Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach
Quinoa (keen-wa) is an ancient grain-like seed that originated in South America over five thousand years ago. This tiny seed is chock full of tons of valuable nutrients, including all eight essential amino acids. Add in lots of other highly beneficial attributes, vitamins and minerals, plus the fact that it’s gluten-free and easy to digest and it’s pretty easy to understand it’s recent rise in popularity.

However, quinoa is still a bit new to my diet. Mostly because I don’t know what to make with it. Slowly I’m learning how to incorporate this versatile seed into my everyday meals. This salad is bright, fresh and easy. And did I mention that it’s also tasty and healthy? Say hello bikini body!

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • generous handful of baby spinach
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • handful of pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Following the directions on the package, cook quinoa in the chicken broth. The quinoa should come to a boil, then cover it and put it on a low simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked it will absorb all the broth. Add remaining ingredients to a large resealable bowl and shake until contents are well incorporated. Serve cold.

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Zucchini Pizza Crust

Last Saturday we picked up our third bag from our farm share only to realize there was more zucchini in it. After making zucchini, banana and chocolate chip muffins, I thought to myself “what else can I do with all this zucchini?” Ding! That’s when I remembered seeing on Pinterest that there was influx of my friends posting cauliflower pizza crust recipes. Why couldn’t I do that with zucchini? Well you already know where I’m going with this. To me it was like the skies opened and all of lives problems were suddenly solved. Yes, it was that serious. A pizza. That was delicious? And healthy? And used up all of my zucchini? Who could really ask for more? Not me. That’s for sure. Oh, annnd my zucchini-hating husband tried a bite and said “That’s pretty good.” Hallelujah!

Zucchini Pizza Crust

  • large zucchini, shredded about 2 cups
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • handful of fresh torn basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • salt and pepper
  • toppings of your choice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the shredded zucchini with salt and let it sit in a colander for about ten minutes. Squeeze handfuls of zucchini to remove any excess water. To the drained zucchini add the eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix well. Spread the ‘dough’ evenly into a well greased pie pan or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is browned on the edges. Remove from oven and add toppings. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Breadcrumb-less Fried Eggplant

Craving red sauce and don’t eat pasta?  Whip up some of these and pour on the Prego! Don’t judge. I love me some Prego, much to my mother-in-law’s chagrin 🙂

Breadcrumb-less Fried Eggplant

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant or zucchini, sliced about an 1/8″ thick
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal/flour
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons olive (or better yet–Sunflower) oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the hazelnut flour, garbanzo bean flour, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

In another bowl pour your egg substitute or whisked egg.

Heat oil in a frying pan while you coat each slice of eggplant with egg and then the flour mixture.  I like to coat all the eggplant before frying but you can frying them up as you coat them if you wish.

Fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes on each side).

Place cooked slices on cookie sheet. They will cool while you finish cooking the other slices. When all slices are finished cooking, pop the cookie sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes to reheat and crisp them up.

Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and enjoy!

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