1) Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
The first time I cooked quinoa was in the fall. I was looking for a seasonal version of the dish, and came across a recipe from the “Travel Wine Dine” site (http://traveleatlove.com/2013/10/cranberry-quinoa-and-butternut-squash-salad/), which I tweaked a little. It was a good, autumnal dish, though the quinoa came out a little mushier than I would have preferred (in the second dish I toasted the quinoa first, and let it sit covered in the pan after it was done, which seemed to help).
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water (can substitute vegetable broth)
Cubed butternut squash (I used a package of peeled and cut squash from Trader Joe’s, which saved time in the kitchen)
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of almonds as garnish (optional)
Dressing: Apple Cider, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil, Cayenne Pepper
Roast the butternut squash cubes in the oven (lightly oil the cubes and roast on a baking tray in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the pieces are fork tender). After rinsing the quinoa, add it to a medium sauce pan with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, saute or steam fresh spinach (drain if steamed). Fluff quinoa with a fork, and add it to a large bowl with the roasted squash cubes, dried cranberries, and spinach. I don’t remember the exact amounts of ingredients I used for the dressing, so it may take some trial and error (I think I used about a cup of apple cider, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a tablespoon of olive oil, and some cayenne pepper). Mix dressing ingredients and pour over quinoa, stirring it in. Add in goat cheese and sprinkle with salt & pepper. I added some almonds on top of the dish (not pictured), and looking at the picture, I now think I may have sprinkled on some cinnamon, too!
2) Quinoa Caprese Salad
The second time I made quinoa, I was glad it came out fluffier than when I made it the first time. This recipe is adapted from one on The Lemon Bowl website (http://thelemonbowl.com/2013/07/quinoa-caprese-salad.html)
It’s a good, quick, healthy recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil (one for dressing, one for quinoa)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water (can substitute vegetable broth, I will try it this way one day)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup ciliegine (fresh mozzarella balls, in water), cut in half
½ can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
Basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheese (optional)
Dressing: One table spoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. In a medium sauce pan, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat, and toast the quinoa for about 3 minutes. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. When the quinoa is done, move covered pan to an unheated surface and let it sit for about 5 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and chick peas. Mix together the other tablespoon of olive oil with the lemon juice and vinegar. Stir the dressing into the quinoa. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Add the basil leaves on top and garnish with grated cheese if you’d like.