Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

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The past few weeks I’ve been on a sweet potato salad kick. This week marks my 3rd week in a row making one. Last week I mentioned finding this recipe on Mark Bittman’s website, that it sounded delicious, and that I would make it in a couple of weeks. Well, I couldn’t wait–I made it this week.

In this salad, unlike the others I made,  the sweet potatoes are relegated to a supporting role. However, it doesn’t mean the salad is any less delicious. In addition to the sweet potatoes and quinoa the salad has: avocado, toasted pepitas, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper (my addition). It’s all dressed in a lime vinaigrette, spiced with chili powder, and flavored with cilantro. It’s a great vegan recipe, packs a punch, and is immensely satisfying.

Although I found the recipe online, it’s also in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I think you should all run out and make this as soon as possible.

You can find the recipe HERE. I want to try the original version and then try the suggested millet. YUM!

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A Vegan Breakfast and Dinner

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This week for Vegan Tuesday I made something for breakfast: Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa from 101 Cookbooks. Instead of cow’s milk, I used oat milk. I also used a mix of blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranate instead of just blackberries.

You can find the recipe HERE.

stir-fried-vegetables

I also made Stir-fried Vegetables with Lemongrass from the May 2009 issue of Food & Wine. No substitutions were needed as it was already a vegan recipe. This recipe was included in a section called “Speediest Stir-fries”. The problem with a lot of stir-fries is that there is a lot of prep. Once you start cooking, you’re done in a snap. The selling point for this recipe was that it didn’t involve a lot of prep and chopping. NOT true! I know my knife skills are not the best (major understatement) and I’m super slow (again not exaggerated), but it still involved a lot of chopping and prep.

You can find the recipe HERE.

This week Mare of Meet Me in the Kitchen joined the fun. Click HERE to see what she made. Also head over to Veggie Num Nums to see what Michele made.

Almond-Quinoa Muffins

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Almond-Quinoa Muffins <— Recipe here.

I whipped these up last night to bring into work today. They were a breeze to throw together. From start to finish, baked and cooling on a rack it took less than 40 minutes. This is my kind of weeknight baking. I wasn’t planning on making anything, but as I was flipping through Veganomicon looking for recipes to make in the future  I happened upon these muffins. The ingredient list is long, but I happened to have all of them on hand. I even had the cooked, left-over quinoa that the recipe calls for in the refrigerator. I felt it was my karmic destiny to make them. :P

These muffins are made with whole-wheat pastry flour, almond meal, and whole quinoa, which gives them a hearty dense and crunchy texture. They are spiced with cinnamon and cardamon and sweetened with agave syrup and currants. I added some almond extract in addition to the vanilla in the recipe and topped each muffin with sliced almonds to up the almond flavor.  Overall, the recipe was a success. Even with P who will not eat quinoa–”because it looks funny” –when I make it for dinner.  These muffins are a fun way to use up leftover quinoa.

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OMG! Cheese. Oh, and some quinoa and mushrooms too.

I love cheese. All kinds. I love cheese with bread and wine. I love cheese with fruit. I love cheese-smothered anything.

I have a new favorite cheese: La Tur.

imgp3427It’s an Italian triple-cream cheese made from cow, sheep, and goat milk. It’s heaven. Pure heaven. I bought it because I was looking for Crescenza and couldn’t find it. A Whole Foods employee recommended La Tur. I’m so glad WF did not have Crescenza.

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I was looking for Crescenza for Quinoa and Crescenza with Sauteed Mushrooms {<—recipe here}, the next recipe out of Super Natural Foods on my list. Definitely try this recipe. The quinoa is cooked with wine, garlic, and onions. I used extra-virgin olive oil  instead of clarified butter. And of  course I used La Tur instead of Crescenza, which takes it to a whole other level. The mushrooms are quick and easy to make, sauteed in olive oil with a bit of red pepper flakes and salt.

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I paired the quinoa with a green salad and Old-Fashioned Dinner Rolls {<—recipe here} from a The Art & Soul of Baking recipe.  I made the cloverleaf variation, which is just one roll divided into 3 and stuffed and baked  in a muffin tin. The roll was absolutely delicious, but when La Tur is in the picture it takes a back seat. :P

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Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry

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This week I made a Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry for my Vegan Tuesday. The thing about stir-fries is that they take a lot of preparation, but once you are prepped they come together quickly. Because knife skills are not what I’m known for, the prep took a long time. I try to use proper technique. I really do, but I’m slow as heck. And I absolutely have to concentrate on what I’m cutting. There was this running joke among my friends that they were going to have to buy me steel-mesh gloves for Christmas. I am happy to report there were no injuries in the making of this dish. :P

I got the recipe from one of my new-to-me cookbooks, Veganomicon. Not only is there chopped pineapple in this dish, the quinoa is cooked in pineapple juice which takes the flavor to the next level.  Overall, the stir-fry was very delicious and I definitely will make it again. YUM!

Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry

Adapted from Veganomican.

Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

Stir-fry:

  • 4 ounces raw and unsalted cashews
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 habanero, sliced very thinly {the original recipe calls for a hot red chile, I used habanero b/c I like the heat}
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin shreds
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 10 ounces fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water {the original recipe calls for vegetable stock, I didn’t have any on hand}
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  1. Prepare quinoa first: combine quinoa, juice, water, and soy sauce in a medium-size pot. Cover and place over high-heat, and bring to boil. Stir a few times, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa appears plump and slightly translucent. If you’ve never cooked quinoa, it’s totally cool. When it’s done little white tendrils escape from the grain. Uncover, fluff, and let cool. For best results, refridgerate quinoa overnight. Fluff with fork when ready to use.
  2. Use a large non-stick skillet or wok. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat until lightly toasted–4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove cashews, increase heat to medium and add peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the habenero and ginger. Stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes, then add bell pepper and frozen peas. Cook until peas are bright green and bell pepper is tender. Add the basil and mint, and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.
  4. In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, water, and mirin. Pour over quinoa mixture. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry for 10 to 14 minutes, until quinoa is very hot. Add toasted cashews and stir for one minute.
  5. Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce. Enjoy!

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