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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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Watermelon And Feta Salad With A Lemon Vinaigrette

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Watermelon And Feta Skewers

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

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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.

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A few great ingredients and you can have an amazing salad. A simple concept right? Try this salad the next time you’re looking to make something a little different, I’m sure you’ll love it.

How about on a skewer?

 

Watermelon And Feta Skewers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: Salad spinner, wooden skewers

Ingredients:
1 seedless watermelon,  rind removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
12-ounce of 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 Extra Virgin Olive Ol

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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Adding chic peas to your salad adds protein and texture. Lots of colorful ingredients and different textures make for a wonderful salad.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 hothouse cucumber, (English cucumber) 1 1/2 inch dice
1-pint grape tomatoes halved
2-15 ounce cans chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup diced feta
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (optional)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients above. Season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and toss.  Dress with a lemon vinaigrette.

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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