Tag Archives: quinoa salad

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Celiacs in the House

I don’t know why I’ve missed the “Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger” events for the past few months. I’m regretting that I haven’t participated. It’s fun, and it’s an excellent opportunity to try out gluten-free recipes from my gluten-free blogger friends that I have been meaning to make for what seems like forever. I think somehow, it’s just slipped from my mind for a while. This month, I decided that I’d change all that.

Sea at Book of Yum was the original creator of this event. It continues to be a wonderful opportunity for those of us that blog gluten-free. Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily is hosting the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event this month, and she will have a roundup of all of the recipes in early September. Be sure to check it out!

I adopted a new-to-me blog this month – Celiacs in the House. Wendy, the author, writes about everything gluten-free, from new packaged goods to recipes to everything in between. She and her two teens have celiac disease, and so they follow a gluten-free diet. Wendy recently took a new look at her eating and lifestyle habits and blogged about a journey she took to become healthier as she approached the big 5-0. (Read more about her journey here.) I’ve only recently begun reading Wendy’s blog, but I’m hooked – Celiacs in the House is a delight to read.

As I was reading through numerous posts, I came across one recipe that stood out to me – a chickpea, zucchini and quinoa salad recipe. It’d been a while since I prepared quinoa, and so I opted to try Wendy’s salad. I decided to substitute pecans for the chickpeas, as chickpeas and I just don’t get along. Otherwise, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly – even adding some shredded carrot along with the zucchini as Wendy suggested. It was a delicious salad. The dressing was sweet, but had a bit of bite from the ground chipotle chile powder. I enjoyed more than my fair share for dinner last night, and then had a generous helping for lunch today. I think I could definitely incorporate this salad into my lunches on a routine basis. Can’t wait to see what else comes out of Wendy’s kitchen.

Visit Celiacs in the House to check out the recipe for this quinoa salad, and while you’re there, be sure to browse around and get to know Wendy a bit. You might just find a few more ideas for delicious gluten-free munching!

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Raisins, and Walnuts

Are you still following through on that New Year’s resolution? You know the one you made, promising yourself that you’ll eat healthier (More fiber? More veggies? Less meat?) in 2010? If it has been a bit of a struggle, or even if you’re still on board, but you’re sick and tired of the lettuce-based salads, smoothies, and the like, check out quinoa.

Quinoa is a tiny seed that acts like a grain. But it’s more than just another grain. Quinoa is packed with healthy fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. It’s nutty in flavor, and will fill you up, leaving you satisfied. It’s gluten-free, so for those of us that have to stay away from gluten, this seed makes a perfect stand-in for recipes that call for bulgur or couscous. I personally love it – it cooks up in 15 minutes, and absorbs flavors and dressings without getting mushy, making it perfect for a salad such as this.

What’s wonderful about this salad? You can throw in pretty much anything you want. Really. I stood in my kitchen last night, deciding what easy-to-make, easy-on-the-tummy meal I wanted to throw together. This salad literally originated from leftovers and pantry staples. Substitutions are simple – I can imagine dried cranberries in place of the currants and raisins, almonds or pine nuts in place of the walnuts, or fresh spinach, kale, or chard in place of the frozen spinach used here. Really, it’s all about you, and choosing a mixture of ingredients that will satisfy, and keep you on that road to eating healthier.

Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Raisins, and Walnuts

1 T olive oil

2 T minced red onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 c quinoa, rinsed (rinsing is to remove the bitterness from the seeds)

1 ½ T golden raisins

1 ½ T dried currants

1 2/3 c water

1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

¼ c toasted chopped walnuts

2 T chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 T good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

3 oz feta or goat cheese

 In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the quinoa and continue to sauté for another minute or so. Add the raisins, currants and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook until water is nearly absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and cover again and let cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts, and parsley. Season generously to taste. Drizzle olive oil over and stir in. Serve chilled or at room temperature, topped with a bit of feta.

 Serves 4.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetarian