Its been a long hiatus for me and I think I am finally getting back to my blog again. I have been getting a lot of requests for this recipe (you know who you are) and that in turn motivated me to start blogging again.
A simple easy side salad with Quinoa which can be served with anything from a summer barbeque to an elegant indoor dinner. Quinoa is gluten free and is therefore a goto side for entertaining when you have guests who watch their gluten. It is also packed with protein and pleases the carb watchers alike.
Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups chicken broth/Vegetable broth/water
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 medium zuchinni
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 scallions, chopped
salt + Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Chop the vegetables(cut the peppers and onion lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips and the zucchini into 1/2 inch half moons.) and peel the garlic (leave them whole). Toss them with 1 Tbsp olive oil, some salt and pepper and roast them on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and when cool to handle give them a dice.
In a sauce pan on medium heat add 1 teaspoon olive oil and the quinoa and saute for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile heat the broth/water in the microwave and add it to the quinoa. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 20 minutes, until there is no liquid remaining. Allow the quinoa to cool. I use an organic pre-washed quinoa. Check the cooking instructions on the packaging to see if you need to rinse the quinoa before using it. If you do rinse it, please allow water to drain completely before adding to the oil.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and the 2 Tbsp olive oil to make the dressing. In a bowl, combine the quinoa, roasted vegetables, scallions and the dressing and toss well.
- You can substitute lemon juice with vinegar.
- Use any veggies you like.
Last summer my dear friend Veronica spent a day with us. We had fun shopping and cooking. Veron taught me to make mutton xacuti, which is a goan speciality, and it was YUMMY! To go along with the spicy xacuti, she decided to make a cucumber and onion salad. The recipe for this salad originated from Veron’s aunt in Goa, India. This is a very refreshing crunchy salad with sweet, sour and spicy notes. It goes well with spicy food and would also be great as a burger topper too.
So this one is for you Veron! Thank your aunt for it! Hope to spend some more time in the kitchen with you soon.
1/2 English cucumber
1 medium red onion
1 green chilli (optional, if you do not like the heat)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cut the cucumber lengthwise and then slice each half into thin slices. Slice the red onion as fine as you can. Add the cucumber and onion to a bowl.
Dice the chilli very fine and add it to a small bowl. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Stir well to make the dressing. I let the dressing sit for a little while to let the flavors combine.
When you are ready to serve toss the dressing with the cucumbers and onions and sprinkle the cilantro on top.
Notes: If you cannot find English seedless cucumber, you can use one regular cucumber, but remember to seed it first.
A quick lunch that I like to make when I have any leftover roasted or grilled chicken. A traditional chicken salad uses a lot of mayo, I limit the amount of mayo used in the salad and substitute it with some low fat yogurt.
Ingredients : Serves 4
1 cup cooked chicken cubed
2 scallions(green onions) finely chopped
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 red bell pepper diced
3/4 cups grapes cut into halves
1/4 cup roasted shelled pistachios
1/4 tsp hot sauce
juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup yogurt (I prefer low fat)
2 Tbsp light Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
Line a sieve with some cheese cloth or kitchen paper towel and place it over a bowl making sure that the sieve does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Place the yogurt in the sieve and allow the liquid to drain for about 4 hours in the refrigerator. This makes the yogurt thick and creamy and gives it the consistency of a cream cheese.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients including the yogurt and mix well. The chicken salad is ready! You can serve the chicken salad on a bread with some lettuce and tomatoes or it is also great served inside a pita.