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Monday, February 08, 2010

Quinoa! Ever since trying the double broccoli quinoa* at New Seasons, Aubrey and I have made it a fixture in our kitchen. It is just SO good! Although this last time we had it, I think we made it too far in advance. The first time we made it, we made it the day before and kept everything separate. The quinoa in one container, the broccoli pesto in another, and then right before we ate it we freshly made the rest of the broccoli and added the slivered almonds on top.

This time when we made it we made it the day before again, but mixed everything together. It was a lot drier the second time around and I think it must be because the quinoa soaked up too much of the broccoli pesto. I’m not a “cook” so I have no clue if that’s true. But it just seemed drier than the last time. For you cooks out there, let me know if that can happen!

For the side dish I had a salad. I love my homemade ranch dressing**! It just sooo good! While I’m partial to romaine, shredded carrots, radishes and broccoli, what do you like to eat for a salad?

While I love fresh fruit I am also completely obsessed with these bake-dried apple chips. I haven’t tried most of their other products because I just keep thinking about the apple chips! Have you ever tried these?

Ok, not much else to update in my food trials. But you know what I did eat? Yup, you know it’s coming….

Have I mentioned how much I like this combo? Oh, I have you say? Sorry, soooo good =)

*Double Broccoli Quinoa :

So for both recipes I didn't add any salt and I think it tastes just fine without. But if you normally salt things I did list the amounts.

(Makes 6 Servings)
Double Broccoli Quinoa
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (I didn't bother to toast them, but it adds to the flavor)
1.5 cups broccoli pesto (see recipe below)
1 tsp salt (optional)

In a large pot, bring 3/4 cup of water to a simmer. Add salt (if using) and broccoli.
Cover and cook 1 minute.
Transfer to a strainer and run under cold water. Set aside.
Toss the quinoa with broccoli florets and broccoli pesto. Top with almonds and additional toppings if you like. Serve cold or hot.

Optional toppings : sliced avocado, feta cheese, goat cheese, slivered basil, olive oil, red chile flakes

Broccoli Pesto
Blanche two cups of broccoli.
In a food processor, puree broccoli, three garlic cloves, 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese, 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Drizzle in olive oil and blend until smooth.

I like my pesto thick, so I only used 2 tbsp of olive oil, but add the right amount to get the consistency you want.

**Ranch Dressing :

So this actually turned out really good! I didn't have any buttermilk, so I left that out. I found the consistency to be just fine without it. And I find it funny that it is half the calories of the "light" ranch dressing that I was buying.

1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Organics)
1/4 cup sour cream (I used Daisy, pure and natural)
Buttermilk, as needed to desired consistency (I left out, but feel free to add!)

I also didn't add any of the following, but they were suggested :

Fresh Dill (optional, To Taste)
Cayenne Pepper (optional, To Taste)
Paprika (optional, To Taste)
Fresh Oregano (optional, To Taste)
Tabasco (optional, To Taste)

Preparation Instructions
Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

Will you be trying any new recipes this week? Please share!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    sounds yummy! :) a friend of mine introduced me to quinoa some months ago. i still have some around the house but am afraid to make it because it might not be fresh anymore?? i don't know whether to keep or toss it. do you know how long dry quinoa lasts??

    Lori in new york
    3053 days ago
  • DNJEN471
    What is Quinoa? Is it a pasta? A rice?
    3054 days ago
    Mmm. This sounds good. I retain a child's dislike of broccoli. I'll eat it, but never choose to make it. I have been thinking about growing it in my garden this year though. Mostly because I just want to grow more. I'll have to try this recipe.
    3054 days ago
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