• Greek Quinoa Salad

    Quinoa SaladAround this time several years ago, I was packing for my trip to Greece. I loved the food, ambiance and feel of the country, and especially their relaxed, fun approach to eating. As many of you already know, I cruise recipe blogs, websites, and magazines and enjoy exploring new ventures in cooking and eating. Here’s a wonderful new recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Stranded Foodie, for these warm, summer days. Definitely brings back fond memories of the Greek isles. Enjoy!

    Greek Quinoa Salad
    Stranded Foodie
    (Serves 4 to 6)

    Ingredients for dressing:

    • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Ingredients for salad:

    • 1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
    • 1 1/2 cups red or yellow grape tomatoes (halved)
    • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
    • 4 green onions (green and pale green part; thinly sliced)
    • 1/2 cucumber, cut into small dice
    • 1/2 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley, minced
    • 1/3 cup cannellini beans, rinsed
    • Crumbled feta cheese (for sprinkling on top)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Directions:

    Whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, garlic and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad to allow the flavors to meld.
    Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear. Combine the quinoa, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
    Transfer the quinoa to a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add the tomatoes, olives, green onions, cucumbers, parsley and beans. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper to taste.

    You may not need additional salt because the feta cheese adds a nice salty taste to the salad. Squeeze more lemon juice over salad if you like it lemony. Mmmm!

    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before serving. The longer it sits the better the flavor. Just before serving, transfer to a bowls or platter and sprinkle feta on top and garnish with parsley.

  • Kitchen Travel – Combine Your Own Spices

    SpicesMany of us enjoy the seasonings of different cultures. Here are a few you can put together yourself with fresh and flavorful spices. Simply combine the ingredients and store in an airtight container…Ready and easy to use!

    Mexican Fajita Seasoning
    2 tablespoon cornstarch
    3 to 5 tablespoons chili powder (vary according to how spicy you like it)
    2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
    2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon black pepper

    Mexican Taco Seasoning
    2 tablespoon(s) chili powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper flakes
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon(s) paprika
    2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
    2 teaspoon(s) sea salt
    2 teaspoon(s) black pepper

    French Herbs de Provence
    4 teaspoons dried thyme
    4 teaspoons dried savory
    2 teaspoon dried marjoram
    2 teaspoon dried lavender
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1 crushed bay leaf