Curried Quinoa Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (vegan, gluten-free)

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You guys are about to be all, “Oy with the poodles already! Kate, what is the deal with the quinoa salads?”

Because, I mean, I do make a lot of quinoa salads. There’s my favorite one ever, then there’s the Greek one, the Sun Valley one and the power bowl. That’s a lot for a blog that hasn’t even been around for a year yet, and for a blog that was originally started to be Paleo. 

I can’t help it. I’m so in love with quinoa and all the things you can put in it, all the flavors it soaks up, the way it’s even better as leftovers the next day. It’s also gluten-free and vegan, two things my other love (PASTAAAAA) is usually not. So I keep making things with quinoa in them and, because I’m a food blogger, I share them with you. 

This was inspired by a wrap I had at Wrapcity Cafe in Ketchum. I borrowed the quinoa spices from Cookie and Kate‘s curried quinoa recipe, but again, I’ve heavily adapted that. I also added some yummy roasted red pepper hummus, recipe here

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You can make this quinoa and pack it for lunch the rest of the week. It’s even better the next day, once the flavors meld. You can also use whatever type of greens tickle your fancy, and maybe add a little cilantro to the mix. But whatever you do, make some version of this salad. The quinoa is so good, I almost ate the whole bowl all by myself and didn’t save anything for the photo shoot. Don’t be like me.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Red Pepper Hummus
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  2. 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 tsp ginger
  4. 1 tsp turmeric
  5. 1/2 tsp curry
  6. 1/2 tsp cardamom
  7. 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  8. 2 cups water
  9. 1/3 cup golden raisins
  10. 2 Tbsp dried currants
  11. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  12. 1 tsp salt
  13. 2/3 cup almonds
  14. 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  15. 3/4 cup roasted red pepper hummus (prepared or homemade, see post for link)
  16. 1 lb spinach or other mixed greens
Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, curry and cardamom and sautee for another 45 seconds or so.
  2. Add quinoa, raisins, currants and water to the large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, cooking for 17 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Stir apple cider vinegar and salt into the quinoa, then add almonds and green onions. Stir to combine.
  4. Divide greens onto salad plates and top with 1/2 cup of quinoa mixture. Drizzle with hummus. Serve.
http://www.almondbutterbinge.com/

Multi-green Pesto (gluten-free, paleo and vegan option)

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Pretty much all I want to eat these days is a giant bowl of salad with a slice of bread. It’s summertime, work is busy, and I’ve been forbidden from turning on the oven, so that’s also the simplest solution.

But I also want some interesting flavors, you know? Which is why this pesto is so enjoyable. Guess what? It doesn’t have basil in it, just a bunch of powerhouse greens and some yummy, nutty-tasting flax. There’s not much to say about it, except that it’s inspired by this recipe by Cookie and Kate and it’s perfect with anything — spread on bread, used with sort of a bruschetta, spread on pizza crust in lieu of sauce or simply thinned and tossed into pasta. Or zucchini! Your call.

As you  can see above, I went the simple route.

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Buttermilk Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream (gluten-free)

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I was trying to be good this week. I was all excited about turning over a new summer leaf, about eating vegetables and fruits and cutting back on dairy (well, a little) and forgetting that I ever let a slice of bread into my life.

And then I found this recipe. Guys, it’s buttermilk ice cream. You may be thinking that, actually, this sounds kind of gross, but that’s only because you haven’t tried it yet. Normal ice cream can be too sweet, cloying, making you wonder why you bothered with the ice cream instead of taking a spoon to a bag of white sugar. Because, you know, at least sugar is vegan.

You won’t ever have this problem with buttermilk ice cream. It’s velvety, creamy goodness with just a little punch of sour to cut the heaviness of the cream and to set off the lovely sweet-sour taste of fresh blueberries.

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Beet Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese (meatless, gluten-free)

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You throw beets on anything, and you’re pretty much guaranteeing that I’m going to freaking love it. Love the color, love the flavor, love everything.

Which is why my new favorite salad at one local restaurant is the “Duelling Beets,” a plate full of fresh mixed greens topped with roasted beets of two colors, pecans, blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s stupid good, though I find it hard to justify going to this particular restaurant every night. Even if they do have the best coconut cake in the entire world.

Anyway, I became convinced that I could make this salad at home.

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Friday Favorites

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I promise, I have been cooking — even though it’s unbearably hot and even the thought of turning on the oven has become unthinkable. But I won’t post recipes unless I adapt them in some way, and what I have been cooking lately has been so perfect that I can’t change enough to make them worth posting on my own blog. Maybe in the future they’ll lead to inspiration, but this week, I’ve just been reaping the benefits of others’ ingenuity. It’s been awesome, and I want you to be able to enjoy it, too.

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Mixed Berry Ice Cream (vegan, gluten-free)

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A wildfire started about six miles from my home on Sunday, growing from half an acre to 700 acres overnight. The entire fire station was thrown into a frenzy as people arrived to help, with sirens wailing and cars parked everywhere. While some manned the station and made sure there was staff to respond to medical calls in the area if necessary, others went to help protect homes in the face of the rapidly growing fire.

While far better people than I were throwing on their wildland fire protection gear and making sure they had enough water, I was making ice cream. Wildfires drive me crazy because I used to cover them for the local newspaper. I had complete freedom and justification to call every public agency I could think of to discover what the fire was doing and what would come next; I was the one the Wood River Valley could rely on for that information. Now, I have to wait and read the newspaper like everyone else, even as my new husband could be literally standing next to a house on fire with a hose in his hand.

So, I make ice cream to keep from going crazy.

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Tangled Thai Salad (vegan, gluten-free, paleo option)

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After over a week of eating and drinking everything I laid hands on while celebrating our wedding, I’ve found myself in desperate need of vegetables.

And what a coincidence — it’s summer! Local produce is finally here, and I can bask in fresh herbs, kale and even good tomatoes. My garden took off with all of the rain we had last week, and the spinach is starting to get little round leaves while the carrots have finally poked their little green sprouts out of the soil.

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Superfood Summer Salad (gluten-free, meatless)

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I am really, really bad at themed food. The second I try to come up with something to fit a certain holiday or season, every idea I might have had flies straight out of my head. Then, I come up with tangential ideas that only kind of fit the theme and try to make them fit, usually with disastrous results.

But every once in a while, a recipe comes beautifully and gloriously together and happens to fit a perfectly appropriate theme. This salad is a perfect example. The recipe reads like I just threw every superfood at my disposal into a salad bowl and mixed thoroughly; the reality is that the flavors all meld deliciously together, complementing each other in complex and satisfying ways.

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Caprese Salad with Prosciutto (primal, gluten-free)

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Nothing says summer like a Caprese salad. I know, I have talked about my love of the tomato-mozzarella-basil combo a number of times already on this blog, once with my Caprese stuffed mushrooms and once with my risotto Caprese. But now that tomatoes are in season and I’m getting heirlooms from the grocery store, it’s time to revisit this classic.

Here’s the thing: if you try to make a Caprese a meal, you might end up unsatisfied. It’s delicious, but there’s not a whole lot of protein there. Thankfully, adding a little prosciutto to the mix alleviates that, making a yummy summer salad with some staying power.

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Minted Fruit Salad (Paleo, vegan, gluten-free)

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I didn’t think this was a recipe at first. However, I have a rule — if Ben likes it so much that he mentions how good something is more than three times, it probably should go on the blog.

He usually likes my cooking, but he often tolerates my healthier recipes more than he actually relishes them. Some things, like pistachio pesto, he just won’t eat; other recipes, like strawberry bars, he’ll eat, but not rave over. Others, like the oven-baked brisket, he won’t stop talking about for days.  Continue reading