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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Watermelon And Feta Salad With A Lemon Vinaigrette

Watermelon-And-Feta-Skewers

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This Watermelon And Feta Salad With A Lemon Vinaigrette is so delicious and refreshing. Salty and sweet, a match made in heaven.

E.V.O.O.

mint

Fresh-Mint-Leaves

Arugula

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One of my favorite gadgets is the salad spinner. Great for after washing and drying your greens really well. This will allow the dressing to adhere to the leaves.

Watermelon And Feta Skewers

 

 

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: salad spinner, wooden skewers, 8-ounce jelly jar with a tight-fitting lid

Ingredients:
1 seedless watermelon,  rind removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 12-ounce package really good Feta
1 cup (4 ounces) fresh mint leaves, julienned (optional)
6 cups of baby arugula, washed and spun dry

Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 lemons juiced (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon Agave nectar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, add lemon juice, Agave nectar, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk all that together while slowly drizzling in *E.V.O.O.

Spoon the dressing over the Watermelon And Feta Salad. So simple right? Try this salad the next time you’re looking to try something a little different, I’m sure you’ll love it.

How about Watermelon And Feta Salad Skewers?
Alternate the ingredients, watermelon, feta, mint leaves (optional), and arugula onto a skewer. Drizzle with the Lemon Vinaigrette.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

 

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Adding chickpeas to your salad adds protein and texture. Lots of colorful ingredients and different textures make for a wonderful salad. This is my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.

Oregano

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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grape tomatoes

Kalamata Olives

Kalamata Olives (2)

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Feta

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 hothouse cucumber, (English cucumber) 1 1/2-inch dice
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, 1-inch dice
1/2 cup feta, 1-inch dice
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients above, mix to combine. Dress with a lemon vinaigrette. The link for my recipe is below.

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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