1 ear raw organic/local corn cut from cob* 1 avocado, chopped (optional for garnish) Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice 1/4 cup oil 1 1/2 tablespoons local honey To Prepare Salad: Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has a natural bitter coating that dissolves with rinsing. Rinse and repeat. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa, black beans, diced bell pepper, jicama, tomatoes, onion and jalapeno. Stir in the fresh corn and chopped cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and honey until emulsified. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa, coating well. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve topped with chopped avocado, if desired. Serves 4 * Jicama resembles a brown turnip from the outside and an apple from the inside. It is juicy, crunchy and slightly sweet. Jicama is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Use jicama to liven up salads and crudite platters. *To ensure your corn is non-GMO, buy organic or ask your local farmer about his farming practices. GMO corn can be found at some grocery stores and you have no way of knowing if what you buy is genetically modified or not. The beauty of this salad is its flexibility. You’re not a fan of cilantro? Use flat-leaf parsley instead. Do hot peppers give your beloved heartburn? Use super mild Anaheim peppers instead or leave them out entirely. Think of the recipe as a framework. Feel free to get creative. This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers in May.  Now that summer is officially here, I thought it might be a good idea to post here as well.  

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Dinner, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Recipes, Spring, summer, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Burger Heaven

Sep. 11th 2013

Playing around on Pinterest the other day I was dismayed to see all the pumpkin recipes. The calendar may say September, but it’s pretty darn hot here. I’m boycotting heavy fall foods and savoring the last morsels of summer fare.

This is my go-to burger and it works equally well for cookouts, tailgating parties or weeknight dinners. Simple, easy and more flavorful than the average beef patty, this healthy version of the American sandwich even has a few omnivore fans. Head out to the farmer’s market (or backyard garden) for the tomatoes and basil…it really does make a difference.

Marinated Portobello Burger

4 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
ripe tomato, sliced
lettuce – I used baby romaine and spinach
4 sandwich buns

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced

Using a paper towel, coat grill rack with olive oil. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.

Place mushrooms in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Cover with marinade and let sit 30 minutes, turning once.

Grill mushrooms 8-10 minutes on each side. Toast buns if desired.

While mushrooms are cooking, whip up the pesto.  True confession: I sometimes pick up a container of Bear Pond Fresh Pesto at Whole Foods.

Pesto -slightly adapted from Vitamix 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (Parmesan, made from cow’s milk,  is the traditional choice and would be absolutely acceptable.  I just prefer the sharpness of pecorino romano, made from sheep’s milk.)
4 garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in Vitamix or food processor and blend until smooth. Hint: Freeze leftover pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, place in freezer bag. Great way to add a tablespoon of pesto to soups and sauces.

Spread pesto on top and bottom of buns. Assemble burger with portobello, mozzarella, tomato and baby lettuce. Accompany with ice cold beverage of choice.

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Dinner, Dinner, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Recipes | Comments Off

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