February 26, 2013

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

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We are utterly in love with this quinoa salad. It's another easy cold lunch for my husband to bring to work. The quinoa and garbanzo beans provide a double protein punch, and the lemon-basil dressing is simple, light, and fresh. As always, I love admiring the beautiful splash of color from the vegetables. (Hooray veggies!) It's vegan, gluten-free, and a perfect change of pace from the Mexican Quinoa Salad with cumin-lime dressing.

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
4 green onions

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. basil (or fresh if you have it)

Directions
Rinse quinoa, and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside.
Slice green onions, dice roma tomatoes and bell pepper.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine.
Can eat immediately or chill before serving.

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February 19, 2013

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

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The vibrant colors of this dish immediately drew me in. Fresh bright green beans with splashes of red tomato, purple onion, and white feta is a gorgeous treat for the eyes. It has wonderful flavor to match. The crunchy tender green beans are marinated in a garlic-balsamic dressing with a hint of lemon. Typically this would be more of a summer dish when green beans are in peak season, but my local grocery store had a sale on some good looking beans so I simply couldn't resist testing it out before summer. It's an easy dish to double up if you're cooking for a crowd or bringing to a gathering. Just a heads up, it's best served the same day if you're looking for eye appeal as the beans start to turn a little brownish the longer they marinate in the balsamic dressing.


Vegan (omit cheese), gluten-free
Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients
1 lb. green beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
Feta cheese

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt/pepper

Directions
Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
Trim ends off green beans and rinse. Steam (or boil) for about 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. In a colander, rinse well with cold water to stop cooking, then pat dry. Cut green beans into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
Dice red onion and halve cherry tomatoes.
Place onion and green beans in a bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to marinate.
When ready to serve, add in tomatoes and feta and lightly toss.

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February 11, 2013

Broccoli Potato Patties

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Here's a fun way to jazz up potatoes - combine them with broccoli and form them into patties! For the dipping sauce, I mix together equal parts of Greek yogurt and ketchup. It's so easy and a perfect compliment to the patties. I included two different cooking methods, baking and frying, so you can pick one or try both. Frying is a bit less healthy, but it achieves a crispier coating. Baking is the healthier option, and the patties come out slightly softer. We love both methods. If you like this, you can also check out the Broccoli Cheese Mashed Potatoes.

Adapted from Weelicious

Ingredients
5-6 medium gold potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
1 small head broccoli, florets only (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs or panko
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Salt/pepper
Dipping sauce: equal parts Greek yogurt and ketchup
Vegetable oil (optional, if frying)

Directions
Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes (I leave the skin on but you can peel if you wish). Steam for about 10 minutes or until soft. Place into a large bowl and mash.
Steam broccoli florets about 4-5 minutes. Add to large bowl and mash.
Add cheese, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, and some salt/pepper. Mix well to combine.
Place the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
Spoon out some potato mixture and form into a ball. I make mine about 2 inches wide. Roll in the breadcrumbs to completely coat. Then, gently press between your hands to flatten and form a patty.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through.
OR fry: heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Serve with dipping sauce.

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