Broccoli and Snap Pea Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese

I added Boyz II Men station to my Pandora last night.  It is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. 

I love Boyz II Men.  So do you…don’t lie.  Lying to yourself isn’t healthy.  Just admit you love Boyz II Men.  There, feel better?  I knew you would.  :) 

I don’t know why it took me so long to add Boyz II Men.  I think I had forgotten about them, for a nanosecond that is.  I love me some MoTown Philly…back again. End of the Road, love it!   How about Water Runs Dry…Actually I like their version of Yesterday, and I don’t like remakes.  I normally despise them.  I like exceptions to my rules. 

What is your crazy, guilty pleasure on Pandora?  Tell me.  I know you have one.  Everyone does! 

So Boyz II Men and quinoa salad have nothing in common and there is no clean transition to be had from Boyz II Men to quinoa salad.  So, lets just jump.  On three…one, two, thr…wait, wait, wait – do we jump on three or after three?  I like jumping on three.  One, two, jump!

Quinoa salad.  Never have a quinoa salad?  Well, that is about to change.  This isn’t a salad full of leafy green rabbit food.  Nope, not here.  Now,  if you would like to add some arugala to the mix…be my guest.  It would add a nice peppery bite to the mix.  However, sometimes, though I don’t want leafy green salads, but instead I want bright, crisp vegetables along with a light vinaigrette with tangy goat cheese.  Mix in some protein packed quinoa and almonds and you have on hell of a healthy salad – no rabbit food included.  That is a glorious thing…eating healthy and nutritiously without realizing it. 

This stuff is good…seriously good. 

Broccoli and Snap Pea Quinoa Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Quinoa – dry
  • 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth, or Water
  • 1/4 Cup to 1/3 Cup Vinaigrette – your favorite, I like Garlic Expressions or Balsamic Vinaigrettes
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 3 Cups Snap Peas
  • 10 ounce Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • 6 ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Salt

 

 

 

Directions

In a medium saucepan, mix together chicken/vegetable/water with dry quinoa.  Put quinoa and water in medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). When done, the grain appears translucent and the germ ring will be visible. Fluff with a fork.  Set aside

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.  Prepare a large bowl of iced water.  Add broccoli, snap peas, and peas to boiling water and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from water and place directly in ice bath.  Drain once cooled. 

In a large serving dish/bowl toss together – cooked quinoa, broccoli, snap peas, peas, tomatoes, almonds, goat cheese.  Dress with vinaigrette.  Serve.  Enjoy!

Roasted Beet and Feta Quinoa

This morning I was quite productive.  So productive that I was worried/scared that I might want to fold and put away laundry once I got everything else done.  Can I just say that I am relieved that I ran out of steam after lunch?!?  Those of you that have shared an abode with me are none too surprised.  I can live/dress out of my dryer for the rest of my life and be has happy as pie – blueberry pie at that.  By the way, my parents are sighing right now and shaking their heads, asking themselves where they went wrong with this child.  They didn’t raise me to act like this!   But I am harming no one and I am none to bothered by my inaction.  So until I become bothered or company comes over I shall continue on in this fashion.  It is what makes me, me.  Its similiar to how I don’t close cupboard doors.  Never have, never will.  Deal.

So what did I have for lunch that knocked me back to my senses?  Quinoa.  I love this stuff.  It is a grain-like food from South America.  I generally use it in place of rice or pasta.  It cooks very quickly ( 10 to 15 minutes and its ready to serve) and its protien packed in comparison to other grains.  Step aside brown rice!  

Most dishes that I whip up with quinoa involve sauteed veggies, parmasean cheese, a ZipLock container, and is eaten around 4am.  However, on this week off I wanted to mix it up a bit and remembering a recipe I found several weeks ago that used roasted beets – I figured I would give it a shot.  Quick question though.  Why are beets so darn expensive?  The 4 you see pictured above cost me 7 whole dollars.  Ridiculous!  The guy behind me in line at the grocery nearly collaspsed when he heard how much I was paying for them…he said they should cost pennies because so few people actually eat them.  I have to agree with Mr. Stranger. 

If you don’t like beets …. 1) have you tried them roasted?  Try this route of preparation before you write this vegetable off.  Trust me – Just do it!   2) If you still don’t like beets than substitute any vegetable you would like.  Carrots or asparagus or green beans or mushrooms.  Be creative.  Eat what you enjoy!

Let’s roll …

Cut off the tip and the leafy stems from the beet itself and then peel.  Your hands will stain red and so will everything these guys touch – don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

 

Slice ‘em kinda thick…

And dice them into medium chunks and toss with oil, salt, and pepper…

 

Roast them for 20 to 25 minutes in a 400°F oven…

While the beets are roasting, prepare the quinoa…

Toss them together when ready.  Don’t forget to top with feta cheese!  I almost did, what a mistake that would have been!

Sit on patio, enjoy lunch, and remember that you prefer your laundry out of the dryer.  To think I almost folded those shirts! 

 

Roasted Beet and Feta Quinoa

Serves 2 hungry people as main dish.  As a side dish this would be plenty for 3 to 4 people. 

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Beets, peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil or any vegetable oil  
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Cups of water, stock, or white wine - I used white wine today because I didn’t have stock and it was very good!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled

 

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Toss diced beets with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pour out onto a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (easy clean-up) and spread out into one layer.

  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

  4. While roasting, in a small pan combine water/stock/white wine and quinoa.  Bring to boil.  Once boiling, cover, and reduce to simmer.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  – Read cooking directions on box to ensure proper cooking method for your quinoa – but this is the common method. 

  5. When beets are roasted and quinoa cooked – place both in a medium to large bowl and toss to combine. 

  6. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese .  Yum!

  7. Eat and enjoy :)