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

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Hot House Cucumber

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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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Arugula And Barley Salad

2016-01-04 15.46.37

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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Arugula

Red Bell Pepper

Olive Oil

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (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 freshly ground 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 fresh ground 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. 

Serve my Arugula And Barley Salad warm or at room temperature.

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Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers

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My Quinoa Roasted Stuffed Peppers are really flavorful and delicious. I promise you, the fact that there’s no meat in this recipe is not an issue. The colors and texture I’ve incorporated in this dish will blow your mind!

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Stuffed Roasted Peppers

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan, 2 (9 x 13) baking dishes, chef’s knife, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil, extra for the tops of the stuffed peppers
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 orange bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
4 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups of Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced, and drained
1 onion quartered
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups of wheat germ
1 1/4 cups of vegetable stock plus 6 tablespoons, unsalted
1 cup of quinoa

Note: You may have to trim a very thin slice off the bottoms of each pepper so they will stand upright. Be careful not to cut too much off exposing the inside of the pepper.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Arrange the peppers on two rimmed baking sheet pans. Cook for 30 minutes allowing them to soften before filling.

In the meantime start by making the filling. Add quartered onions and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, again, pulse just until finely chopped. Add the chipotle pepper and the processed mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the same bowl.

Add the drained Roma tomatoes and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl, mix to combine. Set aside.

In a small dry sauté pan over medium-low heat add the pine nuts. Cook, swishing the pan around, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until you start to smell their aroma. Immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.

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. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

After 30 minutes remove the peppers out of the oven.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil. Transfer the processed vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, all liquid has evaporated, and the vegetable mixture has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the thawed peas and toasted pin nuts, stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked toasted quinoa. Stir to combine. Using a large spoon fill all 16 peppers to the top. Arrange the peppers, side by side, in the baking dishes. Sprinkle wheat germ evenly over the top of each pepper. Top each one with shredded Mozzarella.

Drizzled 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock into the bottom of each of the baking dishes.  Bake for another 30 minutes.  To finish, turn the oven to broil setting, (keep a close eye) and cook for around 5 minutes or until the cheese and the tops become a light golden brown.

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