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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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Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza

Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza
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This is a great recipe for the grill, but it can also be done in the oven.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza
Print Recipe
This is a great recipe for the grill, but it can also be done in the oven.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Toss on a foil lined sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the ricotta, pesto, half & half, and Romano cheese. Set aside.
  3. Heat the grill . Place the nan bread on the grill to toast one side (2 - 3 minutes). remove from the grill.
  4. Spread the toasted side of the bread with the ricotta mixture and top each bread with the tomatoes. Divide the Italian blend and feta cheeses evenly between the two breads.
  5. Grill covered for 7 - 10 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is golden brown.
  6. Remove from grill. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the shredded basil. Serve.
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Grilled Potato and Asparagus Salad

I’d like to introduce the newest addition to “Casa Diehl”- a Uniflame 15,000 BTU gas grill. I am well aware that this is commonly known as a “tailgating grill” but when your outdoor space is approximately 10 feet by 5 feet and propane tank size is limited, it is making the best of a very small situation.

This grill is bigger than our previous grill and is more powerful. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that it is on a stand which eliminates the need to stoop and bend to grill…those of a certain age will appreciate that fact.

More heat and more space have opened up more opportunities. As the warmer weather continues to build, we will be relying on this little emerald gem more often.

While not the first dish that has come off the grill, this side dish is a good place to start. Potatoes (russet this time) and Asparagus grilled up golden brown and dressed with a Honey Mustard Dressing is the perfect accompaniment to any grilled protein. It is also one of those basic recipes that can be adapted to a garden of possibilities.

This recipe served two generously with leftovers to go into a Strata, Salad, or Midnight Snack. Adjust the amounts to suit your needs. The same goes for the type of potato you use. Red potatoes would be wonderful as would Yukon Golds…

Grilled Potato and Asparagus Salad
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Servings
2 +leftovers
Servings
2 +leftovers
Grilled Potato and Asparagus Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
2 +leftovers
Servings
2 +leftovers
Ingredients
Honey Mustard Dressing
Servings: +leftovers
Instructions
  1. In separate bowls, toss the asparagus and potatoes (along with the onions) with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In the meantime heat a grill basket over a medium high flame.
  2. Add the potatoes and onions to the basket and cook tossing occasionally for 10 minutes or so. The potatoes should be softening and everything should begin to look golden.
  3. Add the asparagus to the basket and toss to combine. Continue to cook until the asparagus is tender crisp and the potatoes are tender. 5 - 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to coat. Serve.
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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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Scampi

Scampi
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Scampi
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Dry the peeled and deveined shrimp between paper towels, then place them in a zip top bag.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Baking: Lay the shrimp on the baking sheet as for broiling. Bake 3-4 minutes, turn the shrimp and broil 3-4 minutes more
  6. Frying: Heat a large skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Add the shrimp and saute, turning frequently until they turn pink .
  7. Once the shrimp are slightly curled and pretty in pink remove them from the heat source and serve as an appetizer or main dish.
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