Monthly Archives: April 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Artichokes

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with ArtichokesThis quinoa salad is light and lemony and a great side dish. It’s perfect for spring or summer barbecues when you need some good vegetable side dishes.  Roasting the cauliflower brings out the nutty flavor which complements the quinoa and the toasted pine nuts.  I use white quinoa for this recipe because I like how it blends in color with the cauliflower and artichokes; the red onion and parsley offer the hints of color and flavor. The lemony dressing brings the flavors together with a nice acidic punch.

cauliflower roastedTo roast the cauliflower, slice it very thin and season then roast it with olive oil and some salt and pepper. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the quinoa and slice the artichokes, onion and parsley and add them to a large bowl big enough to hold the rest of the ingredients.  Add lemon juice, remaining oil and vinegar and seasoning to the artichokes.  Add the cooked quinoa, cauliflower and toasted pine nuts.  Mix all ingredients through. Chill for at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh.

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Artichokes


1 head of cauliflower sliced thinly, and into small pies

1 cup of quinoa to yield about 2 cups of cooked quinoa

2 cups water

5 tablespoons EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts sliced

¾ cup diced red onion

¾ cup chopped parsley

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (yielding about 1/3 cup of lemon juice)

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

Thinly slice the cauliflower, slice it very thin and into small pieces and season it with salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast on a foil-lined pan for 25 minutes in a 400° oven. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the quinoa in water in a covered pot for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Add the artichokes, onion and parsley to a large bowl big enough to hold the rest of the ingredients. Add lemon juice and zest, remaining oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and cumin to the bowl and mix through. When the quinoa is cooked add it to the bowl, then add the cauliflower, cutting the pieces as needed. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt and mix all ingredients through.  Toast the pine nuts then mix them through. Chill at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish



Wild Rice Salad with Zucchini and Pecans

wild rice salad 2Wild rice is one of those great grains that is too often overlooked.  It has a great nutty flavor and a bit chewier than other rice and is good eaten as hot dish as well as cold. Wild rice is a “good” carbohydrate; it has fewer calories per serving than brown rice, higher protein levels and a lower glycemic load.  When cooked to it’s fullest, wild rice grains “pop” and the grains are no longer the thin black grains that often appear in mixed rice dishes, but rather become a heartier, plumper grain and lighter in color.

The key lies in letting the rice cook a long time with a lot of liquid. I use chicken stock but you can easily use vegetable stock or water to cook the rice.  I also add the liquids in stages to gauge how the rice is cooking.  Different pots and different flame levels affect how the rice cooks and how much exact liquid you will need, so I start with 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of rice and then add a half a cup at a time at the end.  The total is about 3 cups of liquid and it takes about an hour and a half to cook. It freezes well after it has been cooked so if it becomes one of your favorites, you can make it when you have the time and freeze it.  I like it as a side dish to Judy’s Chicken, as it mixes with the mushroom lemon sauce quite well.

wild rice 2

In this recipe, the wild rice is served cold as a salad with zucchini, lima beans, roasted red peppers, corn, pecans, sunflower seeds and scallions – a great dish for spring/summer barbecues.  It’s a good hearty salad for those who are gluten free and vegetarian or vegan if you cook the rice with water or vegetable stock. The zucchini is blanched for about a minute to a minute and a half to bring out the sweetness.  It’s cooked al dente so be careful not to over cook or it will be too soft to stand up to the heartiness of the rice. The corn and lima beans are blanched for about a minute; and the pecans and pine nuts are toasted.  The dressing is very light – orange juice , red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper – and just enough is added to coat the ingredients and bring out the flavors. You can use almost any mix of vegetables and nuts that you like.  Dried currants or canned mandarins can also be added if you want to add a sweeter tang to the salad.

Wild Rice Salad with Zucchini and Pecans


1 cup wild rice

3 cups stock or water

½ lb zucchini – about 2 med-large zucchinis sliced lengthwise, blanched, then diced

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

½ cup Lima beans, blanched for 1 minute

1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off cob and blanched for 1 minute

½ cup sliced scallions

½ cup pecans toasted

¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted


3 tablespoons orange juice

1½ tablespoons EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon country grain mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Add 2 cups of stock and 1 cup of wild rice to a pot and bring to a boil and simmer covered until the liquid has absorbed, about 1 hour.  Then add ½ more stock and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.  If rice is still not plump, add ½ cup more stock and simmer covered for another 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, slice the zucchini lengthwise and blanch in boiling water for about 1½ minutes until al dente.  Make sure not to overcook and that the zucchini is not soft. Remove zucchini and add corn kernels and lima beans for 1 minute. Dice the blanched zucchini, then add to a bowl along with the corn and lima beans. Dice roasted peppers and scallions and add to the bowl.

Make dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and then add to the vegetables. Toast pecans and sunflower seeds and set aside. When rice is cooked add to the bowl with vegetables, then add the nuts and mix through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until chilled before serving, about 2 hours.

Serves about 8-10 as a side dish

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapeños

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and JalapenosThis is a sweet and spicy salad that is good as a side dish accompaniment with grilled fish or fish tacos.  It also goes well as a side for the Flank Steak with Pepper Lime Cilantro Marinade dish. It’s light and refreshing with a bite.  The base is Savoy cabbage – a crinkly, crisp, light leaf cabbage.   Pineapple makes this salad a bit like a salsa and the red jalapeño peppers add color and punch. The recipe calls for 1-2 jalapeños depending on how spicy you want it to be.  Avocado adds a bit of cooling to the jalapeños, though you can make this salad with or without the avocado. If you do add avocado, add it at the end right before serving.  The dressing has no fat; it’s simply 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar balances well with the pineapple juice, cilantro and jalapeños. Add all ingredients, except the avocado, to a bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving so the flavors all mesh.  Then add avocado at the end and mix through.

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapenos Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapeños

2 cups sliced Savoy cabbage

1.5 cups diced pineapple

1-2 red jalapeño peppers, sliced

1 avocado, diced (optional)

½ cup sliced scallions

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients, except the avocado, to a bowl and mix through.  Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving to give time for the flavors to mesh. Add avocado, if using, right be fore serving and mix through.

Serves 4-6