Quinoa is a favorite of many with good reason. It’s a grain (actually a seed) that is loaded with protein and is gluten-free. It is easy to prepare and is the perfect blank canvas for many creative additions.
I love it in a salad because it can stand up to big tastes like the ones in this recipe. There is an explosion of tastes and textures, yet there is also a pleasant balance of flavors. Grilling the corn and mushrooms gave them both a flavor boost. The chewiness of the mushrooms gave the dish a “meaty” feel and the tomatoes and onions gave it just the right amount of crunch. Quinoa is innately toothsome and was a perfect counterbalance.
I opted for a vinaigrette liberally laced with lemon and rosemary and a big hint of garlic to keep with the Mediterranean theme. You could use another bean, maybe cannellini if you were so inclined. The addition of a little cheese, perhaps feta, wouldn’t be a sin either. As with all of my recipes, I want you to make it your own.
This would make a wonderful side dish at a cookout, but it would be equally at home starring as they main attraction.
Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock according to the package directions adding the lemon peel, crushed garlic, and rosemary sprig at the beginning of cooking. Once it is cooked, remove the garlic, lemon, and rosemary as well as any un-absorbed broth and transfer into a large bowl.
Trim the stems on the mushrooms. Cut any very large ones in half. Toss with the olive oil and grill in a basket over medium heat until lightly browned. Add to the bowl of quinoa.
Spray the ears of corn lightly with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until lightly charred on all sides. Allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off the cob and add them to the quinoa bowl.
Drain the artichoke hearts well and roughly chop them before adding them to the bowl along with the red onions and garbanzo beans.
Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl
Toss the ingredients together gently. Add the dressing and toss once more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until the dressing is smooth. There will be small flecks of rosemary...that is a good thing.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are beginning to brown.
Add 1/4 cup broth to the pot and stir scraping up any brown bits. Cook for a minute or so to reduce slightly.
Add 3-1/2 cups of stock, the allspice, and chipotle powder to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes.
While the stock simmers, blanch the broccoli. Dump the broccoli into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately remove the broccoli and submerge in a bowl of ice water. Drain well and set aside.
Once the stock mixture starts smelling wonderful, add the evaporated milk and the buttermilk. Shake together the remaining 1/4 cup of stock and the flour. Slowly pour it into the soup stirring constantly. Continue to stir until it thickens.
Add the broccoli, corn, Worcestershire Sauce and Chipotle Tabasco. Cook for several minutes.
Over low heat, stir in the cheese, continuing to stir until it is melted. Give it a taste and adjust any seasoning. Serve.
Dry the peeled and deveined shrimp between paper towels, then place them in a zip top bag.
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into the bag of shrimp. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 5.
Grilling: Heat a grill basket over a medium high fire. Spray the basket with non-stick spray. Remove the shrimp from the bag and add to the grill basket. Cook stirring gently until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly. This takes 7 -10 minutes.
Broiling: Place the shrimp in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little of the marinade. Broil 3 - 4 minutes. turn the shrimp and broil for 3-4 minutes more.
Baking: Lay the shrimp on the baking sheet as for broiling. Bake 3-4 minutes, turn the shrimp and broil 3-4 minutes more
Frying: Heat a large skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Add the shrimp and saute, turning frequently until they turn pink .
Once the shrimp are slightly curled and pretty in pink remove them from the heat source and serve as an appetizer or main dish.
Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Put the lentils in the dish and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the sausage into 1/2" coins. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add the sausage slices and cook until lightly browned on one side, 3 - 4 minutes.
Turn the sausage and cook another 3 - 4 minutes. When the second side is browned, remove the sausage from the pan add to the lentils in the casserole.
Add the tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or so stirring often. Add some of the chicken stock if things seem dry.
Once the veggies are soft and fragrant, add them along with any drippings to the casserole. Add the rosemary and Italian seasoning.
Mix all the ingredients together and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until things are bubbly.
Layer the tomato slices on top of the casserole. Sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with a little more olive oil.
Return to the oven uncovered and bake another few minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and the cheese melts.
Turn the oven to broil and let the casserole go 3 - 4 minutes until it is golden. Remove from the oven and let set 10 minutes before serving.