Quinoa cucumber mint salad with black beans and serrano pepper


“There’s mosquitoes on the river Fish are rising up like birds
It’s been hot for seven weeks now,
Too hot to even speak now, Did you hear what I just heard?”

Well maybe not yet seven weeks, but it has been many weeks now of daily temps over 90F, and with the 4th of July and Fare Thee Well concert streaming potluck dinners to attend, it’s been a time to come up with easy to make and cooling, protein rich main dish salads…

ingredients:

  • 3/4 c quinoa
  • 1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
  • 2-3 medium cucumbers, thick sliced into half rounds or quarters
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced, including seeds
  • 10-12 leaves spearmint, diced
  • 1 lime, squeezed for dressing
  • organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for garnish

instructions:

Rinse quinoa well, then place in 1 1/2 c fresh water with a dash of salt, bring to boil then turn heat down to simmer covered for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Rinse beans well, chop and dice all vegetables and combine all. Dress with squeezed lime, and store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for additional protein.

quinoa tempeh salad with cranberries, jalapeno & mint


Too many deaths in the family recently, and thus too long since I posted here… It’s time now to prepare for a Winter Solstice gathering– time for me to create again, and for new traditions to come into being.

My thought with this recipe was to incorporate the heat, light and brightness of summer– with the hot pepper and cooling mint, bright yellow bell pepper– and also the traditional winter bright cranberry– in the grounded base of a quinoa and tempeh salad. I found this to be both light and satisfying; feta would compliment and add additional protein if desired, or pistachios to remain vegan.

IMG_4965

ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 12 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (include seeds for heat)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 10-12 leaves mint, diced
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed

instructions

Rinse quinoa well, then cover with 1 1/2 cups water, add dash of salt, bring just to boiling then reduce heat and simmer covered for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork. Saute chopped tempeh over medium high heat in a couple tablespoons olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and cover, checking and stirring frequently; cook until browned and cooked through, but not dried out. Add tempeh to quinoa. Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to pan, then saute shallots, hot pepper and celery until fragrant and shallots start to become translucent. Add yellow pepper and fresh cranberries, stir well, cover and simmer about 3-4 minutes, just until yellow pepper and cranberries are bright and just beginning to soften. Combine all well. Dress with freshly squeezed lime.

edamame and ricotta quinoa summer salad with hazelnuts and mint


Forecast for hot weather and two busy days ahead… calls for something easy, light and fulfilling too.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 c quinoa
  • 2 cups edamame
  • 1/2 c nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 T fresh mint, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Instructions:

Rinse quinoa well, then cover with 1 1/2 cups fresh water and a pinch of salt, bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Drain any residual water. Meanwhile, cover edamame with water in a small pan, bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 5 minutes or just until tender, then drain. Stir ricotta cheese into cooked edamame and mix well. Chop all veggies. Combine everything except the hazelnuts and mix together well, store in airtight container in refrigerator. Serve cold or warm, topped with hazelnuts.

hot summer salad with quinoa, tempeh, plumbs, mint, lime & pistachios


ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 package tempeh, cubed and sauted in 2 T olive oil
  • 3-4 large dark plumbs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • fresh mint sprigs, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice and pulp
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, as garnish immediately before serving.

IMG_2287instructions: Rinse quinoa very well. Bring quinoa just to a boil in 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt, then simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes until all fluid absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, allow to cool uncovered. Saute chopped tempeh, allow to cool, then add to cooked quinoa. Chop all remaining ingredients, stir all together. Dress with juice and pulp of lime. This is naturally sweet, so I served it with tofu baked in a spicy ginger peanut sauce. Or if desired, press or finely mince 2-3 slices of fresh ginger root, add to 1/8 cup olive oil for dressing. Refrigerate in air tight container.

two hot weather salads: cucumber, mint & lemon salad with jalapeno black bean salad


Cuc & Black Bean Saladingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 lemon, juice and pulp
  • 1/8- 1/4 cup plain yogurt, greek yogurt, or milk
  • 1 T fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
  • feta cheese

instructions: Too hot to even think about turning on any heat source to cook? Refresh with these simple cooling main dish salads. Chop and grate first 5 ingredients. Measure yogurt or milk, squeeze lemon, and stir in chopped mint, add pepper to taste. Dress cucumber salad and refrigerate in air tight container.  Rinse canned black beans well, add next 4 chopped and diced ingredients.  Lightly dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, top with crumbled feta cheese.  If you’re so inclined, toast some Ezekiel pocket bread or chapati with Parmesan to use as bread crumbs on cuc salad. Serve with cold local IPA, refresh and relax.