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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Toasted Quinoa Salad

 

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

If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa first. The outer coating is called saponin and it’s bitter. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

The directions are basically two to one. Two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice.  Follow the directions on the back of the package, then all you need to do is to add the other ingredients.

Many times I’ll toast the quinoa first. this adds another layer of flavor to the quinoa. All you do for that is to add canola oil ( a neutral oil), add your quinoa and stir over med-low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Next, you’ll add the boiling liquid to the pot and follow the timing directions on the package.

 

Whenever I’m adding different vegetables to a salad, I like to make sure they are about the same size. You can see above how I diced up the hothouse cucumber (English cucumber), the grape tomatoes are just halved.

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Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (add 6-8 minutes cooking time if you are toasting quinoa)
Total Time: 22-24 minutes

Ingredients:
1-12 ounce package=1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups of vegetable stock (optional choices are water or low sodium chicken broth)
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced orange bell pepper
2 cup of diced feta cheese
1-1/2 pints of halved grape tomatoes
2 cups of diced hothouse cucumber
1/4 cup of fresh basil- Chiffonade style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley ( dried 1 tablespoon)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon juiced
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Toasting and Cooking Quinoa:
First, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve before cooking.
Best with pot with a glass fitting lid.

In a pot, on med-low heat, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil ( any neutral oil). Add in the quinoa. Stir slowly coating all the quinoa with the oil. Continue stirring for about 6-8 minutes or until quinoa is golden brown.

Directions:
In a another pot have you liquid ( vegetable stock) at a boil. Add the boiling liquid to the quinoa. Give a stir and cover. Turn the heat down to low simmer. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, the quinoa is done. It’s really important to keep your eye on the quinoa, it cook pretty fast. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa cool down for about 5 minutes.  I use a fork to fluff the quinoa around in the pot it helps it to cool down quicker.

While the quinoa is cooking dice up all the vegetables, zest and juice of a lemon, dice the feta, and place into a large bowl.  Add in the cooled cooked quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss through gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving I like to add a drizzle of really good E.V.O.O.

 

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

 

Pam Smith’s daughter Nicole, and my daughter Melissa are longtime friends. Once I really got into blogging about my recipes, 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.

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I received an early Christmas package from the girls and was so excited to test a recipe out using this Mocha Chili Spice blend.  I decided to roast some asparagus using the Mocha Chili.

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (4)

Equipment: 1 1/4 sheet pan
Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes (time may vary depending on the thickness of asparagus)
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.

Rinse the Asparagus under cold water first. Next, dry all the spears off really well. Once they are all dry, hold each one at both ends, and where they naturally break off, discard the bottom portion.
Place asparagus 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 so they roast nicely.  WOW!, they were so delicious. The Mocha Chili gave the asparagus such a unique flavor profile. For more information visit…

           P.S. Flavor- Spice Blends by Pam Smith, RDN.
Pam Smith will be teaching monthly online classes to go along with the P.S. Flavor Club. Available are 3-month seasonal kits, you can go to www.psflavorclub.com.

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Greek Lemon Potatoes-Lemoni Patatas

These potatoes are so delicious!
Let's Dish

Greek Lemon Potatoes (2)

Greek Lemon Potatoes (3)

Greek Lemon Potatoes

Traditionally named Lemoni Patatas, are oven roasted lemon garlic and oregano flavored potatoes are to die for! They are easy to make and are always the first to be eaten, whenever I take them to a party. The  lemon juice marinate gives such intense flavor, and the cooking method really caramelizes the outside of the potatoes. As you’ll see, I’m using disposable pans because they are easier to transport and drop off to my friends.

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The ingredients are few.  All this recipe requires are, Yukon gold potatoes, garlic. fresh lemon juice, low sodium chicken broth, olive oil, and Kosher salt and black pepper.

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Greek Lemon Potatoes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
13 x 9 casserole dish  square or oval
3- 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 disposable pans for transport

Ingredients:
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled, cut into wedges
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1 heaping tablespoon dried Greek oregano (regular dried oregano is fine)
1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1 quart of unsalted chicken stock- ( you can substitute lamb or beef stock)

Directions:
Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Next, cut the halves into quarters to make large wedges. If the potatoes are fairly small, leave them in half. Let them stand in water while preparing the marinate.

In a large bowl or zip lock bag, combine all the other ingredients. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, ( or zip lock bag) and let them marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Evenly transfer the potatoes and marinate into the 3 disposable pans. Roast for 1 hour 10 minutes turning occasionally.

Note:  There should be plenty of marinate (sauce) left over in the (casserole dish) disposable pans after roasting.

Once cooking time is up, turn the oven to the broiler setting. Place the pans under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp them up.

 

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Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Let's DishAn 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 this dish. Truth be told I wasn’t sure about the taste of a quick cooking brown rice. The rice has a slightly nutty flavor. It’s really delicious.  There are some really great products available in local grocery stores today.  I’m okay with taking advantage of semi-homemade dishes.  It definitely allows for more TV time.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 bags of boil-in-a-bag brown rice (or white rice if you prefer)
1 can of low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons of lime zest
1/4 cup of sliced green onions

Directions:
Boil the rice according to the directions on the back of the box. Let the excess water in the “cooking bags” drain completely before transferring the rice to a large bowl.  Add in the rinsed and drained black beans, lime zest, chopped cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Finally toss all the ingredients together.

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