Royal Quinoa Pasta: The Perfect Friend For Your Leftovers

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Whew, big week in my heart. Lots going on… lots of hope, creativity, and EATING.

Yes, we are always eating in our house, which means I’m always cooking and loving on my babies and my man through my food. What happens a lot, though, is we end up with lots of odds-and-ends in our leftovers.

Whenever I take stock of our leftovers I pretend I’m playing “Chopped”. (If only they’d put me on the show already… you hear that Food Network? PUT ME ON CHOPPED!) I look at the foundational ingredients, think up some unique way to add another flavor layer or texture and then – boom! – a brand new meal.

Today I want to share how I used leftover salmon and sautéed broccoli to make a delicious, bright quinoa salad. The twist? Instead of using quinoa grains like I typically do… I used this:

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The Green Quinoa Royal Quinoa fusilli pasta has become a favorite of mine. I’ve been using it in place of regular pasta in COLD pasta salads (they are very tender noodles, so hot applications tend to make them disintegrate)… and, not only do I appreciate the nuttier flavor of quinoa pasta, I really appreciate how it doesn’t leave me feeling ‘stuffed’ (like regular pasta often does).

Now, before I share the recipe with you, here are SPECIFIC TIPS for using Royal Quinoa pasta:
  1. Bring the water to boil, add 1 TBSP of olive oil, and 1 tbs of salt before adding the noodles.
  2. Cook the noodles for about 5 minutes – you want them al dente.
  3. They are very, very tender – just like egg noodles. So, don’t overcook them or let them sit in the hot water after cooking.
  4. Immediately drain and rinse noodles under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
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Once my noodles were cooked, I put them in a big bowl with my leftover salmon and leftover sautéed broccoli….

 

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Then I chopped up some sweet cherry tomatoes and a little red onion…

 

I used my favorite tool in the kitchen - my Microplane Zester - to add the zest of one lemon...

I used my favorite tool in the kitchen – my Microplane Zester – to add the zest of one lemon – and YES, YOU MUST ZEST!!…

Then I squeezed the juice from the zested lemon, drizzled some olive oil, sprinkled some black pepper and sea salt, threw in a big handful of baby spinach and some chopped fresh parsley and – BOOM – this:

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I bet your mouth is drooling, isn’t it. Y.U. M. Seriously. On days like this I have no problem being the “Queen of Leftovers and Lasts“… especially when I see the delicious beauty that can come from a little playfulness.

So, if you’re looking for a new way to mix up your leftovers, think of these Green Quinoa Royal Quinoa fusilli noodles… and let the creativity flow!

Have a great, relaxing, NOURISHING weekend everybody… and come back on Monday for some BIG NEWS on a BIG GIVEAWAY.

(This post was sponsored by Green Quinoa – but, you know me and my love for quinoa… and you can trust this recipe and opinions are all my own. 🙂 )

BTW: once you have your delicious salad to sit down and enjoy, I hope you'll join me on the 31 day challenge I started yesterday - just click here or here to keep up with the daily posts.

BTW: once you have your delicious salad to sit down and enjoy, I hope you’ll join me on the 31 day challenge I started yesterday – just click here or here to keep up with the daily posts.

Less Bread, More Yum

I’m not a big bread girl. Bread makes me feel weighed down and feels like it sits in my stomach forever. Same with pasta, crackers… all the other ‘whole grain’ carb carriers we’re told to eat numerous servings of during the day. (Except for Dave’s Killer Bread and Ezekiel Bread; these are heavenly.)

Now, give me a plump, hard crust, peasant style bread and I’m all over it – especially if it’s baked with herbs or garlic. These breads make a phenomenal sandwich base… like this one I had today:

I took a slice of our rosemary loaf, topped it with a thin layer of whole milk cheddar cheese, then slipped it under the broiler. When the cheese was nice and toasty, I pulled it out and covered it with a few slices of some leftover steak, and fresh lettuce and basil out of the garden.

Real cheese.

No mayonaise.

No dressing.

Just a perfect stack of perfect flavors… and, that one slice of bread? It was just enough.

And that’s the thing I want my kids to grow up believing: bread is nothing but a filler… and, less bread = more yum.

Rebel on, -e.