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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Dressing
Servings:
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Drain the artichoke hearts well and roughly chop them before adding them to the bowl along with the red onions and garbanzo beans.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl
  6. Toss the ingredients together gently. Add the dressing and toss once more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.
Dressing
  1. 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.
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Chipotle Cheddar Soup with Broccoli and Corn

Chipotle Cheddar Soup with Broccoli and Corn
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Chipotle Cheddar Soup with Broccoli and Corn
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Add 1/4 cup broth to the pot and stir scraping up any brown bits. Cook for a minute or so to reduce slightly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the broccoli, corn, Worcestershire Sauce and Chipotle Tabasco. Cook for several minutes.
  7. Over low heat, stir in the cheese, continuing to stir until it is melted. Give it a taste and adjust any seasoning. Serve.
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Mediterranean Farro Bowl

Mediterranean Farro Bowl
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Mediterranean Farro Bowl
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Rinse farro and drain. In a medium pan, combine the farro with 1-1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the farro is as tender as you like. This will take 20 - 30 minutes. While the farro cooks, prepare the vegetables.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squashes and the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes until everything begins to soften and become fragrant.
  3. Add the garbanzos and continue to cook until the beans are beginning to brown. This should take around 5-7 minutes. Make sure you stir often so that they brown evenly.
  4. Add a little of the reserved stock to keep things moving. Add the olives, peppers, and artichokes to the skillet, tossing to combine. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
  5. Add the lemon juice, herb blend, and rosemary to the skillet and toss one more time and heat another coupe of minutes.
  6. Divide the farro between 2 bowls creating a little well in the middle. Top each bowl with half of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle 1 ounce of the feta on each bowl and serve.
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Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Chop one of the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the chopped onions, garlic and carrots to the pot and sweat over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes. The vegetables should be softened and fragrant.
  2. Add one cup of each the broccoli and cauliflower to the pot using as many of the stems as possible. Cook for 3 minutes or so.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Tie the bunch of thyme together with kitchen twine. Leave enough string to allow the thyme to be submerged in the soup and the twine to be tied to the pot handle.
  5. Using a potato peeler, cut the yellow skin off the lemon. You want the yellow part, not the white pith. Drop it into the pot.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes. The vegetables should be very soft, the leaves should be off of the thyme sprigs and everything should smell delicious.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and remove the thyme bundle and the lemon peel.Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is almost smooth. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauces and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. While the soup is simmering, slice the remaining onion lengthwise into the strips. Toss with the rest of the broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and toss to combine.
  9. Coat a grill basket with cooking spray and heat on the grill. Add the broccoli/cauliflower/onion mixture to the pan. Put the lid down on the grill and cook the vegetables for 7 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Everything should be tender crisp and slightly browned.
  10. Add the grilled vegetables to the pureed soup and cook for a few minutes until everything is heated through.
  11. Ladle into bowls and top with a sprinkling of green onions.
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Meatless Minestrone for Mondays and Beyond

Meatless Minestrone for Mondays and Beyond
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Meatless Minestrone for Mondays and Beyond
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook for several minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and the bay leaves to the pot and cook another minute or two, stirring frequently.
  3. Pour in the can of tomatoes, juice and all and the vegetable stock. Bring up to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. At this point you can cool the stock and refrigerate until the next day. You can also complete the recipe at this time if you want.
  4. Coat a non-stick pan with olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the artichoke hearts and cook for 5 - 6 minutes or so turning once until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Repeat the above process with the zucchini slices.
  6. When you are ready to complete cooking the soup, (re)heat the stock to a simmer. Add the chickpeas ans pasta and cook for 5 minutes, stirring it once or twice.
  7. Add the green beans and cook for 4 minutes or until they are the amount of tender crisp you like.
  8. Add the browned artichokes and zucchini and simmer everything gently until it is all heated through. This should only take a couple of minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Ladle into four soup bowls and top each with two of the toasted bead slices (recipe follows) and a drizzle of olive oil.
Cheese Toasts
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat the bread slices on both sides with olive oil cooking spray and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Toast for 8 minutes, turning once. Top with the cheese and return to the oven set on broil and cook until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.
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