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

Braised Mediterranean Chicken

braised mediterranean chicken (2) WM

I have so many posts that I need to catch up on, it’s ridiculous.  I made this dish awhile ago, and as always it was pretty darn tasty.  And I always I made some substitutions from the original recipe and made it my own.

braised mediterranean chicken (3) WM

prep time: 25 minutes

cooking time:  75 minutes

Ingredients:

  • chicken thighs (enough to serve those who are eating, up to 6 pieces otherwise add more of the other ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves of smashed garlic (squeezed in a garlic press or minced)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 lemon, sliced + a couple of slices for garnishing when serving
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • small container of mixed olives from the olive bar
  • handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.

2. Make a few cuts on the sides of the chicken.

3. Rub chicken with crushed garlic, paprika, salt & pepper.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pan on  medium heat; cook chicken with skin side down and brown for about 10 minutes.  Flip to cook the other side and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

6. Pour in the Marsala wine and turn up the heat to high until alcohol evaporates.

7. Add lemon slices, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cranberries and thyme.  Reduce the heat to and simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Transfer pan to the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 45 minutes or until chicken turns golden brown.  While cooking, baste the sauce over the chicken.

9. Serve with regular or Israeli couscous and garnish with fresh lemon slices.

braised mediterranean chicken (4) WM