A Twist on Carrots and Quinoa

A Twist on Carrots and Quinoa with Pine Nuts, Currants, Fresh Herbs

A Twist on Carrots and Quinoa

Spiraled Carrots, Black Quinoa
Pine Nuts, Currants, Parsley, Mint, Chives
Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

Here’s a healthy side dish, perfect for the Autumn Holidays. Black quinoa and orange spiralized carrot make a striking presentation. Toasted pine nuts and plumped currants plus lots of fresh herbs all tossed with lemon juice olive oil simply seasoned with salt and pepper – it’s earthy, nutty, sweet, bright, colorful, fresh, and herbal. Serve it along side the creamy mashed potatoes and buttery stuffing as a vegan, whole grain, gluten-free, high fiber, guilt-free counter-balance to the holiday favorites.

A Twist on Carrots and Quinoa Recipe

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Kimchi Bacon Cheddar Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Kimchi, Bacon, Cheddar QUICHE with Quinoa Crust {gluten-free}

Kimchi Bacon Cheddar Quiche
with
Quinoa Crust 

Napa cabbage kimchi and sharp cheddar cheese is one of my favorite combinations – kimchi’s zingy fermented flavors and rich full-bodied cheddar, together create an amazing food synergy. And since last week’s Spinach, Tomato, Goat Cheese Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust was such a big hit, I wanted to share another quiche using the more common white quinoa for the crust. Besides being gluten-free and high in protein and fiber, the quinoa crust has a delightful crunchy-chewy texture, counterbalancing the creamy cheesy custardy filling. In addition to kimchi and cheddar, I add bacon and scallions too. So there is no shortage of flavor in this pie!

Kimchi Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

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Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese

Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese

Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust
Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese

The wild, crunchy supergrain of the Andes makes an interesting crust for this tomato, spinach, and goat cheese quiche. Organic Royal Black Quinoa is grown 13,000 feet up on an arid, desolate salt flat in Bolivia.

My gluten-free friends will appreciate quinoa as a replacement for a pastry crust. And everyone can appreciate the nutrition, extra protein, and fiber that quinoa adds to the quiche. For me, I like the unexpected striking black color – even if I have to explain that no, no, it’s not burnt.

Black Quinoa Crust Quiche Recipe

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Quinoa Omelette with Brussels Sprouts & Cheddar

Quinoa Omelette filled with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Quinoa Omelette
filled with
Roasted Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Lovers will love. But will haters, hate? There is something about roasting shaved Brussels sprouts that makes them appealing to even the most picky eaters. And stuffing them into a fluffy omelette made with quinoa and melting cheddar – well perhaps we are able to win some new friends for these cute little brassicas that have the unfortunate reputation of being one of the country’s most disliked vegetables.

Brussels sprouts can have a slightly bitter quality, especially the large older ones, which can be off-putting to many. And then there is that childhood memory of mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts with their lingering cabbage-y smells. But when those mini cabbages are shaved – so there are lots of leaves exposed to get crunchy and crackly, then roasted – creating crispy caramelized bits, they do become quite irresistible.

I add cooked quinoa to eggs to increase fiber and nutrients. Cooked quinoa is fluffy like couscous, creamy like rice, slightly crunchy with a nutty taste reminiscent of sesame seeds. It adds flavor and texture to this unique seasonal omelette.

Quinoa Omelette filled with Brussels Sprouts Recipe

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Quinoa Corn Timbale, Turnip Confit, Quail Egg, Fried Sage, Demi-Glace

Quinoa Corn Timbale, Turnip Confit, Broccoli Rabe, Shiitake, Fried Sage, Demi-Glace

An Earthy Autumn Meal in a Bowl

Quinoa Corn Timbale, Turnip Confit,
Broccoli Rabe, Shiitake, Quail Egg, Fried Sage, Demi-Glace

This was a definitely a challenge – to create a dish where the unpretentious turnip is the star. Turnip, hmmm. Well, at least I know where to turn. My hero, Chef Charlie Trotter.

He is passionate about vegetables. He’s not selective about the types of vegetables he works with – he loves them all, from the humble ones to the exotic. For that reason, I looked no further than the October chapter of Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for turnip-inspiration. He writes, “As crimson and amber leaves flutter on the trees, it feels right to trade summer’s abundance for fall’s full flavors. This simple preparation with turnips is a great segue into colder weather dishes.”

Turnip Confit Recipe

Turnip confit recipe

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quinoa & shrimp {pad-thai-style}

shrimp & quinoa pad thai style

quinoa & shrimp {pad-thai-style}

tri-color quinoa, jumbo shrimp, pad thai chili sauce
garlic scrambled egg, cilantro, peanut, pickled thai chili, lime

It must be the plethora of quinoa recipes on Pinterest. I have quinoa on the brain. Here I took a perfectly good Pad Thai recipe and made it with quinoa. And actually, it was a nice twist on the classic. Not that I’m in anyway tired of the classic…

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Kick Off Summer: Zucchini Quinoa Burgers

IMG_3063 zucchini quinoa burger
Zucchini Quinoa Beef Burgers
Sauteed Zucchini Medallions, Broccoli & Clover Sprouts, Feta Oregano Aioli

Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the summer grilling season. It’s also the time to honor our Fallen while we celebrate our Freedom. It’s a day to balance solemnity with revelry.

In addition to serving great food and drink at our picnic, we hang the U.S. flag, create a patriotic flower bouquet, and observe a minute of silence at 3:00 PM to honor and remember those who have died in service to our nation. Before lighting up the grill, we turn on the television to watch the President lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, we listen as a lone bugler plays Taps.

With summer on our minds and thinking about balance ~ I thought I would lighten up the burgers with the addition of vegetables, grains, and sprouts. The result was a ground beef burger mixed with loads of shredded zucchini and cooked quinoa, topped with sauteed zucchini medallions and sprouts, plus a flavorful feta aioli. It was surprisingly good and immensely satisfying.

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Un-boring Oatmeal

oatmeal toasted quinoa
Oatmeal Topped with Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Toasted Quinoa, Dried Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds, Blue Agave Nectar

Would you rather eat farm fresh poached eggs and thick smoky bacon? Me too. But part of my heart-healthy regimen includes oatmeal for breakfast several times a week. And that gets boring. Quite. Boring. In looking for healthy ways to jazz it up, I put together this combination of toppings – tangy yogurt, toasty quinoa, nutty sunflower seeds, intense wild berries, and mildly sweet blue agave nectar. It was a delightful way start to the day.

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Leg of Lamb, Curry Quinoa Crust

tri-lamb challenge, lean on lamb, healthy lamb summer recipe, how to roast a leg of lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb Medallion, Curry Quinoa Crust
Over Steamed Spinach
Curried Heirloom Tomato Salsa with Mint
Avocado & Serrano Chile with Lime

So here’s the challenge: Cook a leg of lamb as the main-course to serve at a dinner party for 8 people using no more than 10 ingredients (excluding salt & pepper) with a prep time of under 30 minutes (not including cooking times). It must be healthy, lean, and nutrient-rich – using only “good fats” and “good grains.” The folks at Tri-Lamb are sponsoring this “Lean on Lamb” challenge for cooks in Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC with a focus on healthy ORIGINAL recipes for entertaining.

So, as is Taste With The Eyes style, I was looking for harmonious colors, various textures, and memorable flavors to create a vibrant lamb entrée for my guests. All ingredients had to be commonly available, so while the dish is not exotic per se, it is alluring and appealing on a hot summer evening. Heirloom tomatoes add a seasonal element, while the curry adds a bright sunny quality, spicy serrano gives it just enough kick while fresh lime juice (from my tree) brings the tart acidity balance…

10 Ingredients

  1. Leg of Lamb
  2. Quinoa
  3. Curry Powder
  4. Olive Oil
  5. Spinach
  6. Heirloom Tomatoes
  7. Avocado
  8. Serrano Chile
  9. Mint
  10. Lime Juice

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A Very Pretty Quinoa

pretty quinoa

Quinoa with Fresh Mango & Pomegranate Arils
Red Onion, Jalapeño, Basil, Cilantro, Lime

We tried a new dish for Passover this year. Quinoa. Anyone who’s cooked Passover dinner knows the challenge of serving the crowd (33 in ours) immediately after the Seder which lasts about 1 1/2 hours. How to get the food to the table, timely and hot? This year we were short one chef (we sure missed you Allison) so we simplified our menu to make prep and service easier.

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