Monthly Archives: November 2009

5-Minute Lunch


This took all of five minutes to make, and it’s so yummy I can’t stop eating it -but I will ‘cuz I want to save some for later.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and cooking for yourself today is probably not high on your priority what with cooking for 20 tomorrow? I’m not cooking for everyone for the first time in 15 years and instead we’re taking veggies to my niece’s place for dinner. Yes, there’s a big turkey on the table (and a ham) but we’re bringing a Quorn roast for ourselves and there are plenty of veggies.

But for today, it’s veggie time. We picked up our CSA bag and it was full of golden beets and rainbow chard-Yipee-my favorites. Every Wednesday is like Christmas as we open the bag and see what’s inside. I never keep the cilantro (I know, but I don’t like it) and I always keep the beets. So for lunch today, after splitting the goods with my BFF, I had 5 stalks of rainbow chard left and I went to town. Count it-five minutes.

5-minute Rainbow Chard Lunch
4-5 stalks of rainbow chard, cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp chopped garlic
Olive oil
1 Tbs Romano cheese (optional)

1. Add chard to a large saute pan with olive oil (about a Tbs) and cook down. It will cook down to about half it’s size, just like spinach.
2. While the chard is cooking, throw the pine nuts in the oven at about 350 for about 2 minutes or until they get slightly brown. (You can use a toaster oven or put them under the broiler on low, just watch closely since they burn quickly.)
3. Add garlic to chard and stir.
4. Add pine nuts, raisins and a pinch of salt to chard. Let cook for another minute.

Voila! it’s done. I like to add a pinch of Romano cheese (grated) on top for a bite-but that’s optional. The pine nuts give his a great texture and flavor and the raisins add just a bit of sweetness. My favorite part is the crunchiness of the chard, it’s so refreshing and comforting. Dive in dear chef and have fun. Tomorrow you stuff yourself but today you can eat light and comforting.

Enjoy!

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Filed under gluten free, pine nuts, raisins, Swiss Chard

Quinoa Frenzy


One more quinoa recipe, please. I found something like this at True Foods restaurant, a new place here in town serving gluten free and organic food. Wonderful. Using the ingredients in our weekly CSA basket, I was able to make a lovely quinoa salad that resembled the quinoa tabbouleh from True Foods, but was even better in my opinion. I found Inca Red quinoa at Sprouts and gave it a it a try. Wow, so good. Nuttier flavor than plain white quinoa. I think from now on I’m going to mix it half/half. It looks prettier that way and tastes great.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup red quinoa
1. 5 cups water
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 chopped red radish (or two small ones)
1 cup chopped fresh baby arugula
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
Dressing
Juice of one lemon
salt/pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp agave syrup

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has an outer coating to scare off the birds and makes it taste bitter. Just rinse it off for a few moments.

2. Add quinoa to water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and let simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa gets little swirlies in the middle when it’s about done. Let quinoa cool for about 30 minutes when done.

3. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a small processor/blender and blend until smooth. Depending on the size of your lemon, taste and see if you need more oil, salt or pepper. You can also add garlic, dried parsley, etc. to your tasted. Experiment if you like.

4. When quinoa has cooled (you don’t want the arugula and parsley to cook), mix all ingredients together. Add dressing slowly, saving some for later. Let salad cool a little more, letting the quinoa soak in the dressing. You may want to add a little more dressing after the quinoa has absorbed the first go around.

This is quick and easy, and can even be put in lettuce wraps and eaten. It’s lovely at a pot luck lunch and provides tons of protein. The salad at True Foods had pomegranate seeds and Marcona almonds on top. Yum! I didn’t have either one but I will next time.

Enjoy!

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Filed under cabbage, quinoa, radish, salad

Quinoa Salad


I have embarked on the fantastic Nanowrimo boat (which is writing a 50,000-word book in 30 days) and therefore try to use my extra time to write. I’m attempting to make dishes this month that are easy to prepare and that I can eat over and over.

Today, I found fresh corn and cut all the corn right off and added it to black beans and quinoa-one word-marvelous. The corn was crunchy and sweet and the bean gave it just enough texture. I added a little fresh thyme from my garden, which gave it a wonderful flavor. Just don’t overdo it, it’s pretty strong.

If you don’t have fresh corn, dear chef, you can use frozen-but never canned. Canned corn is just too mushy for this. You want the crunchy texture of the corn, and what’s better than fresh?

Quinoa scares some people because it’s so new and different and it’s been compared in many ways to cous cous in texture. But this is not a grain, it’s naturally gluten free and very high in protein, making it even better than cous cous and, I believe, much tastier. Give it a try, you’ll be thinking up new ways to cook it as soon as you eat it.

Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
2 cups water
Corn from three fresh cobs, cut off and rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed (if you have time to soak some, that’s even better)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh tarragon

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has an outer coating to scare off the birds and makes it taste bitter. Just rinse it off for a few moments.

2. Add quinoa to water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and let simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa gets little swirlies in the middle when it’s about done.

3. In a large saute pan, saute corn with 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbs olive oil. Saute for just a moment until warm, then add the beans and stir. Add herbs and pepper and stir till the veggies are warm.

4. Add quinoa to the veggies and saute with the last Tbs of olive oil. Mix well and serve.

By the way, this makes a lot of salad, enough for a few days of lunches so be aware. If you don’t want as much, just cut the recipe in half and you’re good to go, but I guarantee you’ll wish you had made a big batch.

This is also great when it’s cold as a salad. I couldn’t wait until it cooled off before eating it and it was wonderful. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow.

Enjoy!

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Filed under beans, quinoa, salad, vegetarian