Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (22) wm

Quinoa is an ancient grain from the Andean region of South American, including Peru.  While my husband and I were in Peru last month we actually didn’t eat any quinoa – our guide for the Choquequirao trek said that most of the quinoa is exported out of the country and what remains is expensive.  While at home in Colorado we eat a lot of quinoa, mainly in salads because it’s not so great on its own.  This is a quick and easy salad, perfect for those warm nights.

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (3) wm

Serves 4-6

time: roughly 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per package directions

cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2  orange bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

green onion, sliced thinly

cucumber, peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces

kalamata olives, sliced in half

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

black pepper

kosher salt

feta cheese

pine nuts

 

Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions – remove from heat and let cool.

2) After washing the vegetables cut them and set aside on the cutting board.   Slice the kalamata olives in half.

3) In a serving bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and salt.  Stir, and add additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper or salt if needed.

4) Toast the pine nuts to a golden brown.

5) Add the quinoa and vegetables to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture and stir well to combine.

6) Top with the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese (if you won’t be eating all of the quinoa salad just add the pine nuts and feta cheese to each plate).

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (40) wm

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (6) wm

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken (2)WM

My husband has really wanted to make tandoori chicken in our Green Egg ever since we got it, so about 2 years.  We finally did and it was awesome!  Our homemade tandoori chicken isn’t as read as what you get in most restaurants, my husband said that’s because they add red food coloring.  I’m ok with our less red tandoori chicken! Raita is a Greek yogurt based sauce that is fantastic to eat with spicy Indian food!

 

Tandoori Chicken (22) WM

time: overnight + 2 hours

Chicken Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
fresh ginger, roughly one inch, peeled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons paprika
one lime, squeezed
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
mix of chicken pieces, about 2-3 a person
Veggie Ingredients:
broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
onion, sliced thickly
bell pepper, sliced thickly
Chicken Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Place the chicken in a ziplock plastic bag, add the marinade mix the marinade around the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave on the counter for 30 minutes.

4. Get your grill ready.  For charcoal arrange the coals on either side of the grate, leaving a space in the middle.  Light and let sit for about 1/2 hour until the charcoal turns gray/black. For gas grills, heat one side to medium-high heat and leave one side without any heat.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade; place the sliced side veggies in the bag with marinade after you remove the chicken.

6. Place the chicken on the unheated part of the grill.

5. Close the grill lid and grill the chicken for about 90 minutes until cooked through; turn the chicken every 20 minutes.

6. Serve the tandoori chicken with the chilled raita, veggies, and rice.

 

Raita Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
one lemon, squeezed
garlic, crushed
1/8 white onion, chopped
tomato, diced
cucumber, peeled and diced
mint, chopped
salt
pepper
cumin seeds
Raita Directions:

1. Squeeze lemon, chop up veggies.

2. Stir into the Greek yogurt, season to taste.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

 

Tandoori Chicken (20) WM

Tandoori Chicken (3) WM

Rice Noodles with Shrimp & Cashews

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (52) WM

Serves: 4

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

one package uncooked rice noodles
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, minced
4 red chillies, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup whole roasted cashews
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

 

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (36) WMDirections:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water, and cook the rice noodles according to package directions (don’t overcook as they will continue to cook in the sauce).  Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water.
  2. Combine the honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and lime juice.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot spoon in half of the peanut oil, dump in the shrimp after the oil has gotten a tad bit warm.  Cook the shrimp until they are cooked through, then remove them from the pan.
  4. Add the other tablespoon of oil, the garlic, red chillies and red bell peppers; saute for about 3 minutes (you want the red bell peppers to still be crunchy).
  5. Add the cashews and stir fry for about a minute.
  6. Add the sauce and the shrimp to the vegetables then cook for another minute.
  7. Add the noodles and cook for about 3 minutes – stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  8. Scoop out the noodle mixture and place on individual plates, then top with the chopped green onions and cilantro.

 

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (70) WM

fancy pizzas

fancy pizzas (5) WM

I love pizza.  I could eat pizza at least once a week.  The thing is, pepperoni and cheese just ain’t my thing.  Call me a snob, but I like amazing, fresh ingredients on my pizzas.  I also like thin crust.  I don’t want dough to be the star of the pizza.

We made two different pizzas this night for dinner, and I have NO idea which was my favorite…they were both so dang good!

Ingredients for pizza #1:

crust of your choice (plus cornmeal to dust the top of the pan)

thinly sliced zucchini

thinly sliced Brussels sprouts

thinly sliced tomatoes

thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

thinly slice prosciutto

crumbled feta cheese

sun dried tomatoes

tomato paste with seasonings

fancy pizzas (1) WM

fancy pizzas (2) WM

Ingredients for pizza #2:

crust of your choice (plus cornmeal to dust the top of the pan)

thinly sliced tomatoes

thinly sliced bell peppers

cooked and drained ground chorizo sausage

thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

tomato paste with seasonings

fancy pizzas (3) WM

If you don’t like these ingredients get creative!

to assemble the fancy pizzas:

1. Begin by rolling or tossing the dough into the size of your pan.  Then place it on the pan that is lightly dusted with cornmeal.

2. Spread a thin layer of seasoned tomato paste over your dough.

3. Layer your toppings.

4. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is a golden brown.

fancy pizzas (4) WM

Charred Stuffed Poblano Peppers

roasted poblano peppers (1) WM

Ingredients:

1 can vegetable broth

3/4 cups water

1 1/2 cups rice

3 ears of corn, or canned or frozen

4 poblano peppers

1 lime

1/2 bag spinach

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 small pepper

1 bunch green onions

olive oil

1 yellow or red onion, chopped finely

3-4 cloves garlic, minced/crushed

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained

bell pepper (any color), diced

1/2  teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

garlic powder

onion powder

salt

pepper

queso fresco cheese, crumbled
total time: 1 hour 15-30 minutes
Directions:
1.  If using ears of corn, peel and add to a boiling salted pot of water (if using frozen corn thaw, if using canned corn drain).  Boil for 15 minutes turn on low and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Drain and let the corn cool.
2. On a baking sheet broil the poblano peppers until they are charred on all sides – about 15-20 minutes.  Let cool.
roasted poblano peppers (6) WM
3. Boil the rice either on the stove or a rice cooker.  Rinse the 1 1/2 cups of rice well, until the water runs clear (we’re talking 5 minutes).  Place into your rice cooker or pot and and 1 can of chicken broth (roughly 1 1/2 cups) plus 1/2 cup water (or whatever water to rice ratio your rice calls for).  Squeeze one lime into the rice water.  Cook.
4.  While everything is boiling and broiling place the 1/4 cup of water, the 1/2 bag of spinach, the 1/2 bunch of cilantro, the small pepper and the green onions into a food processor – blend until like a pesto.
5. Once the corn has cooked and cooled slice off of the cob.  Place into a bowl.  Add the chopped onion, chopped jalapeno, and diced garlic to the bowl.
6. Heat olive oil in a skillet and once heated add the corn, onion, jalapeno, garlic and seasonings.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, add the spinach mixture to the cooked rice add salt, onion powder, and garlic powder – stir and set aside.
8. After the onion mixture has cooked add the diced tomatoes and bell peppers, cook for an additional minute.  Remove from heat.
9. Slice the poblanos in half, scrapped out the seeds and lay with the insides up on a baking sheet.  Scoop the rice mixture on each pepper, then scoop the onion and corn mixture.  Sprinkle with the crumbled queso fresco cheese.
10. Broil the assembled peppers for 7-10 minutes until the cheese has browned.
roasted poblano peppers (10) WM

Whipped Feta & Veggie Crostinis

whipped feta bites (1) WM

Whipped feta is pretty much amazing.  It is just feta cheese and cream cheese.  After you whip it you add it to bread (or toast) and add any veggies (or fruit) that you want.  It’s that simple.

Ingredients:

10 oz. feta cheese (plain, not flavored)

8 oz. cream cheese (soft, not the log kind)

Directions:

1. Dump the feta cheese and cream cheese into a food processor and blend until creamy.  This will take, I don’t know maybe close to 10 minutes – you’ll want all of the lumps to be gone and the whipped feta to be absolutely creamy.

It’s up to you what to do with the whipped feta.  I sliced some whole wheat bread, spread the whipped feta on top, placed some sliced tomatoes & bell peppers on top, put a fresh basil leaf on top and ground some fresh black pepper over the veggies.  You could add some honey while blending the feta and cream cheese and use fruit instead of veggies – the options are endless!

Tomato & Feta Toasts

tomato and feta toasts (1) WM

I cannot believe how amazing this salad / toast was.  In fact, I want one right now.  I’m pretty much drooling.  This recipe will be a go-to summer salad recipe.  See, there are so many amazing ways to eat your veggies!

prep/total time: approximately 20-25 minutes

 tomato and feta toasts (2) WM

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

handful basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of kosher salt

feta cheese, crumbled

goat cheese, crumbled

toasted French bread, 2 slices each person

handful pine nuts, toasted

handful of arugula per person

Directions:

1. Chop, slice, and grate all needed ingredients.

2. Mix the olive oil, pepper and salt together, stir in the chopped, sliced, grated ingredients.  Gently fold in the crumbled cheeses.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Slice and toast the bread.

4. Toast a handful of pine nuts – careful not to burn, you only want them golden brown.

5. Place a handful of washed arugula on each plate.

6. Place the toast on the sides of the plate.  Arrange the cucumber on the bed of arugula, and scoop out the cheese and olive oil mixture on top of the toasts and arugula.  Enjoy!

tomato and feta toasts (3) WM