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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Bok Choy, Chives and Garlic Never Looked so Good

Today’s post is all about my mom’s garden. She has been whipping up some beautiful seasonal dishes using homegrown and fresh ingredients. This week she harvested an abundance of young garlic, chives, and bok choy.

Young Garlic: You can look for young garlic at the farmer’s markets…..it’s kind of the latest rage and marketed as “green garlic”. My mom has it growing everywhere in the garden, and usually has to dig it out to make room for other crops. She uses young bulbs in everything. They’re kind of sweet, like onions, but have a garlicky kick. You can use a lot of young garlic without overpowering a dish with too much garlic essence.

Young Garlic

Chives: Chives provide a subtle onion flavor and you can use them to garnish all sorts of dishes like potato salad, soups, pastas, omelets, etc. Be creative! My mom uses all parts of the chive plant including the flowers, which are so aesthetically pleasing. During the summer she dries snipped chives and chive flowers for winter use. That way she can have chives anytime of the year.

Chives and Chive Flowers

Bok Choy: Bok choy is a cabbage and is seen a lot in Chinese cuisine. Bok Choy flourishes in my mom’s garden and she uses it to make simple vegetable side dishes.

Bok Choy earlier in the Spring, ready for planting. How’d that chick get in the picture?

My mom incorporated the three ingredients that we’ve mentioned from the garden into a healthy and beautiful side dish.

Ingredients being prepped on a cutting board

Bok Choy with Young Garlic, Chives, and Chive Flowers

Recipe:

Chop bok choy, young garlic, and chives (cut bok choy in 1″ pieces, slice garlic thinly, chop chives and chive flowers)

Put a saute pan on medium heat. Once pan is hot, coat the bottom with sesame oil. Add bok choy and garlic. Saute until tender. Then add chives with flowers, some red pepper flakes, and a splash of soy sauce. Serve and garnish with more chives and chives flowers.