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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 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)

Lemons

English Cucumbers

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Orange Bell Peppers

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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, mesh sieve, whisk, serving bowl

Ingredients:
1 12-ounce package (equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa)
3 cups of unsalted vegetable stock, HOT (substitute water or unsalted chicken broth)
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)
zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon 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.

Directions:
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.

In a large heavy bottom 3-quart saucepot on medium-low heat add (or leave) some water to 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 in the pan as it begins to toast.

Once the water is absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue whisking 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.

While the quinoa is cooking (during the 15 to 20 minutes) dice the vegetables and feta, zest, and juice a lemon. Place all the ingredients into a large 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 extra virgin olive oil.

 

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Arugula And Barley Salad

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This salad is simple, satisfying, and delicious. Warm or at room temperature, and if needed, travels really well. Great as a side dish or as an entrée. This is my Arugula And Barley Salad.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepot, mesh sieve

Ingredients:
1 cup of pearled barley
1/4 cup of red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup of edamame, shelled
1 cup of baby arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups of vegetable stock (optional chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, bring the vegetable stock up to a boil. Add the olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Next, add the pearled barley and finely diced red pepper. Stir and reduce the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer the barley for 40 to 45 minutes or until the grains are tender but still chewy. If there is any cooking liquid left, pour the barley through a mesh sieve to drain any excess liquid. Pour the cooked barley into a large bowl. Add the baby arugula and edamame, toss to combine. The warm barley will wilt the arugula. While salad is still warm, season to taste if needed. This is my Arugula And Barley Salad.

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Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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I know that everyone has an opinion about what’s good for us to and what’s not. After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, I feel I learned a few things about how food affects our health. I’ve decided that a least twice a week that I’m going to make a whole plant-based,  dish. I know this may take some planning but I suppose I have to start somewhere.

Being a server my biggest weakness is drinking coke. I love coke out of the fountain. So starting now I’m giving it up and reaching for the water instead. I’m going to stick with this plan for 6 months and see if these changes make any difference in the way I feel and look. I’ll keep you posted.

This dish a great for entertaining. The beautiful colors of the peppers will catch the eyes of all your guests. These vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers are full of flavor.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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