Cam’s Vegan Quinoa Salad (DF, GF)

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Cameron is brilliant with a grain salad. He makes one almost every week for a quick plant based lunch. I’ve been craving quinoa and this salad is crazy good - so different than anything I’d make or think of. It’s gluten free, too. 

It’s good served warm or cold.  

Serves 4.  

Cam’s Quinoa Salad 

1 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)  

juice of one lemon  

1 apple, cored, diced (try Fuji or Gala)

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon maple syrup  

3/4 cup pecans, raw and toasted or roasted 

1 14oz tin black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil  

1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil

s + p, to taste  

In a medium sauce pan, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce to low and cook about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, toss apples and shallot in lemon juice and pinch of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add maple syrup. Add cooked quinoa, pecans, black beans and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil, sesame oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper. 

Quinoa + Cauliflower Kosheri

Here's a weird one for you.  I had never used the middle eastern herb and spice blend za'atar before and was surprised by it's herbal earthiness.  It's the main flavor in this dish which I'm loosely calling a Quinoa Kosheri.  Kosheri is an vegetarian Egyptian dish made of grains and lentils.  

Roasted cauliflower is tossed with cooked quinoa, lentils, brown onions and a long chile pepper for a spicy healthy vegetarian, gluten free dinner.  

Serves 4.

Quinoa + Cauliflower Kosheri

1 tablespoon olive oil

s + p

zest of half a lemon

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup red quinoa  (any color is ok)

1/2 cup green lentils

1 yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon za'atar

1 long hot chile pepper, thinly sliced

lemon juice, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest.  Arrange on baking tray.  Roast 20 minutes, toss and roast 15 minutes more or until cauliflower is tender. 

Combine quinoa with 2/3 cup water.  Boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until water has evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. 

Combine lentils in a pot of water. Boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are tender but not falling apart.  Strain.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add onions, cook until nicely browned.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning and promote even cooking.  Stir in garlic. Cook about 1 minutes, stirring.  Stir in za'atar, chile pepper, cooked cauliflower, cooked quinoa and cooked lentils.  Cook until hot throughout.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

This is a one pot meal.  Minimal prep, mostly unattended cooking.  Like everything on this blog, we're going to eat it in a bowl with sautéed kale.  This would also be a great burrito filling.  I like burritos.  

Serves 4.

Mexican Turkey + Quinoa Skillet

1 lb ground lean turkey breast

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 15 oz tin diced tomatoes

15 oz water

1 15oz tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add turkey and spices, breaking it up meat with spoon, cook until no longer pink.  Stir in quinoa, corn, tomatoes and water.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Cook until thick and most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Stir in beans to until warmed thru.  

Serve with tortillas, chips, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, picked jalapeños... whatever you got.

 

Veggie Burgers

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I love a veggie burger.  These are very healthy and full of plant based protein from the beans and quinoa.  They are vegetarian, gluten free and vegan if you omit the egg.  (I made these without the egg and they are lighter but tend to fall apart a little bit which is why I consider it optional.)  

Serves 6. 

Veggie Burgers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 large portobello mushroom

splash of olive oil

1 red fresno chile, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 large shallot, diced

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

several turns fresh black pepper

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon siracha

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 egg, optional

Cook quinoa in small pot with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Water will have evaporated and quinoa will be tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.   

Cut portobello into quarters and run through food processor until chopped.  Set aside.  

Heat a skillet with splash of olive oil to medium high heat and saute processed mushrooms, chile, garlic, shallot and ginger until tender, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl.  

Run kidney beans, quinoa and carrots through food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add to bowl with mushroom mix.  Add mustard powder, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, siracha, lime juice and egg, if using.  Stir to combine.   

Chill mixture in fridge 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge, form into patties and cook in  oiled skillet 3 minutes on each side,   Serve with red onions, pickled anything, lettuce, mayo, siracha, fresh cilantro leaves, tomatoes and carrot matchsticks.