Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Toasted Quinoa Salad

 

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I brought my Toasted Quinoa Salad to a graduation celebration and it was a hit! Something as simple as a salad, using a few fresh ingredients had friends asking me for this recipe. I knew I needed to post this recipe ASAP!

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Hot House Cucumber

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grape tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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E.V.O.O.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes (add 5 minutes cooking time if you’re toasting the quinoa)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, large mixing bowl, mesh sieve, whisk, serving bowl

Ingredients:
1 (12-ounce) package (equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa)
3 cups of vegetable stock, unsalted and HOT (substitute water or unsalted chicken broth/stock)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups of feta cheese, diced
1 1/2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of a hothouse (English) cucumber, diced
1/4 cup of fresh basil, Chiffonade-style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley (dried 1 tablespoon)
1 leomon zested and juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Toasting And Cooking Quinoa:
Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa to remove the *saponin. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-low heat add (or leave) some of the water remaining on the quinoa so that it’s moist. Add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. Using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around allowing any excess water to be absorbed by the grains of quinoa.

Once the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue stirring until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Allow the quinoa to cool completely.

While the quinoa is cooking (during the 15 to 20 minutes) dice the vegetables and the feta.  Zest and juice a lemon. Transfer all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooled cooked toasted quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving my Toasted Quinoa Salad, I like to add a drizzle of really good *E.V.O.O.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.
*Saponin is the outer coating of the quinoa and it can be very bitter. It’s a good idea to rinse the quinoa before cooking.

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P.S. Flavor Spice Blends-Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus

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Pam Smith’s daughter Nicole, and my daughter Melissa are longtime friends. Once I really got into blogging, it was important for me to acknowledge those people who inspire me.

Pam Smith is at the top of my list. She started out in the area of nutrition, had her own radio program, and now is affiliated with Epcot. She has developed her own line of spice blends and rubs that are AMAZING! My daughter and I have watched her narrate cooking demos, with well-known chefs at the EPCOT Food And Wine Festival. Now Pam has gone on to perform her own food demos with her daughter Nicole narrating them by her side. What a tremendous family achievement.

I received an early Christmas package, this year, from the girls. I was so excited to test a new recipe using this Mocha Chili Spice blend. I decided to test this spice blend on asparagus. This is my Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus.

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Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (1)

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (3)

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (2)

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (4)

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes (times may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the asparagus)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 pound of Asparagus
2 tablespoons of Mocha Chili Spice Blend
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Start by rinsing the Asparagus spears under cold water. Next, dry all the spears off really well. Once they’re all dry, hold each one at both ends, bend the spear until it snaps. They will naturally snap where it starts to get tough. Discard the bottom portion.

Place asparagus spears onto a sheet pan. Next, add the Mocha Chili, Kosher salt, and olive oil. Using clean hands, toss the asparagus spears so they are coated really well. Then spread them out evenly into one layer. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness. Add a final sprinkling of Kosher salt. WOW!, the Mocha Chili Spice Blend adds the perfect balance of heat with a touch of sweetness to the asparagus. Try my Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus with your next meal. For more information visit…

           P.S. Flavor-Spice Blends by Pam Smith, RDN.
Pam Smith, with daughter and moderator Nicole Smith Talbott, holds monthly Facebook Live classes for P.S. Flavor Club. Available are 3-month seasonal kits, you can go to http://www.psflavorclub.com. or https://m.facebook.com/psflavor

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu

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Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Let's Dish

An Easy

Side Dish

That’s

Gluten-Free!

 

 

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

I’m using a boil-in-a-bag quick-cooking brown rice for my Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure about the taste of quick-cooking brown rice. Brown rice has a slightly nutty flavor. Today you can find a variety of really great products available at your local grocery store. I’m okay with the grocery store working as my “acting” sous chef. It definitely allows for more TV time.

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quick cooking brown rice

Guacamole-13

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Cilantro- Lime Brown Rice

Cilanto-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, large serving bowl, chef’s knife, Microplane

Ingredients:
2 bags of Success (boil-in-a-bag) brown rice (substitute Basmati and/or white rice)
1 (15-ounce) can of  black beans, low sodium, drained and  rinsed
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of lime zest (2 to 3 limes)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup of sliced green onions
1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In a 6-quart saucepot, over medium-high heat add 3 quarts of water. Submerge 2 unopened bags of rice. Bring to a boil add Kosher salt. Boil uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes.  Using a pair of tongs to remove the bag from the saucepan. Drain any excess water. Carefully cut open the bag with scissors before transferring the rice to a large mixing bowl. Add the drained and rinsed black beans, lime zest, lime juice, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, and black pepper, stir to combine.

Serve my Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans warm or at room temperature.

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