Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Today we are heading to the lake where we’ll bask in the sun on the dock and enjoy a lazy summer day. I’m in the shoot to bring snacks for my girlfriend and I so, of course, quinoa is on the menu!

When it’s hot like this, our bodies crave refreshment. Food that is light and fresh is best – and, when you have a hint of citrus or a little sweetness, all the better. At the same time, we do need substance to keep us charged up and energized for long-haul, right?

Well, that’s where this salad comes in:

Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Isn’t it beautiful??

Here’s the scoop…

In a large bowl, I layered:

1 1/2 cups pre-cooked quinoa out of my fridge

3 handfuls of the superfood salad I buy at Costco (NOTE: If you don’t have the greens blend, you can use dark kale, red cabbage, green cabbage, and brussels sprouts, and just chop each of them coleslaw-thin)

1 can of organic kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

1 fresh jalapeno, finely diced

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, rough chopped

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I sprinkled some ground cumin, sea salt, and ground black pepper over the top; and, I freshly grated about 1 TBSP of lime zest and 1 TBSP of lemon zest…

A Microplane is an essential tool for every kitchen... do you have one?

A Microplane is an essential tool for every kitchen… do you have one?

Gorgeous.

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Next I drizzled about 1/4 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), 2- 3 TBSPs of sesame oil, and the juice of 1 medium lemon over the bowl; I sprinkled some of my favorite Furikake, and tossed until everything was mixed well.

YUM.

Now, I’m one that likes to mix sweet and savory – and, while the flavor was delicious at this point, it definitely needed some sweet. I considered fresh mango (because, if you know me at all, mango goes into pretty much everything I eat), but since this salad will be sitting in a cooler for a few hours, I didn’t want to take the chance it would brown and get not-so-enjoyable-to-eat gooey. So… I did this:

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I rough-chopped 1/4 cup of dried mangos and threw them into the mix… and it was PERFECT.

There’s crunch, sweetness, bursts of heat from the jalapeno, depth of flavor from the sesame oil and the Furikake – and, man, I can’t wait to dig this afternoon.

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Our Afternoon Treats: Dockside Salad, Fresh Cherry Tomatos and Carrots, and Hardboiled Eggs

And, ta-da! Quinoa saves my day…

7/3/13

UPDATE: I added FRESH mango and grilled chicken to my leftover salad and OHMYGOSH!!! Fresh mango made it soooo much better!!!

The Queen of Leftovers and Lasts

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will [her]self be watered.

Proverbs 11:25

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One thing most people probably don’t realize about us mamas is this: we are Queens of the Leftovers and the Lasts.

We thrive on the left behinds that no one else wants, like the the burnt toast, the black jellybeans, the half-eaten bananas. We typically care for ourselves last, which means we’ve learned to persevere with cold dinners and wrinkly clothes. And, we don’t skip a beat when we are the last to get a break, the last to take a shower, or the last to hit the pillow at the end of the day.

It’s called Mamahood… and there is no place for selfishness, whining, or feeble knees.

If we have the right perspective, however, not all the ‘lefttovers and lasts’ are a bummer. Take today, for example. I fed the kids, fed my man, made lunches, and got everyone out the door. When all was quiet, it was time for me to get a bite; and, as I surveyed my kitchen to spy what had to be salvaged so as not to waste, here’s what I was left with:

About a half cup of quinoa at the bottom of the pot

About a half cup of quinoa at the bottom of the pot
About a handful of edemame and half an alatufo mango

About a handful of edemame and half an ataulfo mango

Hmmm…

Well, with these random barely-there ingredients, this Queen of Leftovers did this:

  • Put the 1/2 cup of precooked quinoa in a bowl.
  • Diced up the 1/2 of the ataulfo mango (aka ‘Manila mango, or champagne mango) and shelled the 1/2 cup of edemame.
  • Drizzled a bit of EVOO, squeezed a little fresh lime juice, and topped the whole thing with a sprinkling of Furikake, which is a Japanese ‘condiment’ of toasted sesame seeds and nori.
quinoa, edemame, mango salad

And lookie lookie: a beautiful, colorful quinoa, edemame, mango salad

Let me tell you: my ‘leftovers and lasts’ turned into something spectacular I probably never would have thought to throw together otherwise. It was beautiful. It was light. It was fresh and fragrant and exactly what I needed to start my day. Yum. Yum. Yum. (NOTE: This would be an AMAZING lunch for work, or even a side salad for a bbq.)

So, today, as we mamas do what we do best – serve, and love, and serve, and lay down all that we are for our little tribes – let’s do it with heads held high, joy in our hearts, and determination to be a bright light in our homes. Why? Because there is beauty in the leftovers and the lasts… the question is: are we creative enough to see it?

It’s Valentine’s Day: Eat Sexy Quinoa

Okay, since it’s Valentine’s day and “love is in the air” as my 5-year old proclaimed this morning, I must post a sexy quinoa recipe.

Yes, I said “sexy quinoa”. Did you know it could be so?

Well, when you pair it with some foods touted as “aphrodisiacs”, there is nothing ‘blah’ about this favorite superfood of mine. To the contrary: what you get is a sexy, flavorful, spicy, ‘I want some more’ salad you’ll want to make over and over (whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not).

Lookie lookie:

A Sexy Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates, Basil, Ginger, Banans, Honey, and Crushed Chili Peppers

A Sexy Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates, Basil, Ginger, Banans, Honey, and Crushed Chili Peppers

Here are your ingredients… and, if you click on the links, you’ll learn why each ingredient is prized as a ‘sexy’ food:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1 small fresh banana, sliced into quarters and then diced
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • a sprinkle of dried chili pepper flakes (how hot can you handle it?)
  • 1 TBS honey and a splash of water
  1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Warm the honey and water in the microwave for about 15 seconds so that it is pourable, and pour it over the salad.
  3. Stir thoroughly so that all ingredients are coated in honey.

It would make a great pre-dinner treat, or a really nice dessert salad to cleanse the palate.

Hey, maybe you just make it because you’re man is on his way home and you need a little pick me up before he walks through the door.

However or whenever you eat it, ENJOY… and love, love, love being with your man.

Happy Love Day, everyone!

Rebel on,
Elisha

Friday Night Feast: Tortilla-less Burrito Bowl

Okay, so it’s Friday. The nicest part about Friday for me is that it kicks off two days where I don’t have to make lunches. Yippee!! (Anyone else with me on this one?)

The other part I love is that everyone comes home Friday afternoon and their bodies and minds melt into relaxation. No rush to do homework. Technology is a free-for-all. And, tomorrow: all will sleep in.

Friday is also a time for ‘easy dinner’… and, the favorite ‘easy dinner’ around here is burritos. Right now my pinto beans are in the crock pot**. And tonight, we’ll warm the tortillas on our old school cast iron skillet before my man and my little ones fill them with beans, cheese and onions.

Now, for me, I’m not a big fan of the tortilla – or the cheese. So, while my family enjoys burritos their way, I’ll make a tortilla-less burrito by layering all my fixin’s right over a warm serving of quiona.

Yep – quinoa replaces my tortilla.

Tortilla-less Burrito Bowl

Tortilla-less Burrito Bowl

No tortilla - just pure goodness!

No tortilla – just pure goodness!

So, here’s what’s I love to put in my ‘tortilla-less burrito’ bowl:

  • quinoa
  • pinto beans
  • fresh cherry tomatos sliced in thirds
  • chopped cilantro
  • fresh diced jalapeño
  • lime juice

Doesn’t that sound delish??

I can’t wait for dinner.

Rebel on,
-e.
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**To make crock pot pinto beans:

  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook on high for 6-8 hours.

NOTE: if you didn’t plan ahead and make your pinto beans in a crock pot, you can always used canned pinto beans. Just warm them on the stove and add a little seasoning to enhance the flavor.

Power Up: A Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Whew!

Yesterday we celebrated my big girl’s 12th birthday.

Twelve. She is TWELVE. Oh, how this girl has captured my heart! I look at her today and she is a mini-me. Dark skin; dark, curly hair; deep emerald green eyes. I am in awe at God’s hand – how He weaves to create such uniqueness from the inside out.

My little girl is the same today as she was on the day she was born:

  • She’s got her own agenda. (Her due date was January 1st – she arrived on January 15th.)
  • She’s strong. (She fought hard to stay in the warmth of my belly and made me work for over 18 hours before she finally made her appearance.)
  • She’s opinionated. (She cried for three days straight in the hospital, just to be sure we knew she was tired of people messing with her.)
  • She loves her mama. (The only thing that could quiet her in the hospital was laying skin to skin against my chest.)

Anyway, this year she wanted nothing more than a room makeover. She’s been talking about it for months, and for months we’ve been saying, “yeah, right”. What she didn’t know, however, is that for months I’ve been ‘collecting’. I’ve been buying little things here and there as I found them on sale so that we could do what’s she’s been dreaming about in one fell swoop. (I mean, a pre-teen girl has real tastes!)

The result?

Before...

Before…

After...

After…

She is beyond thrilled.

Let me tell you, though: it was work for 8 straight hours! I left to take the kids to school at 7:30am and my man got straight to work. Painting, vacuuming, dusting; she has a pig collection of dozens of tiny little pieces and that alone took 30 minutes to clean and organize. In the midst of the work, however, I made something that was so yummy – so filling – so perfect to power us for our mission, I just have to share it:

A quinoa tuna lettuce wrap:

Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Here’s what you do:

For the salad: Using a large bowl, add 1 cup of quinoa, 1 can of tuna, a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped into quarters), 2 diced green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and a small drizzle of olive oil. Stir it all together and then squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon over the mixture. (NOTE: Lemon is the KEY.)

To make the wrap: use large, washed green or red leaf lettuce. Spoon enough of the tuna salad into the leaf so that you can roll it up. If you like it spicy, top the salad with some crushed chili peppers – and enjoy! (You can also just eat this out of a bowl if you don’t have the lettuce.)

 

Gorgeous salad!

Gorgeous salad!

Light. Tart. Savory. The perfect meal to keep you running through your day.

Thanks for being here with me…

Rebel on,
Elisha

 

 

AM Northwest: Blue Steak Salad and Salty Pappas

Today started super awesome. I was invited back on our local morning show, AM Northwest (PDX, KATU Channel 2) to cook up a 4th of July menu that goes beyond burgers and hotdogs… and here’s what we cooked up:

  • Blue Mixed Greens Salad with Marinated Flank Steak
  • “Salty Papas”
  • Red White and Blue Whipped Parfait

The recipes follow the video… and, in the video you’ll see the technique to use for salting the Salty Papas. Also, as I say in the segment, this is a great ‘deconstruct able’ meal. What this means is that you can prepare everything on the menu and gear it towards adults – but every recipe has elements that you can pull out and serve to the kids without additional effort. For example, my kids don’t eat this particular salad, but they love steak, pears, and the potatoes.

So – enjoy! If you will have children around, I suggest grilling up some corn on the cob while you’re at it. That way if they choose to forgo the salad, they can still have a yummy veggie to add to their plate.

Thanks for being here – and let me know if you try and of these recipes!

Rebel on,

Elisha

Here are the recipes – all recipes make approx 4 servings.

Blue Mixed Greens Salad
4 handfulls of mixed greens
1 Bosc pear, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
A drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar
NOTE: Add a little bit of EVOO and balsamic at a time because dressing this salad requires less than you might think! You can always add more, but if you add too much you can’t go back.
Toss salad until all ingredients are evenly coated with EVOO and balsamic. Serve salad on plate and top with a serving of sliced marinated flank steak.
Marinade for Flank Steak
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
Garlic powder
Coarse black pepper
Dust one side of flank steak with a light coating of garlic powder; follow with a light coating of black pepper. Pour the lemon juice and soy sauce over the meat. Flip the meat from side to side in the marinade until both sides are fully coated with marinade. Cover will tin foil and refrigerate.
Remove steak from fridge about 20-30 minutes before you are ready to grill. Grill steak on direct, medium high setting for 15 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from grill and cover tightly with tin foil; allow steak to sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into thin strips.
“Salty Papas” (aka Salty Potatoes)
1 pound of fingerling potatoes
Kosher salt
Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Cook potatoes on high heat at a rapid boil until soft when pierced with a fork. Once tender, drain off all water and return to stove.
Potatoes should be in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. (Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to complete this step in two batches.) Sprinkle all the potatoes with kosher salt (approx 1 TBSP per pound), cover and cook at medium high heat for 1 minute. While potatoes are still covered, begin to shake pan from side to side so that potatoes become fully coated in salt and do not stick to pan. Return to heat for 30 seconds and shake again. Do this several times until potatoes no longer look moist and there is a white powdery look to the skins. Remove from heat and place in a single layer on a platter until ready to serve. Serve with Cilantro Dipping Sauce.
Cilantro Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup packed cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
a pinch of kosher salt
Add all ingredients into a food processor until paste-like. Serve beside Salty Papas.
Red White and Blue Whipped Parfait  
2 cups Blueberries
2 cups Strawberries, sliced into slivers
Homemade Whipped Cream
Create a bed of whipped cream in a small dessert bowl. Place blueberries and strawberries side by side, then top with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy.
Homemade Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Place cream and sugar in a bowl and whip on high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form. (This should take 3-4 minutes.) Enjoy.

A Salad That Beckons Springtime..


It’s cold outside… the kids are at school… I am dreaming of springtime. All things point to this mama needing a nice, energizing pick-me-up for lunch!

With energy in mind, this what I threw together – and can I just say: YUM.

Satisfying. Tasty. Fresh. Beautiful.

  • Handful of arugula
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • A sprinkle of goat cheese crumbles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon juice, fresh squeeze (please, please, please – NEVER use lemon juice out of a plastic lemon. NEVER.)
I am one happy mama.

Rebel on, -e.

“The First Step to Love” Salad

Wow – ever since Quinoa Week ended I have been dying to share more, more, more recipes with you! If I had it my way we’d be filming recipes every night… but, life gets in the way, you know? I mean, my sweet man not only did all the filming, he was also staying up until the wee hours of the morning to get the videos edited. After the “week” was over, we felt we had jet lag – yet, without a vacation tan; and, with three children that “lifestyle” just isn’t sustainable. LOL.

With all that said, I promise we’ll keep the recipe videos coming – just one a week, though. So, I hope you’ll come back every Monday and see what we’ve thrown together!

In between the videos, however, I WILL be posting photos and recipes (and, of course, I can’t help myself: some thoughts on this “rebel” life we’re trying to lead.) And the first photo/recipe I want to share? A little salad I call “The First Step to Love”.

Why the “First Step to Love”? Because this salad is the perfect way to introduce your man to quinoa. It’s so funny to me how many guys I know that, over the last week, have said: “My wife better not make me eat rabbit food.” BUT – they haven’t experienced the “First Step to Love”: a quinoa salad with BACON. (I wish I would have thought to post this before Valentine’s Day, but better late than never.)

Yum.

So, here goes – this recipe will make two side-servings:

  • 1/2 bunch of fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 10-12 dried dates
  • 3-4 TBS crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 strips of cooked bacon, cut into bite sized pieces (not bits)
  • 3-4 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put your dates into a small fry pan with just a little bit of water barely covering the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a sizzle (which should take less than a minute), turn the stove off and cover the pan. Let the dates sit and soften in the steam while you…

Wash and dry the arugula, then roughly tear and put into a large bowl.

Drizzle the balsalmic and the olive oil over the arugula. Stir to coat.

Add in the quinoa, the goat cheese, and the BACON.

Dice up the softened dried dates and toss into the salad.

Continue to toss the salad together until everything is coated.

Serve salad onto two beautiful plates and serve your man. (It might help if you have something sexy on, too.) Tell him it’s the “First Step to Love”… I have a hard time believing he’ll turn up his nose to that “rabbit food”.

Let me know how it goes!

P.S. I cook my bacon in the oven at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. It’s the BEST way to cook the stuff… it gets it perfectly crisp!