Tag: quinoa recipes

Quinoa Broccoli Salad with Tangy, Creamy Dressing {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Did you know that broccoli is one of THE most healing, healthful foods we can eat?

Tom Malterre, one of my favorite nutritionists, has been so bold as to call it “The DNA Whisperer” in his fascinating TEDTalk.

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I’ve written about the incredible health benefits of broccoli in another blog post (which also features my favorite “crack” broccoli recipe – aptly named due to how addictive it is).

Click here for that recipe and to learn more about the cancer-fighting, immune boosting, detoxifying benefits of this tree-like vegetable.

Broccoli is coming in season locally, so I wanted to find some new and interesting ways to use it aside from the usual steaming it or tossing it in a salad.

Since removing dairy from my diet a few years ago, I’ve been especially driven to come up with creamy dressing recipes. This one uses tahini (sesame paste) and raw cashews to create creaminess, which paired nicely with the light and fluffy quinoa and roasted broccoli.

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The trick was making a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, which we’ve since used for a southwest black bean salad, pumpkin breakfast cereal, and now this recipe.

It’s a big time saver to cook once and then use the ingredient 3 times. You can do that with any grain at the beginning of the week (brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat).

(In case you missed it, here’s how to cook quinoa 🙂 )

One of my colleagues who tried this recipe on her own had this to say about it:

“Whoa, Rachel! This salad was excellent! First, it was easy to make, which, as a non-cook, I totally appreciate. The flavor is what really impressed me. The sweetness of the cashews, the umami of the tamari, and a bit of heat from the crushed red pepper married so well together! I’ll definitely be adding this one to my personal recipe collection!”

Tangy creamy quinoa broccoli salad

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 Salad

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (coconut oil is my prefered oil for cooking since it’s more stable at high temperatures while olive oil is best for raw or low heat preparations)
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked (Here’s how to cook perfect quinoa!)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Optional: almond slices, lightly toasted

Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours in water (or overnight) then drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss broccoli in oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and softened slightly but still bright green, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. While broccoli is roasting, prepare dressing. Transfer the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. When broccoli is done, remove from oven and transfer to mixing bowl. Add quinoa, drizzle with lemon juice and toss to combine.
  4. Pour 1/2-2/3 cup dressing over the broccoli-quinoa mixture and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Top with toasted almond slices, if you prefer (for an extra crunch!).
  6. Serve immediately (for a warm salad) or chill in fridge for at least two hours.

Mexican-Inspired Black Bean Quinoa Salad {Gluten-Free}

It’s summer, and you know what that means?

Cookouts!

When the weather is warmer, we often crave lighter, more cooling foods. For that reason, I like to prepare healthier alternatives to the heavier potato, egg and pasta side salads we typically see at picnics, potlucks and cookouts.

If you want a quick and delicious dish to bring to your next cookout or potluck, give this one a try! It’s packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats, filling fiber, and TONS of flavor.

It also gave me a reason to use these beautiful spring onions 🙂

Aren't these pretty?

This recipe was inspired by one from Angela, who writes an amazing blog over at ohsheglows. She just came out with her first cookbook, too! It’s on my wish list.

I made a few tweaks to the salad itself and the dressing based on the flavors we like.

The original recipe called for 3 times as much cilantro, but I find cilantro to have a very strong taste, so I reduced it. I also tossed in some creamy avocado and added a little more flavor to the dressing by throwing in some chili powder and a subtle pinch of cayenne pepper.

As always, Bill added a few shakes of hot sauce on top of his bowl and liked it so much that he went back for seconds! Success 🙂

Cumin-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This salad was delicious. Bill went back for seconds AND had leftovers for lunch the next day! Servings: 6

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked). Click here for how to cook perfect quinoa every time. You could also sub in brown rice instead.
  • 1 thumb-sized piece kombu (find it in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (or 1.5 cups cooked), drained and rinsed. We like the brand “Eden.”
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, grated/shredded (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Set quinoa aside.
  2. Add ghee to medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Then, add garlic and saute 1 more minute.
  3. Add quinoa to pot along with kombu and 2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover about 12-15 minutes or until you see little white tails pop off the quinoa and no water remains. DO NOT STIR the quinoa during this time.
  4. After cooking the quinoa, dispose of the kombu piece, and let the quinoa cool for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork if needed.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cilantro, carrots, green onions and avocado.
  6. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour the dressing onto the salad, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad the day before your next cookout, potluck or party, and the flavors will come together even more once you serve it. If you make it ahead of time, throw the avocado on just before serving, so it’s as bright green as possible.

Refreshing Quinoa, Apple & Almond Potluck Salad

In the springtime, our bodies naturally want to start detoxing to “clean out” all of the gunk that we’ve stored up over the winter (which was pretty brutal this year!).

Wastes and toxins build up in our bodies from stress, processed and refined foods, sugar, fried foods, chemical additives, and pesticides.  That is just one of the reasons we often feel tired and sluggish, hold on to extra weight (toxic tissue is a fat storage hog!), and don’t radiate health in the way we look.

Fortunately, this salad contains a bunch of ingredients that naturally promote the elimination of wastes and toxins. Check out all of the detoxifying ingredients!

  • Scallions (also a GBOMBS food!)
  • Celery
  • Lemon Juice
  • Parsley

This is a great dish to bring to a potluck or cookout. You can even make it the night before and store it in the fridge to let all of the flavors come together!

I went to one of my best friend’s birthday parties a few weeks ago (yay for turning 30!) and brought this salad with me. I doubled the recipe for the party, and it made enough for a group of 50 people. It was a HIT!

Refreshing Quinoa Salad with Apples & Almonds

Bring this to your next potluck or make it for your family!

Bring this to your next potluck or cookout or make it for your family!

Ingredients*

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (here’s how to cook perfect quinoa)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I used raw honey)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled, diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (you can use regular raisins if you can’t find golden ones :))
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions/scallions*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
  • Coarse salt and pepper

*I added about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions/scallions to the original salad recipe, since they are in season and add another dimension of flavor. They are also detoxifying and an anti-cancer GBOMBS food!

Click here for the full recipe!

How to Make Quinoa Taste Delicious: My Favorite Recipes!

In my post the other day, I shared the secret to cooking perfect quinoa every time. No more overcooked mush!

Knowing how to cook quinoa by itself is great, but for many of us, eating it plain has been our only experience with this little super seed. When we think of quinoa we think “bland, boring, and tasteless.”

It doesn’t have to be this way! Today I’m going to share how we make quinoa dishes taste delicious.

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Here is my favorite way to prepare quinoa. It’s not super technical (i.e., no measurements – AHH!), but that’s okay. Part of the FUN of cooking is experimenting and giving yourself permission to not follow so many stinkin’ rules 🙂

  1. Cook one cup of it. It expands to 3-4 times its size so 1 cup dry = 3-4 cups cooked.
  2. Chop & roast some veggies (I love using red and vidalia onions, garlic, carrots and sweet potatoes or butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are great, too!). A few pinches of thyme, rosemary, and/or sage give roasted veggies great flavor. Use whatever veggies, herbs and spices YOU like!
  3. Chop up some greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, etc.).
  4. Put the quinoa and roasted veggies in a large skillet or saute pan on the stove and turn heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the greens. Toss everything together for a few minutes with tongs until the greens cook down but are still bright. Add a few splashes of water or veggie broth to prevent sticking/drying out.
  6. Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of 1/2 – 1 whole lemon or splash raw apple cider vinegar over the mixture and stir (acid = bite/flavor!).
  7. Top with toasted nuts/seeds (I like pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pine nuts), and for something sweet, dried cranberries or raisins.
  8. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (you may need more) as well as sea salt and pepper to your liking.
Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

For anyone who likes to follow recipes with numbers in them, check out the yummy ideas below for some seasonal quinoa dishes! We made the first one this week for dinner 🙂

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Quinoa Skillet – This is a perfect, warming winter dish. We cooked it in our cast iron skillet and made a few changes to the recipe. Roasting whole sweet potatoes in the oven took a long time, so next time, we’ll chop them up, toss them in some coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400F. Also, we added a few squeezes of lemon juice and some toasted pumpkin seeds to the dish just before serving, and it was delicious!

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts – These are a few of my absolute favorite things 🙂

Quinoa Fried Rice – Bill and I prepare variations of this all the time. We throw in whatever veggies we have on hand, so don’t feel like you’re stuck with this recipe as is – modify it to include your favorites!

Super Simple Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili – Is it time to change up your chili recipe? Give this one a try!

I have lots of other quinoa recipes on my Pinterest boards, so check them out!

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet. Yum!

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