Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial DayI want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The United States military dedicates their lives everyday to give us the opportunity to “celebrate” holidays such as this. Please make sure that while you are with your friends and families, at cookouts or the beach or wherever you choose to spend your day off from work, that you take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really all about and to thank the veterans and current military members in your life! I know I couldn’t do what they do!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
So since I am hoping this weekend will also include a gathering of friends and family for you, or maybe just a nice day at home, I wanted to share this amazingly refreshing summer salad recipe with you! It is the perfect healthy dish to bring to a cookout or to serve as a side dish with a nice white fish or shrimp. You cold even add some leafy greens and make tacos with this as the filling! Or use it as a dip with gluten free corn chips! I love the Late July brand! They have so many yummy flavors… all gluten free!!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
This whole recipe takes about 30 minutes! I am even gunna give you a step by step for making this WHILE you get ready for your party! If you are a guy, just totally ignore the hair and makeup parts. In fact you probably only take 20 minutes to get ready so just go make this for your girlfriend while she is getting ready!! Sooo rinse your quinoa super well to avoid that nasty soapy flavor it might have if you don’t rinse it! Prepare quinoa according to package or the directions below. Once removed from the heat, jump in the shower. When you are so fresh and so clean come back and fluff the quinoa and place in a large bowl in the fridge. Chop your apple, onion, pepper and mandarin oranges and place in a medium bowl. Mince the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and place in another medium bowl. Go dry your hair!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

While your straightener/curler is heating up come back and whip together the dressing following the directions below.

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Go do your make up and hair and put your party dress on! ๐Ÿ™‚

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ok now that you are all pretty and ready for your party, gently toss the veggies and fruit with half of the dressing and fold mixture into the chilled quinoa. Drizzle the second half of the dressing onto salad and gently until flavors are thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Enjoy your salad and your party and remember to thank the troops… today and everyday!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 147; Fiber 2.6 grams

Fat per serving: 4.8, Protein: 3.8 grams

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ingredients

    Salad:
  • 1 c organic quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa, I usually buy Bob's Red Mill products but this one is significantly cheaper)
  • 1 large gala apple, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, diced (I used an orange one... I like the sweetness in them better)
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup) - use fresh... the bottled just isn't the same
  • 1 T local honey (agave nectar will work as well)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use less if you don't like spice!)
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves (use fresh not jarred!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 T POMPEIAN OlivExtra Original Canola & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend (can use canola oil or olive oil, or a combo of both... I like this brand for dressings!)
  • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

    Salad:
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer several times with cold water (Don't skip this step! You will be left with a "soapy" tasting bowl of what could have been delicious quinoa!).
  2. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a covered medium pot.
  3. Add quinoa, cover and simmer until the water is fully absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to let cool. (Place in fridge, uncovered to speed this process up if necessary)
  6. Dice your apple, red onion, bell pepper and mandarin oranges (peeled of course).
  7. Place the diced fruits and veggies in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  8. Dressing:
  9. Combine the lime juice, honey, diced jalapeno, minced garlic and cumin in a glass mixing bowl, whisking briskly.
  10. Slowly add the oil while whisking to combine evenly.
  11. Once the vinaigrette is smooth, whisk in chopped cilantro (MINUS 1 heaping tablespoon) as well as the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  12. Combine:
  13. Pour in about half of the honey cilantro lime vinaigrette into the bowl of chopped fruits and veggies, gently toss to combine.
  14. Fold this mixture into the quinoa and drizzle in the remaining vinaigrette. Again, gently toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Transfer the quinoa salad to a large serving bowl, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve immediately (or cover and keep in refrigerator for up to two days).
  16. ENJOY!

Notes

NOTE: The longer this sits in the dressing the more garlicky it will taste. Be aware of this if you plan to make ahead of time. I recommend dressing directly before serving.

Inspired by: Food Network

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/25/spicy-quinoa-citrus-salad/

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Reader Feedback:

  • What are your holiday plans?
  • What is your favorite quinoa recipe?
  • What are you bringing to your holiday party… or are you brave enough to be the host!?

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies
Well this recipe might not have been the winner when I took the vote to Facebook on whether you all wanted to see this recipe or my Vegan Lentil Soup recipe first, but what I didn’t tell you is that this one was actually my favorite! While I loved the lentil soup and all it’s hearty yet fat free goodness, I felt like this Vegan Power House Quinoa and Veggie Soup was much more my style for a year round, go to, quick and easy recipe.

If you read my last post, then you got all the fun details about my trip to visit my sister and and my adorable nephew and my week long lack of my amazing Canon Rebel. If you didn’t then I am here to warn you these photos are definitely not the best quality. I apologize in advance that they were all snapped quickly on my iPhone. “Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

This recipe is actually based on a recipe my sister’s midwife gave her for added nutrition after the birth of her baby boy. The abundance of protein and vitamins in this super low calorie recipe is not only amazing for a new mama but also for the new baby via breast milk. Any recipe that is new mother and baby approved sounds good to me!
There are very few times that nutrition is of more importance than this point in a woman’s life, so if a professional recommended this soup for my sister then I figured it would be wonderful for all of us! We ended up eating this soup three times in the next four days! So yummy!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Like I mentioned in the Lentil Soup post, my sis has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set! Cooking with sharp knives is a whole different ball game… A MUCH BETTER ONE! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments! While I was chopping the carrots, summer squash and zucchini for the soup, I brought 4 quarts Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth to a boil in her SECOND giant pot: a Calphalon 8 qt pot!

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So some how in my 27 years on earth, many of which I have spent cooking on some level or another, I never figured out that carrots sink and/or maybe I never realized that zucchini and summer squash float! This is what happened when I added them all to the boiling broth.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

As soon as the quinoa was finished… about 15 minutes… I added it to the simmering broth and the now tender veggies.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Depending on how you time this with the cooking of the quinoa and the broth, you will want to let the quinoa absorb the broth flavor for a few minutes and then add the fresh spinach to the simmering broth and cover until fully wilted.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

And that’s it. Seriously! THREE EASY STEPS!!

  1. Cook quinoa.
  2. Chop Veggies.
  3. Combine in broth.

DONE!!

Your turn! ๐Ÿ™‚ ENJOY!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 28 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 54

Fat per serving: .6

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium summer squash, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 4 32oz cartons Vegetable Broth.. or the equivalent amount of broth made from bullion. You do not have to use veggie broth, I did based on our dietary needs. (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic Veggie Broth)
  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa)
  • Sea Salt to taste (will depend on the sodium level of your broth)
  • OPTIONS:
  • You could sub rice, barley, pasta or any grain you would like for the quinoa, but quinoa and barley are probably the most nutritious out of those options. Feel free to play around with the carb you decide to use based on your dietary needs and wants!

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, begin cooking quinoa based on the package directions.
  2. In a large pot like this one bring your Veggie Broth to a boil.
  3. Chop your zucchini, summer squash and carrots into small to medium chunks and add to your broth.
  4. Lower heat to the slowest possible simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Check on your quinoa and add to cooking veggies as soon as it is done.
  6. Stir occasionally until your veggies are tender.
  7. Add spinach at the very end and cover until fully wilted.
  8. Serve this soup in a large bowl while it is nice and hot.
  9. Enjoy every delicious and nutritious bite!

Notes

I am sure this would be delicious with grated cheese or a nice chunk of bread... preferably gluten free ๐Ÿ˜‰

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/14/vegan-power-house-soup-quinoa-veggies/

Reader Response:

  • Have you guys tried couponing yet?
  • CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST: Couponing 101
  • What stores do you shop at? I am curious because I want to provide the bet coupon knowledge for my readers specifically!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

I don’t think I could possibly love such a small human being more than I love my nephew. I spent the last week visiting my sister and brother in law and my new baby nephew (he is only 3 weeks old!). My brother in law had to go back to work so I wen up to help out with things around the house so my sister could give her full attention to the little one. We all had such a wonderful time and I got some of the most amazing bonding time with Harper. Oh that’s his name btw! Isn’t it adorable?! I love it!

In our spare time the few minutes between feedings and changings and laundry and cleaning and afternoon walks (he LOVES being outside!) there was some own time while the little man was napping that my sister and I got to spend time together in the kitchen. This was usually broken up into short periods together and me finishing p the rest but I had a blast trying out new recipes! She is the queen of cook books. It was so nice and refreshing to use a cook book and not just hope online and find a recipe. I haven’t done that in forever! I will have three great recipes I am posting this week from my time up there. I apologize in advance that the photos were all snapped quickly on my iPhone and not with my Canon Rebel. Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

I took the vote to Facebook to find out which of the two soup recipes you all wanted to see first. Ps. I really despise how difficult Facebook makes it for you all to even see my posts. Unfortunately most of the likes and comments for this post ended up on my own personal page when I shared it with friends. Which by the weird workings of Facebook mean that they don’t actually show up on my Page as likes but on my personal page?! ARGH! Like my page so you can hopefully see my posts on your news feed! Please and Thank You!

So onto the recipe. Thanks for bearing with me about family and my Facebook rant. It will be worth it! This recipe is FULL of amazing nutrients (we made it specifically for the nutrition for my sister who is breastfeeding and needs extra protein and lots of veggies for Harper). My sis and I are both vegetarians and her hubby eats a predominately vegetarian diet so we decided to double this recipe so we could all have it for multiple meals through out the week and they would have left overs when I left.

The original recipe is from this awesome cookbook: The New Moosewood Cookbook! We didn’t mess much with the main ingredients other than to play a little with the amounts we used based on what we had and my RUN to the grocery store down the street in the pouring rain during which I forgot a few things. OOPS! Also my sis doesn’t like Thyme and we all love garlic so we added extra of that. The end result was beyond fabulous!

Let’s get started with the veggies! There was A LOT of chopping! OMG she has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set… I think you have to get married to get things like that for presents lol someday ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously though, if I had checked a bag when I went to visit she might have been short a few when I left because I have never known the magic of cooking with insanely sharp knives. It makes a WORLD of difference! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil SoupI started with the garlic which seriously made me miss my boyfriend (I know I am a sap. Deal with it.)! We cook together almost every night of the week and it’s my favorite time of the day with him. We both LOVE garlic and regularly use a whole sleeve in a week… or more! But I HATE the process of peeling and chopping garlic. He finds it meditative. Which I get but I still hate it. If anyone has ideas on ways to make it easier let me know! The recipe called for 6-8 cloves, we were doubling the whole recipe and since the cloves were small I used about 18. Thank god for the sharp knife for the chopping part or I might have lost my mind. I think my fingers still smell like garlic.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Oh yea and then there was the onions. Good thing it wasn’t my fingers in Harper’s mouth that night to soothe him to sleep! I am gunna guess that even after multiple washings and a shower that they did not taste that great! Thankfully the celery and onions were munchable and didn’t contribute any further to my stinky fingers!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

While I was chopping all these veggies I brought 13 cups of water to a boil in her giant All Clad 8 qt pot! I seriously could live in her kitchen cabinets which might actually be possible based on how many she has! Their kitchen is a cute little gulley style kitchen but they have more cabinet space than I have ever seen. It might have made me a teenie tiny bit jealous!

This bad boy held all that water plus 8 cups of dry lentils AND all the chopped veggies! It was kind of a miracle! OK maybe not a miracle. I just don’t own a pot this size but think I might need to buy one.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

When you add the veggies you also add basil, oregano and freshly ground black pepper. The only seasoning you add to the lentils while they are cooking is salt. It was so nice to not have a recipe call for TONS of oil. I know some oil is good for you in moderation but I feel like sometimes it is used just because people think they need it. I always try to reduce the amount in recipes with substitutions so it was great not having to worry about that. What do you think about oil in cooking… especially in things like soup?

PREPARE YOUR SELF FOR AWFUL PHOTOS (reason below)!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Who ever invented the process of peeling and de-seeding tomatoes might be a genius in the cooking world but I kinda sorta hate them. This process was miserable (ok that might be a strong word but it certainly wasn’t fun) and it contributes to the horrible photos. I was a little fed up from the first peel of the first tomato (I seriously think the directions to put them in boiling water for 10 seconds had to be wrong because I am here to tell you that they did not peel easily).

Between the not so great iPhone camera and the mushy mess on the cutting board, these photos are less than appealing. SORRY! They ended up great in the soup despite the pain in the butt they were though. Can anyone tell me why the peeling and de-seeding is necessary? I am sure it’s readily available info on the internet but I haven’t looked it up yet.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup This is after adding the tomatoes but before letting the veggies cook down a little longer. The end result, despite the garlic chopping and tomato peeling was ridiculously easy and delicious! Sorry for making you read so much before getting to the recipe! If you read it all you are a trooper and now know about an awesome knife and bought you should probably own!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you didn’t you are probably scrolling up to find out what the heck I am talking about!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 20 cups (approx)

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 136, 11.7 grams Fiber

Fat per serving: 0, 10.6 grams Protein

Ingredients

  • 8 cup dry lentils
  • 13 cups water
  • 4 t sea salt
  • 12-16 medium garlic cloves, crushed (more if they are small or if you enjoy garlic breathe like me!)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes (preferably you use 6 but I forgot to get more at the store)
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 t oregano
  • 1.5 t basil
  • OPTIONAL: red wine vinegar to drizzle on top (we forgot to do this every time we sat down to eat but it sounds like it would be yummy!)

Instructions

  1. Place lentils, water and salt in a large pot. (This one was PERFECT.) Bring to a boil, lower heat to the slowest possible simmer I love cooking on a gas stove but this is hard to find without putting out the flame, and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Chop all your veggies BESIDES TOMATOES while your lentils are cooking (should take about 15 minutes unless you hate chopping garlic as much as I do and then it might take the full half hour!). one of these knives will help speed up the process though!
  3. Stir lentils and add chopped veggies, basil, oregano and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Partially cover and let simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Bring enough water to cover your tomatoes in a saucepan to a boil.
  6. Carefully drop in the tomatoes for 10 seconds, then remove and peel off the skins and squeeze the seeds out I wish you luck!.
  7. Chop the rest of the tomatoes and add to the soup after the 30 minutes of simmering and cook for at least another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve this soup with hot although I think it tasted great cold straight out of the fridge as well!
  9. Drizzle red wine vinegar on top of each scrumptious bowl if you so choose!

Notes

Enjoy the hours of energy this protein packed low calorie meal dishes up!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/11/fat-free-vegan-lentil-soup/

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

*this is the original recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook*

Reader Response:

  • Doing it a little different in this post… check out the italic questions through out the post and let me know what you think!!

Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Dinner is served in three easy steps!

Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Drizzle 1-2tbs olive oil and 1/4 cup orange juice over halved Brussel Sprouts and toss with your hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again to make sure each sprout is coated evenly and you are good to go!

If you are willing to give Brussel Sprouts a try, I am positive you will love these! If you are looking for more check out Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts!

Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings

Serving Size: 8 sprouts

Calories per serving: 166

Fat per serving: 7

Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (about 16) fresh brussel sprouts
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C fresh orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut ends off brussel sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss in olive oil and orange juice until evenly coated.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on sprouts and toss again.
  5. Spread evenly on a baking pan and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  6. Flip brussel sprouts every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure all the sides brown evenly.
  7. Remove from oven when all the edges are browned and parts start to look burnt (I promise the burnt parts are the best!)
  8. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy as a side or as a meal or even on top of a salad!

Notes

Nutrition is based on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of orange juice.

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/03/orange-roasted-brussel-sprouts/

Reader Response:

  • What is your favorite food that a lot of people you know think is weird?
  • How do you incorporate vegetables into your routine?
  • Have you ever tried grilled brussel sprouts? I want to try this soon!

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Dinner is served in three easy steps!

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Drizzle 1-2tbs olive oil and 2-3tbs balsamic vinegar over halved Brussel Sprouts and toss with your hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again to make sure each sprout is coated evenly.

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Cook one 12oz bag of fresh cranberries with 1/4 cup water over high heat until all the berries pop… 4 or 5 minutes.

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Toss in about 1/4 to 1/2 the berries with the already coated Brussel Sprouts and you are good to go! I can ALMOST guarantee that even your pickiest eaters will eat these like candy!ย If you are looking for more candy veggies check out Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts!

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings

Serving Size: 8 sprouts

Calories per serving: 166

Fat per serving: 7

Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (about 16) fresh brussel sprouts
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 2-3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 12oz bag fresh cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut ends off brussel sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss in olive oil and balsamic vinegar until evenly coated.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on sprouts and toss again.
  5. Heat 1/4 cup water and fresh cranberries over high heat until all the berries pop (about 4 or 5 minutes).
  6. Toss in about 1 cup of the berries with the already coated Brussel Sprouts.
  7. Spread evenly on a baking pan and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  8. Flip brussel sprouts every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure all the sides brown evenly.
  9. Remove from oven when all the edges are browned and parts start to look burnt (I promise the burnt parts are the best!)
  10. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy as a side or as a meal or even on top of a salad!

Notes

Nutrition is based on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 cup of cranberries

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/03/cranberry-balsamic-roasted-brussel-sprouts/

Reader Response:

  • What is your favorite food that a lot of people you know think is weird?
  • How do you incorporate vegetables into your routine?
  • Have you ever tried grilled brussel sprouts? I want to try this soon!

 

Double Dose of Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Double Dose of Roasted Brussel Sprouts So there’s a girl in the kitchen with her handsome boyfriend trying to decide what to make for dinner… Said girl has two bags of Brussel Sprouts in the fridge that found their way into her basket at the farmers market… Said boy is pretty sure he doesn’t like Brussel Sprouts because they are “bitter”… Said boy has also never had this amazing veggie roasted before…

Said girl now has a mission: get handsome boy to enjoy Brussel Sprouts!

And so this is how it went. I LOVE Brussel Sprouts (not sure why my computer insists I capitalize those words but I kinda like it so we are gunna stick with it)! My favorite is what they get just past caramelized when you are roasting them and start to burn. The little crunchy parts are so sweet and the best part is that people who don’t know this awesome secret always pick around the burnt parts = more for me! Thank you very much!Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I figured my odds were better to get this handsome man of mine to enjoy this new food if I tried two different recipes. *let me clarify that he is amazing about trying foods I make even if he is pretty sure he won’t like them. he always gives them three chances and hey if he doesn’t like them after that then who am I to fault him!? I don’t eat half the foods he eats so to each their own!*

I didn’t take too many pics of the process of making these… Mostly cause the process is super super easy and really only has three steps: cut, mix, roast!

Check out both of the awesome recipes:

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