Tag Archives: quinoa

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

It’s going to be a beautiful summer solstice weekend in our neck of the woods. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than a trip north to the lake.

This is the salad we plan to eat on the dock as we watch the osprey dive and listen to the loons sing.

Quinoa seems to be all the rage right now. It’s no wonder. This gluten-free whole grain takes only 15 to 20 minutes to cook, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is extremely versatile. I have put quinoa in our smoothies and stews, as well as blended it in soups that require a thick, creamy texture. It is even used in many cookie, cake and muffin recipes.

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to try substituting your rice dishes for this wholesome grain. Quinoa has so many health benefits. It is high in protein, iron and calcium and has an abundance of B vitamins and other minerals. In his book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition”, Dr. Elson Haas states that the “amount of protein as well as the quality of protein in quinoa is worth mentioning….this grain contains a fairly nice balance of all essential amino acids, including lysine”.  Lysine is usually not found in grains.

In fact, did you know that quinoa is more closely related to veggies like beets, spinach and swiss chard than it is to grains? As Dr. Haas says, “perhaps we should call it a vege-grain“. 🙂

There are so many delicious quinoa salads out there. This one happens to be our very favourite at the moment.  Mediterranean flavours are just so refreshing this time of the year, don’t you think?

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD

  • 3 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa (follow directions on the package – one cup of dried quinoa makes approximately 3 cups cooked)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • one diced red pepper
  • good handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup chickpeas
  • chopped parsley or cilantro
  • capers and black or green olives, to taste

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

In a large bowl, make the dressing and stir with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and toss. I like to serve this salad on top of a plate of organic mixed greens.

So simple and so easy and so darn tasty! Guaranteed to be a hit at your next social gathering! Enjoy your weekend and eat well!

 

 

Ally’s Vegan Chilli

“The snow is snowing and the wind is blowing but I can weather the storm!  What do I care how much it may storm? For I’ve got my love to keep me warm.”

Actually, my love happened to be away with work.  Somewhere very warm I may add.   At home, the girls and I worked feverishly throughout the day keeping the snow from piling on our walkway and driveway.  I think we shoveled snow at least 4 times yesterday before a very kind neighbour came along with his handy, dandy snow blower.

But, we had chilli to keep us warm.  It was a real treat to sit down to a bowl of Ally’s Chilli at the end of a hardworking afternoon!  Ally’s chilli is the perfect blend of spices to keep you toasty.

chilli_edited-2

This recipe comes from one of my favourite bloggers.  Ally is “an Aussie mamma” who writes passionately about vegan parenting and animal rights.  Her blog’s name is Made of Stars and it is truly brilliant!

I am thrilled that Ally shared her and her mom’s chilli recipe with me.  This recipe is simple (a perfect dish for a busy weekday) and it is 100% kid-approved – my 2 girls gave it a 2 thumbs up in between heaping spoonfuls!  Ally said that this chilli has become a staple in her house.  It will now be a staple in our house, too!

We ate a bowl of this alone for dinner.  (Well, my 9-year-old daughter actually ate 2 big bowls!) There was no need for anything else at our dinner table.

Ally’s Vegan Chilli

  • onion, chopped
  • filtered water (3 tbsp. approx.) for sauteing
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini squash, chopped (optional – I just had one staring at me from the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • VitoBio Organic diced tomatoes* (796 mL/28 fl.oz)
  • Eden Foods no salt added kidney beans* (398 mL/14 fl. oz), rinsed
  • Eden Foods no salt added black beans* (398 mL/14 fl.oz), rinsed
  • frozen corn (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (optional – I added this in to free up a jar in my pantry)
  • dash of dried chilli flakes (I added this to my bowl only, not to the pot)

Saute the onion in some water.  ( That’s right! This works just fine! No need to saute in oil and add extra fat to our diets!).  When onions have softened, add garlic and chopped zucchini.  Continue to saute for about 3 minutes then add the spices.

Add the can of tomatoes and salt and pepper. If you prefer, you can use an immersion blender and blend the tomatoes for a smoother consistency.  You can see from my photo that we like chunky tomatoes in our chilli so we did not puree them.   Add the beans.  Bring the pot up to boiling, then add quinoa, if you so desire.  Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for about 10 minutes.

*When it was time to make this dish, I turned to my well stocked pantry.  Yesterday, was not the day to sit around and wait for beans to soften in a pot.  So,  I used Eden Foods no salt added kidney beans and Eden Foods no salt added black beans.  Eden Foods do not line their cans with BPA.  They are actually the only canned bean that is BPA free.   I also used VitaBio Organic diced tomatoes (also contains no BPA or GMOs).  Having these foods in my pantry, makes following a healthy diet easier.