Tag Archives: quinoa

Sriracha Quinoa Cakes with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Seasoned to Taste - Sriracha Quinoa Cakes with Feta and Spinach

Somehow, my move to The South triggered a new craving in my life: Hot sauces. I don’t know if it’s the over abundance of hot sauces in these parts (they are always placed on the table with the salt and pepper, regardless of your meal) or the increase in rich foods I’ve been eating (hot sauce cuts through the grease), but I can’t eat a bite of most savory meals without reaching for the Texas Pete’s or Sriracha.

Aside from offering an acidity to the dish and a bit of salt, there’s something about the taste of good hot sauce that amplifies all the other flavors. But you have to tread delicately, lest you overwhelm the dish.

This little recipe, adapted from We Are Not Martha, is built around Sriracha, so you don’t have to worry about it overpowering the other flavors. Instead, it offers a roasted heat to the crunchy quinoa cakes that are spotted with creamy bits of goat cheese and green spinach.

They were a fun little snack and would be good dipped in sour cream, I think. And the presence of quinoa just makes it feel healthy. Try them and let me know what you think!

Sriracha Quinoa Cakes with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 2 C cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 C breadcrumbs (I used dried)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 C chopped baby spinach
  • 1/4 C Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2 T olive oil

In a large bowl, mix ingredients well. Form mixture into patties, 1-2 T each.

Drizzle EVOO in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties to skillet.
Cook patties until lightly browned on each side, about 5 min. per side. Add more oil as needed in between batches.

Seasoned to Taste - Sriracha Quinoa Cakes with Feta and Spinach

Then you’re done! Each with a squeeze of lime juice and a dollop of sour cream, if you wish.

Seasoned to Taste - Sriracha Quinoa Cakes with Feta and Spinach

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

I never notice pomegranates until they are gone. They appear in the grocery stores – usually on sale 2/$5 – for a couple months through the fall and winter, and then disappear the rest of the year. I wonder how I can get tomatoes all year round, but pomegranates only during select months? My point is that I save all these pomegranate recipes, forgetting to make them when I can find the fruits in season.

This recipe is very unique tasting. The pomegranate is sweet but very tart, adding a different flavor profile along with the nutty anise of the fennel and the citrus with herbs. It was fresh and had a bite, but will definitely make you stop and think, “Huh?” after the first bite. I think it’s the pomegranate seeds, which literally explode when you chew them.

Adapted from Bon Appetit:

Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/4″-thick slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped (I omitted and just used a pinch red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I only had parsley – totally different)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (didn’t use)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (hate dill)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1/2 small pomegranate)
  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is just tender and lightly golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, and sugar; cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. Cover; let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Using a small sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemon (an orange is good here, too). Cut between membranes to release segments; discard membranes and roughly chop. Add lemon with any juices and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to quinoa; stir. Add fennel mixture, chile, and herbs. Toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a platter; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

We had this with some vegetarian tacos that a friend (Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit) made – it was a healthy little lunch!
Seasoned to Taste - Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Cumin-Paprika Vinaigrette

I’ve been trying to accept the fact that quinoa is the “in” grain of the moment. The most recent Bon Appetit even has a whole section devoted to quinoa salads, and quinoa is constantly on  my Pinterest feed, so I know the populace has caught on.

I suppose I initially resisted quinoa for the same reason I resisted tabbouleh – weird hippie food they sell at the natural foods store. But recipes like this, and my baked quinoa recipe, show how versatile this extremely healthy little food is.

Boiled until the grain pearls turn translucent and a delicate thread appears, you toss the quinoa with ripe chunks of avocado, plump golden raisins and currants, crisp scallions and a vinaigrette made of lemon, cumin, coriander, paprika and olive oil. For extra crunch, toasted chopped almonds are sprinkled on top.

I mean, wow, this was surprisingly good! And vegan … right? I made it on a week night and topped it with some leftover rotisserie chicken we happened to have in the fridge. Delicious! The creamy avocado, sweet fruit, hot bite of green onions and nutty crunch from the almonds … it’s really a winning combination. I encourage all of you to try it immediately.

Adapted from the amazing Cook Fresh magazine (best of Fine Cooking).

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Cumin-Paprika Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 3 T golden raisins
  • 2 T dried currants
  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika (not smoked)
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into medium chunks (do this at the last moment so they don’t turn brown)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 T coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • Black pepper

In a medium bowl, soak raisins and currants in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 c. water, quinoa and 1/2 tsp salt to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent and tender, 10-15 min (the germ rings will remain chewy and white, like little squiggles). Immediately fluff quinoa with a fork and turn out on baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Zest and juice the lemon into a small bowl and whisk in olive oil, spices and 1/4 tsp salt. In a large bowl, gently mix with avocado, then toss with quinoa, fruit, scallions and almonds.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with extra almonds and scallions, if you have them.

See? Easy! And so surprisingly flavorful. I shall be making this one again.

Enjoy friends! xoxo

Baked quinoa with kale and gruyere

I used to think that quinoa was the same as tabbouleh, and then couscous and then Israeli couscous. In other words, we have a history of misunderstanding each other.

From what I can learn, it is a grain. More like a super-grain – a complete protein with amino acids, lots of fiber, iron and gluten-free. Something you can feel good about eating. Until you cover it with cheese.

Mother began raving about this dish after she served it to her Bridge group. I imagine the women taking fork-fulls in between turns of “Two no trump” and “Please pass the Pims.”

On the list of things I never thought would taste good together, here we have quinoa, sage, garlic, onion, dark greens, Gruyere and Parmesan. But somehow in the chemistry of the cooking process, each of these ingredients links arms with the others, creating a beautiful dish that one vegetable-hating friend recently called “A revelation!”

I’ve now made this twice – once as a side dish, using spinach, and once as a main course with kale from the farmers market. You can use any dark, leafy green in here.

Baked quinoa with kale and Gruyere

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. cooked quinoa (1 c. uncooked)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (3/4 c.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 c.)
  • Salt and pepper

To cook quinoa, rinse 1 c. in a small strainer, then place in saucepan with 2 c. Water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min., until all water is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 400. Oil 2-quart baking dish.

Heat large frying pan over medium-heat, add onion and cook until tender, about 5 min. Add garlic and stir 1 min. Add kale and toss to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Beat eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in quinoa, onion and kale mixture, Gruyere and sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir. Scrape into baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Bake until browned, about 25 min. Allow to sit for 5 min. and serve.

Honestly, what doesn’t taste good with Gruyere? Enjoy, friends! xoxo