Quinoa & Vegetable Salad

I’m feeling quite guilty about the prolonged absence from my blog, but after several eventful months I’m back! Let’s see – since I last posted I changed jobs, moved and got married. Quite crazy I must say! Now that I’m settling back into a routine, I’m back in the kitchen and focusing on new dishes with a healthy twist.

This lazy Sunday afternoon I assembled a vegetable, quinoa salad. It’s perfect for a light lunch or side dish. There are 3 components – quinoa, dressing and vegetables. Lime and vinegar brighten up the dressing and crunchy peppers add a nice texture. Check this recipe out!

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Quinoa

3/4 cups quinoa (red or golden)

1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/4 cup water

Directions: Rinse the quinoa and drain. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and toast the quinoa for about 8 minutes. Add the cumin and toast for another 3 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups of water to the quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and remove lid.

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Dressing

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (remove seeds)

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions: Make a quick dressing. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, pepper, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. And warm quinoa to dressing and stir to coat. Set aside.

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Vegetable Salad

1/2 cup corn

3/4 cup diced red pepper

3/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup black beans

drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar

Directions: Mix the above ingredients and add to the cooled quinoa mixture. Let rest at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours for the flavors to meld.

Enjoy!

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Farmer’s Market Roasted Vegetables

This weekend I was at the Farmer’s Market perusing the local produce. I decided on some zucchini, asparagus, and a red bell pepper and it only cost me a couple dollars!

Now it’s Monday. Weeknights are all about whipping dinner out quickly. I can usually get dinner on the table within 30 minutes of kicking off my shoes at the front door. It’s definitely not fine dining, but I go for healthy, fresh, fast meals. Tonight I simply roasted the vegetables from the market.

I cranked the oven to 400 degrees F. I cut the pepper and zucchini into similar sized pieces and tossed with some olive oil. I trimmed the asparagus (make sure to snap off the tough ends) and also tossed them in olive oil. On they went to a roasting pan covered in aluminum foil. I sprinkled salt and pepper over the veggies and popped them into the oven. They took about 25 minutes. I checked on them a couple times during the cooking process and gave them a nice flip with some tongs. The veggies got a swirl of good quality olive oil and some parmesan cheese when they came out of the oven.

This is a very simple and healthy side dish for any weeknight meal! Just use whatever is in season: squash, potatoes, eggplant, asparagus, tomatoes ….