Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Well, I’m back people and ready for action. I know it’s been a little while, but if you have read my last couple posts, you’ll know I’ve gone through some changes these past couple months. Luckily, I’m all settled into my new apartment, watching Gilmore Girls, and wasting no time in the kitchen. As I type, I have an amazing David Lebovitz pear cake in the oven.

Check it out!
But there's more to this story... we're here for some quinoa!

We now live on the top floor; the kitchen is twice as big and a million times lighter than the basement cave in Seattle. It’s a dream come true for me! Anyway, I took a couple days off work to get settled. Ethan is, unfortunately, way behind at work. So last night, we recreated one of our old dates. When Ethan was in grad school, the only time I could really see him was at dinner. So while he studied, I cooked, and for the amount of time it took to eat, we got to have some real face time. And so, I made a makeshift picnic and brought dinner to him at work.

I needed something that would be easy to carry, not need a lot of utensils, and packed with protein and veggies to keep Ethan burning the midnight oil. And so we ate this awesome Southwest Quinoa Salad over a patient table while the Vikings/49ers game played in the background. Romance at it’s finest if I do say so myself!

This grain salad is easily packed for a lunch, made into a vegetarian meal, or a great dish to bring to a potluck. I’ve modified the recipe to meet Ethan’s meat needs, you can find the original recipe in Wendy Polisi’s cookbook, The quintessential quinoa cookbook. Thanks Wendy! (And thanks #bae for getting it for me!)

  • 1 ½ cups roasted chickpeas (drain & rinse them first!)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh is best!)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons JOES seasoning (or chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 green chile pepper or jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons agave nectar

  • Cook the quinoa (good trick is to use your rice cooker!)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Combine the chickpeas, corn, red & yellow peppers, seasonings, lime juice, and soy sauce and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Roast chickpea mixture for 45 minutes, stirring often so as not to burn veggies
  • Cook the ground beef with some Joe’s and garlic powder until there is no pink. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and agave nectar. Add the quinoa, beef, tomatoes, chile pepper, cilantro, and chickpea mixture and toss!
  • Top with cojita cheese or feta and you are in for one delicious meal :)

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