Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

3 05 2016

You know how sometimes you just need a quick side dish? Well, here’s one right here to add to your arsenal – quick and healthy quinoa and zucchini with just a few ingredients.

Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut down the center lengthwise and then into moons
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook quinoa with 2 cups chicken stock according to package directions. Reserve the 1/2 cup for later.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and zucchini and saute until starting to brown and soften, flipping once, 5 minutes or so. Add the butter, garlic and salt to taste and continue to saute until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, another couple of minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and the rest of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, cooking and stirring another minute or two until the stock is absorbed and everything is combined. Taste, and season with salt as needed.

Grilled Kale, Quinoa and Cherry Salad

2 07 2014

Tonight we enjoyed this fabulous quinoa salad featuring Fresh Fork Market kale and cucumber. Pick your protein and enjoy it warm, at room temp or even cold – it’s that versatile. Serve it as a side dish, a salad or even an appetizer, making it perfect for summer potlucks too! I’ll be sharing this with friends and fam this holiday weekend! 🙂

Grilled Kale, Quinoa and Cherry Salad

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and A Beautiful Mess):

  • 1 bunch organic kale, large stems cut away, washed and dried
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • Reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dark cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium organic cucumber, cut in half, seeded and chopped
  • Chopped parsley
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sharp provolone cheese, shaved

Preheat grill to medium.

Drizzle kale with a little olive oil and season with salt to taste. Grill over medium heat, 1-2 minutes on each side until a little char starts to form. Remove from the grill and cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice or tear into small pieces. Discard stems.

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Mine called for 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water. To add some extra flavor, I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water. I recommend using the pre-rinsed kind of quinoa to save yourself time. Once cooked, allow quinoa to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the grilled kale, cooked quinoa, cherries, cucumber and parsley. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and garnish with sunflower seeds and shaved provolone. You can enjoy this salad warm, at room temperature or even cold.

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

4 03 2014

I’ve seen cheesy zucchini rice, quinoa or a combo of both floating around pinterest lately. Decided to give my own version a whirl. This low-carb side includes an extra serving of veggies, and can be made quickly. Serve alongside a protein or salad for a simple weeknight supper.

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

The following serves 4 as a side dish (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (use pre-washed to save yourself time)
  • 2 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 heaping cup asiago, shredded
  • 1 – 2 Tbsps non-fat half and half
  • Couple leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • Handful of parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add quinoa and toast, 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the chicken broth, stir together, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, shred zucchini with a box grated or food processor. If using a food processor, you may want to do this in a few batches to make sure the zucchini remains chunky and not pureed.

Once quinoa is cooked, add the zucchini, cheese and half and half, and cook over low heat for another minute or so, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and zucchini is warmed through. You can add more half and half if needed, but the zucchini will give off some of it’s liquid as well. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper as desired.

Garnish with basil and parsley, and a little more cheese. I had a few slices of multigrain baguette that I crushed up on top for some crunch, but no worries if you don’t have any. Serve zucchini-quinoa along with a protein of your choice or a salad.

Green Tea Salmon With Quinoa

25 01 2014

My latest edition of Food Network Mag is all about light, low-cal dinners. Found this interesting, Asian-influenced salmon recipe in there….only 402 calories. I was also intrigued by the idea of cooking with a tea bag, which adds flavor without the extra calories. You can try this flavoring technique with water you’d use to boil veggies or cook grains in as well.

Green Tea Salmon With Quinoa

Green Tea Salmon With Quinoa

The following serves 4 (compliments of Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 cup quinoa (This Girl’s tip: buy the pre-rinsed kind!)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 green or black tea bag
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp grated peeled ginger (I prefer minced from the tube, saves time!)
  • 4 (4 oz) skinless salmon filets
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring to toast, a minute or two. Add 1 and 1/2 cups water and the Sriracha and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Bring 1 and 1/2 cups water, the tea bag, soy sauce, ginger and scallion whites to a gentle simmer in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook until just opaque, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the salmon to a plate using a slotted spatula and discard the tea bag.

Add the broccoli and edamame to the remaining liquid in the skillet; season with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; drain.

Add the cilantro to the quinoa. Serve topped with the salmon, broccoli and edamame. Sprinkle with scallions for garnish.

Quinoa and Kale Patties

12 01 2014

I’m a sucker for savory patties like these…I’ll take crab cakes or croquettes any day! So when I found the idea for these quinoa and kale patties, I was thankful I had all the ingredients on hand because I had to make them immediately! Delicious, filling enough for a main meal and best yet, healthy….a great go-to meatless meal. If you make the patties smaller these would also make a great appetizer!

Quinoa and Kale Patties

Quinoa and Kale Patties

The following makes 8 patties (adapted from Yummy Supper):

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken/veggie broth or water (using broth will add more flavor)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups kale (about half a bunch), stems removed and chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup panko
  • Lemon zest and juice

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Mine was: add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water (I used chicken broth) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool.

Meanwhile, saute the kale in a little olive oil in a large skillet until slightly wilted down to about a heaping cup or so. Season to taste with salt and add the garlic. The warm kale will heat the garlic a bit. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, sautéed kale and garlic, eggs, cheese, green onions, salt, red pepper flakes, and panko. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid (if needed). Batter should be moist, but not runny. Form mixture into patties, you can make them as large as you’d like.

Over medium-low heat, add some more olive oil to the skillet you used to saute the kale in. Cook up to 6 patties at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the bottom is well browned. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Remove patties from skillet and season with salt.

You can garnish/top these patties with just about anything you’d like….hot sauce, lemon juice, etc. In addition to topping with lemon zest and juice, I had some leftover yogurt sauce from a dinner I made earlier in the week that I decided to serve with these patties (1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp each chopped fresh mint and cilantro, 1 tsp each grated fresh garlic and ginger and salt and pepper to taste)…delicious! These patties can dry up, so I recommend serving with lemon wedges.

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

31 10 2013

I’ve recently read several articles that refer to Quinoa as the “super grain of the future”. Though not technically a grain as it’s in the spinach and beet families, it’s referred to a grain because it cooks and looks like one (although pictured here it looks like meat!). It’s packed with protein and essential amino acids; is a good source of fiber, rich in minerals and is gluten free…no wonder it’s called a super grain! Quinoa cooks fast too, so it’s ideal for busy weeknight dinners. I like to use it as a side dish, or in a salad like this tasty Mexican-inspired one. And knowing how healthy it is, I don’t feel bad tossing it in a creamy dressing, which in itself is made with low-fat ingredient choices of course 🙂

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

The following serves 2-3 with leftovers:

  • 1 cup of pre-rinsed Quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Cooked, leftover chicken – could be shredded, cubed or even rotisserie chicken (this is a good recipe to use up leftover chicken)
  • 2/3 cup fat-free or low fat sour cream
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo, pureed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lime, plus more for lettuce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Reduced-fat Mexican cheese, shredded

In a saucepan, combine black beans, corn and a drizzle of olive oil, cook on medium high until heated through. Add dry quinoa and chicken stock and cook according to quinoa package directions. Once cooked, fold in the onion and shredded chicken, let cool slightly.

While the quinoa cooks, make the salad dressing by combining the following in a bowl: sour cream, cilantro, pureed chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, juice of 1 lime and salt.

Next, combine the dressing with the cooked and semi-cooled quinoa mixture.

Chop romaine and mix with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt.

To serve, divide the dressed romaine among plates and top with the quinoa salad. Top with tomatoes and cheese if desired.

Red Quinoa Peach Porridge

23 10 2013

I’m always on the hunt for new and unusual breakfast ideas because I tend to eat the same things time and time again – boring! I hadn’t thought of quinoa for breakfast before, but I’m glad I stumbled on this recipe! It’s hearty, deliciously easy and very healthy. Quick, give me a spoon 🙂

Red Quinoa Peach Porridge

Red Quinoa Peach Porridge

The following serves 2 (compliments of Food52 and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I recommend unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa (make sure you get the pre-rinsed kind to save yourself the hassle)
  • 1/4 cup old fashions rolled oats
  • Ground cinnamon to taste
  • Chopped walnuts to garnish

Place the quinoa, peaches and water in a small saucepan. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes over medium heat.

Add the oatmeal and milk. I also added ground cinnamon to taste. Cook uncovered, until the oats are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with chopped walnuts (or any other nut you prefer to give it a little crunch) and enjoy!