Monday, March 30, 2009

Greek-Style Quinoa Salad

Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes + chilling
Yield: 10 servings

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncinis
1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted and halved
3/4 cup reduced-fat Greek or Italian salad dressing, divided

In a small saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, beans, cucumber, pepperoncinis and olives. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Just before serving, drizzle remaining dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Tips and Tricks
I took a lot of liberties with this recipe because I realized at the last minute I was missing some ingredients. I omitted the spinach and pepperoncini, and used garbanzo beans in place of black beans. Try this recipe for Italian dressing.
Make It Healthier
Reduce amount of cheese. Use trans-fat free salad dressing.
How Kids Can Help
Rinse quinoa. Measure ingredients. Mix to coat.
Recipe Source
adapted from Healthy Cooking magazine

Nutrition Facts
One serving (3/4 cup) equals
8 g
Saturated Fat:
2 g
9 mg
472 mg
19 g
4 g
7 g

Diabetic Exchanges
1-1/2 fat, 1 starch, 1 lean meat.

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

Total Prep Time: less than 5 minutes
Yield: 10 or more servings

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and shake to mix. Refrigerate.

Tips and Tricks
If you don't have red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar will work too. The oil may become solid in the refrigerator, so pull it out at room temperature before using.
Make It Healthier
Omit salt.
How Kids Can Help
Measure ingredients. Shake to mix. Older kids could probably make this entire recipe.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bulgur With Broccolini, Lentils And Feta

Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
4 Tbsp lemon juice
4 oz feta cheese
8 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
4-5 cups broccolini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups cooked lentils (canned, drained, or precooked)

Boil water and add bulgur, simmering for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Remove from heat and add lentils, dill, lemon juice and feta. Mix well.

In a pan, heat oil and add garlic. Saute until tender, then add broccolini and saute until tender. Serve over bulgur.

Tips and Tricks
Broccolini is a small green veggie that is a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli. I was unable to find it at my local grocery store, so I just used regular, finely chopped broccoli. Dried lentils are usually cheaper than canned, but will need to be precooked according to package directions.
Make It Healthier
Reduce oil.
How Kids Can Help
Measure ingredients, use food chopper to chop broccolini.
Recipe Source
Writing: My Life