Recipe ~ Maple Balsamic Quinoa Delight Salad

Maple Balsamic Quinoa Delight Salad
Maple Balsamic Quinoa Delight Salad

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with fibre, carbohydrates, amino acids (the little structures that make up proteins), iron and b vitamins, this little pseudo grain is great if you are looking for a hit of usable energy.

It is much easier to digest and absorb than traditional grains like barley and wheat because it does not contain any gluten, and its chemical structure is much simpler. This salad is light, refreshing and tasty, but won’t leave you feeling hungry again within the hour.

Salad Ingredients:

½ cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
½ small beet, shredded
1 small carrot, shredded
½ small cucumber, sliced or diced
2 cups spring mix

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil
½ tsp mustard
pinch Himalayan salt
pinch pepper

Directions:

Place water in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add your quinoa and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until quinoa has absorbed water. Allow to cool. Combine cooled quinoa and remaining salad ingredients in a bowl or on a plate and set aside. Combine dressing ingredients in a personal blender or high speed blender and blend until smooth. You can also simply whisk dressing ingredients with a fork into a small bowl. Pour dressing over salad, toss and enjoy!

*Note: It can save you a lot of time to make the quinoa the night before and store it in the fridge!

Recipe ~ Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Mozzarella

quinoa cakes

Ingredients

For quinoa cakes

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For topping

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup drained bottled roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, diced (1 cup)

Preparation

Make quinoa cakes:
Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan.

Meanwhile, wash quinoa in 3 changes of water in a bowl, then drain well in a fine-mesh sieve.

Stir quinoa into boiling water and return to a boil, then simmer, covered, until quinoa is dry and water is absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, then stir in egg.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and lightly brush with oil. Lightly oil a 1-cup dry-ingredient measure. Pack enough quinoa into measure with a rubber spatula to fill it two-thirds full. (If spatula becomes sticky, dip in water.) Unmold onto baking sheet and gently pat quinoa into a 4-inch-wide patty with spatula. Make 3 more quinoa cakes, brushing measure with oil each time. Chill cakes, uncovered, at least 15 minutes.

Make topping while quinoa cooks and chills:
Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander and drain 30 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of eggplant to extract liquid, then pat dry.

Cook eggplant, onion, garlic, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, roasted peppers, and water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is very tender and mixture is thick (if dry, thin with a little water), about 10 minutes.

Cook quinoa cakes:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Carefully add quinoa cakes and cook, turning once carefully and adding remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons oil, until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes total (pat cakes to reshape with cleaned rubber spatula while cooking if necessary). Transfer to plates.

To serve:
Return eggplant ragù to a simmer and stir in parsley and half of mozzarella, then simmer, stirring, until cheese just begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Spoon over quinoa cakes, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.

 

Cooks’ notes:

·Quinoa cakes can be formed 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
·Eggplant-tomato ragù, without parsley and mozzarella, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.