Greek Quinoa Salad

DSC02723

It’s been one crazy summer here.  I’ve been determined to finish up all of my lists of projects and ideas before September, and since I lead a 4-H group, we HAVE to participate with the county fair!  Enter: easy meals that store well.  This is one of those.  I can make it ahead of time and grab a bowl for a quick lunch, or add some chicken for a dinner.  If you have adventurous eaters this would be great for a lunchbox salad as well.  If you haven’t tried my Asian Quinoa Salad yet add that one to the list too!
You can change up the add ins of course too to your liking.  Sometimes I leave the garbanzo beans out, especially if I’ll be serving hummus as well.

GREEK QUINOA SALAD
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, or diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup olives, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can, drained)
3 T fresh dill or parsley, finely chopped
3 T fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For dressing:
1 T lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the cup of water to a boil in a medium pot.  Add quinoa and return to a boil.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Fluff quinoa and let sit 5 minutes, covered, and off the heat.   This will make 2 cups cooked quinoa.  You will know it’s cooked because the outer hulls are popped off.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Pour over quinoa and chill.  Add remaining salad ingredients.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Serve with additional dressing if desired.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, or diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olives, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can, drained)
  • 3 T fresh dill or parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 T fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • For dressing:
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring the cup of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Fluff quinoa and let sit 5 minutes, covered, and off the heat. This will make 2 cups cooked quinoa. You will know it’s cooked because the outer hulls are popped off.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Pour over quinoa and chill. Add remaining salad ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  • Serve with additional dressing if desired.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://mystainedapron.com/greek-quinoa-salad/

    Quick Soup

    DSC00996
    I don’t usually buy “mixes”.  I figure why pay someone else to throw some stuff in a bag when I can do it myself for way less money, and not to mention actually know what all is in there?  Well, one exception is the Bob’s Red Mill “vegi soup mix”.  It includes green and yellow split peas, barley, lentils and alphabet vegetable pasta.   (Nothing mysterious in there!)

    I’ve kept it on hand for awhile now and used it occasionally, and then I tried the version of it at the  Bob’s Red Mill Visitor Store (If you live in the area, you should really go check it out).  It’s way better, and all I had to do was ask and they gave me a copy of the recipe.  I scaled it down for home use, and now it’s a great busy day dinner.  I always have these ingredients on hand, and you can either cook it on the stovetop or throw it in the crockpot for an even crazier day.
    My favorite way to serve this is with some biscuits, either plain, cheddar pepper, or whole wheat flax.
    This soup makes a great meatless meal, which I think is a good idea to have in rotation, and is also on my list of “emergency dinners” for those nights when everything just went out the window, but by golly we will still eat a home cooked meal and sit at the table. 🙂

    Bob’s Vegi Soup

    1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix
    8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
    1 cup diced carrots
    1 1/2 cups diced celery
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1 T dried basil
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    14.5 oz can green beans, drained
    salt, to taste

    In a large pot, place everything except the green beans and salt.
    Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
    Add green beans and salt to taste.

    Recipe source: Very slightly adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Visitor Center

    Quick Soup

    Ingredients

    • 1 3/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix
    • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 cup diced carrots
    • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
    • 1/2 cup diced onion
    • 1 T dried basil
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 14.5 oz can green beans, drained
    • salt, to taste

    Instructions

  • In a large pot, place everything except the green beans and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add green beans and salt to taste.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://mystainedapron.com/quick-soup/

    Crispy Quinoa Burgers

    DSC00755

    I made quinoa burgers.  With extra veggies.  Served with veggies.  And my hubby liked it.
    I repeat.  And my hubby… liked it.
    Can we just all have a moment to let that soak in? …

    Okay, but seriously, how could he not love these?  Crispy, flavorful, all things delicious.
    The original recipe only had carrots and green onions for veg, but I wanted more flavor than that.  So I added red onion, peppers, more cheeses, and garlic.  And don’t forget the cilantro.  Of course they needed more egg to bind it all together.  I will be making these often my friends, and you should too. 🙂

    CRISPY QUINOA BURGERS
    Makes about 18 (generous 1/4 cup) burgers

    1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
    2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
    1 cup cooked chickpeas, optional
    1/2 cup grated swiss cheese (or cheddar or provolone)
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)
    4 green onions, thinly sliced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
    salt and pepper
    4 eggs, lightly beaten

    Combine the quinoa and stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
    Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until plumped and cooked through.
    (Can do this ahead of time, even a day or two).  Let cool.
    To the cooled quinoa, add all remaining ingredients and toss to combine well.
    Heat a pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
    Form quinoa patties (I did mine a generous 1/4 cup full, but do the size you want).
    You’ll need to cook in batches, don’t crowd the pan.
    Cook until browned, then flip and cook the second side.
    Repeat until done.
    We served them with a salad and avocado, but you could serve them on buns like a veggie burger as well.

    DSC00749

    Recipe Source: adapted from How Sweet It Is

    Crispy Quinoa Burgers

    Yield: 18 (generous quarter cup) portions

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
    • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
    • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, optional
    • 1/2 cup grated swiss cheese (or cheddar or provolone)
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)
    • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
    • salt and pepper
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

    Instructions

  • Combine the quinoa and stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until plumped and cooked through.
  • (Can do this ahead of time, even a day or two). Let cool.
  • To the cooled quinoa, add all remaining ingredients and toss to combine well.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Form quinoa patties (I did mine a generous 1/4 cup full, but do the size you want).
  • You'll need to cook in batches, don't crowd the pan.
  • Cook until browned, then flip and cook the second side.
  • Repeat until done.
  • We served them with a salad and avocado, but you could serve them on buns like a veggie burger as well.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://mystainedapron.com/crispy-quinoa-burgers/

    Roasted Vegetable Soup

     
    I’m a sucker for a good soup.  It’s such a versatile thing, and so comforting too.  I’m a big fan of roasting, so this was a big hit in my book.  I loved how quick and simple it was too, especially when I used half of the roasted vegetables for a side dish with dinner one night, then the other half used the next night to make this.  I included a variation to dress it up if desired as well, by adding a drizzle of basil oil and croutons, but just plain is good in my book too.  The carrot flavor really comes through strong, if you don’t want as strong of a carrot flavor just keep that in mind when picking which vegetables you are going to roast.
    This would work well for a make ahead meal as well, you could even puree it all up beforehand, and just rewarm when ready to serve.
     
    ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
    4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    salt and pepper to taste
     
    Heat the broth and vegetables in a pot over medium high heat until heated through.
    Use a stick blender (or food processor or blender), to puree until smooth.
    Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more broth if needed to reach desired consistency.
    Serve hot.
    To dress up this soup:
    Make some basil oil by pureeing fresh basil leaves in a blender with enough olive oil to make a thin consistency.  Drizzle over soup, and top with homemade croutons.
    Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
     

    Roasted Vegetable Panini

    My new favorite thing.
    Honest.  Wait… do I say that often?
    Either way, I really mean it this time. : )
    I have casually mentioned to my husband that I could be a vegetarian, it really wouldn’t bother me.
    (Especially with a sandwich like this!)  He usually stares at me in fear for a few seconds until I start to smile.   : )

    ROASTED VEGETABLE PANINI

    THE VEG:
    8 oz mushrooms, sliced
    1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick
    1 yellow bell pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick
    3 small zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick
    1 T olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    PESTO SPREAD:
    4 oz cream cheese
    2 T chopped artichokes
    2 T pesto
    zest of 1 lemon
    TO ASSEMBLE:
    8 slices Sourdough bread
    Butter
    Tomatoes, sliced
    Provolone Cheese
    Arugula

    Toss all the veg ingredients together on a large rimmed baking sheet.

    Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
    Spread butter on one side of each bread slice.
    Lay 4 slices out buttered side down and spread other side with pesto spread.  Top with the roasted vegetables, provolone cheese, tomatoes, and arugula.
    Top each with another slice of bread, with the pesto mix spread on the inside and butter on the outside.
    Grill on a panini press or griddle.

    Fried Rice

    I made this recipe a looong time ago.  When I was just beginning to experiment more in the kitchen.  Before I was sleep deprived… before I was loosing all my hair… (and sanity) : )  Actually, it was before I even graduated high school!   It’s fairly unusual for me to make the same recipe for that length of time without changing it at all, but I just like it so much for a quick dinner or side dish just the way it is.  For a main dish, I add meat, see variation at end of recipe, but I like it without meat as well.  And if I have any fresh snow peas on hand they are always great to throw in too.
    FRIED RICE
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    2 T oil
    4 cups cooked and cooled rice*
    3/4 cup diced carrots
    3/4 cup frozen peas (You could also use frozen carrot / pea mix)
    3 eggs, beaten
    3 green onions, sliced
    1-2 tsp soy sauce
    1 T spice mix (or desired amount) recipe at bottom
    Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
    Add rice, carrots, and peas.  Stir occasionally, letting the rice brown.
    Add soy sauce and spice mix, stir in until well combined.
    Push rice to one side of pan and pour beaten eggs in empty space in pan.
    As eggs start to set, stir to scramble. When cooked through, stir into rice.
    Add green onions and stir.
    SPICE MIX: Mix everything together, can also make a larger batch to keep on hand.
     1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    *I like to freeze leftover rice for this dish.  You can use the rice straight from the freezer, it usually doesn’t even clump up in the freezer.
    To make into a main dish you can add chopped BBQ Pork, diced chicken breast, shrimp, or a combination of a couple.  Just cook meat at the beginning before you add the rice.
    Fried Rice

    Ingredients

    • 2 T oil
    • 4 cups cooked and cooled rice*
    • 3/4 cup diced carrots
    • 3/4 cup frozen peas (You could also use frozen carrot / pea mix)
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 3 green onions, sliced
    • 1-2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 T spice mix (more to taste)
    • SPICE MIX:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder

    Instructions

  • Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
  • Add rice, carrots, and peas. Stir occasionally, letting the rice brown.
  • Add soy sauce and spice mix, stir in until well combined.
  • Push rice to one side of pan and pour beaten eggs in empty space in pan.
  • As eggs start to set, stir to scramble. When cooked through, stir into rice.
  • Add green onions and stir.
  • I like to freeze leftover rice for this dish. You can use the rice straight from the freezer, it usually doesn't even clump up in the freezer.
    To make into a main dish you can add chopped BBQ Pork, diced chicken breast, shrimp, or a combination of a couple. Just cook meat at the beginning before you add the rice.
    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://mystainedapron.com/fried-rice/

    Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

    It’s that crazy time of year.  I know you all know what I’m talking about. (And if you don’t, I WANT YOUR SECRET!) : )
    Holidays, family get-togethers, Christmas gifts to make and shop for, decorating, and so on.  It’s also my favorite time of the year.  I love the feeling of giving and gratitude in the air this time of year.  But still, things can get a bit hectic, so a meal like this one comes in awful handy.  My mom made “baked potato bar” night in our home often, and it was always a big hit.  We could each pick what we wanted on our potato and and you won’t find a cheaper ingredient!  So do what I’m doing tomorrow night- make this and give yourself a break!
    SLOW COOKER BAKED POTATOES
    Wrap potatoes in foil and put in slow cooker.
    Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until soft when pierced with a knife.
    Serving suggestions:
    chopped chives, red onion, or green onions
    ranch dressing
    sour cream
    crumbled cooked bacon
    shredded cheese
    chili
    butter
    steamed chopped broccoli
    a big garden salad makes a good accompaniment

    Cheese Fondue

    Meet Irish Cheddar.  My favorite cheese. EVER.  My hubby’s favorite cheese. EVER.
    And I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be yours when you try it too. Smooth, sharp, but not too sharp, creamy…. perfect.  It’s getting much easier to find now, even Costco is selling it. So next time you see it, try some, you won’t regret it!   And now, a recipe using it!

    I’m finally getting around to posting this recipe, we actually had it for Valentine’s Day!  I don’t make fondue very often, only a couple times a year, but it really is easy, delicous, and very fun.  You can get really creative with the dippers, or be very basic. 

    CHEESE FONDUE
    3 T butter
    4 T flour
    1/2 tsp paprika
    2 1/2 cups milk
    12 oz shredded cheese ( I used Irish Cheddar, I sometimes use half cheddar, half swiss)
    Juice of 1 lemon
    salt and pepper, to taste
      
    Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and paprika, cook a minute.  Gradually add milk, whisking in completely.  Add cheese, then stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 
    Whisk in more milk if it’s thicker than you want.  Serve in fondue pot.
    Dipping Ideas: cubed french bread
    lightly steamed vegetables-like cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli
    lil smokies
    cooked chicken
    Steak
    Apple slices or cubes

    PERFECT Roasted Vegetable Quiche

    This is by far one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. I love, love, LOVE roasted vegetables.
    I could eat them three times a day I think! The first time I made this quiche I did a higher amount of vegetables and less custard. This time I used a little more restraint and I also made it to fit in a standard pie pan since some of you may not own a quiche pan. I used my favortie pie pan, which is a deep dish, but you could definetely use a standard pie pan, you just won’t have that extra piece of crispy crust at the top.
    ROASTED VEGETABLE QUICHE
    6 mushrooms, (about 6 oz), quartered
    1 small red onion, chopped small
    1 red bell pepper, chopped small
    1 zucchini, chopped small
    1 roma tomato, chopped small
    1 T olive oil
    salt & pepper
    1 tsp herbs de provence
    pie crust, unbaked
    1/4 c fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade
    4 eggs
    1 cup half and half (you could use 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk)
    1/2 cup grated parmesan
    Lay vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer.
    Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.
    Cook at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

    Vegetables should be softened but not completely mushy.
    Pour vegetables into pie crust and add basil.
    Whisk together cream, eggs, and parmesan cheese.
    Pour over vegetables in pie crust.
    Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until set but not rubbery.
    Serve luke-warm or room temperature.
    And if you’ll excuse me… this piece has my name all over it.

    Mac and Cheese Soup

    I keep a basket of recipes, it is always there. Clipped from magazines, printed from websites, notes and ideas scribbled down and scraps of paper.  Ones that haven’t made it to my organized recipe binders yet.  This recipe was burried in that stack. It was from a Parents magazine and I wasn’t sure we would love it, so it kept getting buried in the stack.  I finally got around to trying it and I wish I’d made it sooner! It was creamy without being too rich, and just a fun soup. It comes together in a snap, and I think if you wanted meat in it you could add some cooked chicken to it with good results. I hope you try it, I think you’ll love this fast and easy meal!

    Mac and Cheese Soup

    1 pkg (32 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth  (or water and chicken base)
    6 oz small pasta shells
    1 bag (16 oz) frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend
    1 1/2 cups low fat milk
    2 T flour
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

    Bring broth to a boil over high heat.  Add pasta, return to a boil.
    Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
    Add vegetables.  Cook until pasta and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more.
    Combine milk and flour in a resealable container, shake well to combine. (or mix well in a bowl)
    Stir into soup.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Gradually add the cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...