Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quinoa Salad & Carrot Soup

Wow, it's been a while! I can't really come up with any clever excuses... I've been cooking a lot of the same recipes lately I guess. This whole gluten free thing is here to stay it seems. I found a new magazine at the library called "Living Without" and it's a gluten free magazine believe it or not! There are lots of dairy free recipes as well, in addition to articles on celiacs, allergies and food sensitivities. Not for everyone, but I found it damn interesting. It was in that very magazine that I found the recipe for this quinoa salad. It originally was called "Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Mint" but I made it without the chickpeas and mint due to lack of ingredients. Here it is, as written:

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas & Mint
1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
4 small tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4cup kalamata olives
2 cans chickpeas or white beans, rinsed and drained (I wish I had some of these and I usually do! I will add them next time)
1/2cup fresh mint leaves (didn't have any mint leaves)
3 ounces goats feta cheese or dairy-free cheese replacement, optional (I had cow feta)

1. Cook quinoa in plently of gently boiling water for about 12 to 15 minutes or until it softens. Tip quinoa into fine sieve, make several steam holes through it with a skewer and let it drain.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half. Remove the cores and seeds. Chop flesh coarsley. Set aside.
3. Mix the oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, black olives and chickpeas.
4. Just before serving, add the tomatoes and mint. Crumble the feta, if using, into the salad. Toss gently and serve.

Next... carrot soup!
I did a quick internet search and this was the first carrot soup recipe that popped up. Here's where I found the original recipe and here is the recipe:

Laura's Carrot Soup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups) (I only had half)
1 rib celery, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large potato, skin on, chopped
4 cups hot water
4 teaspoons instant bouillon (or 1 bouillon cube)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground dill
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups skim milk (I only had about 1 cup)

Sauté garlic, onion and celery in butter until tender in a Dutch oven (or a big old pot). Add remaining ingredients except milk. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender, 30 – 40 minutes.

Purée in small batches in a blender or food processor (I used the immersion blender). Return mixture to the cooking pan. Add milk, heat through and serve immediately.

MY REVIEW: It feels good to try something new and share it with you guys! Both of these recipes were great. I would most definitely make the quinoa salad again but this time adding the chickpeas - I'm not sold on the mint though.  The soup was fantastic and easy to make. Give it a try.

JASON'S REVIEW: It tasted like a garlicy fairy was dancing and my tongue and it was very delicious.

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