Tag Archives: summer salad

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions & Mint

Gourmet magazine’s site Gourmet.com is one of my favorite drool-worthy recipe sites of all time. 

The dishes on this site include some of the most fabulous flavor combinations that you just won’t find anywhere else.

And even though the site is titled “gourmet.com,” many of the recipes aren’t as intimidating as they may seem, trust me ;)

Take this Quinoa with Corn, Scallions and Mint dish for example, which took a mere 30 minutes to make yet tasted fantastic.

I mean, really.  How much more summer can you get?

Perhaps eating this poolside while getting your tan on instead of leftovers in your office cubicle ;) , maybe that’s A BIT more “summer”… 

But such is life.  No job = no money for delicious quinoa salad.  Am I right or am I right?

Here was my take on this gourmet.com treasure of a recipe, which included a fast-cook method for the quinoa versus the fancy steaming method described in their instructions. 

Hey, I didn’t say I was thatttttt “gourmet” ;)  Lol.

I also substituted frozen sweet corn for fresh, because I just did was lazy.  But fresh corn would probably take this dish to a whole ‘notha level.

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions and Mint

Serves 3-4

Cook time:  20 minutes.   Total time: 30 minutes.

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups frozen sweet corn, defrosted for about 15 minutes
  • 2 tblsp butter, melted
  • 1.5 tblsp honey
  • 3 heaping tblsp chopped mint
  • 1 heaping tblsp chopped green onion
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

A quinoa first in the Fanatic kitchen, believe it.

Upon first glance, quinoa may appear to be similar to grains such as rice or pasta, but it’s actually a seed! It also differs from your usual grain suspect in that it’s high in protein, and the protein it supplies is a complete protein. This makes it a great choice for anyone concerned about their protein intake.  Quinoa also boasts a number of other health benefits which you can read about here

I’ve been so curious to try this stuff in my own kitchen and I knew this recipe would be absolutely perfect for that :D

I also have an excessive amount of mint currently growing in my backyard thanks to one of the awesome farmers at the farmer’s market who planted it and gifted it to me!

It’s just absolutely flourishing and smells delicious :)  Thank you Gene!

I figured this recipe would also be a great chance to enjoy some of this deliciousness too.

How to prepare:

1) Rinse the quinoa first.  Then using a ratio of 1:1.75 quinoa to liquid (I used water), bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Cover and turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed & quinoa is fluffy.  Also remove your corn from the freezer to defrost at this time.

2) Chop the herbs while the quinoa is cooking.  Also prepare the dressing by combining the melted butter (I used the microwave for this) and honey.

3) Once the quinoa is done, combine it with the partially defrosted corn.  Cover and set heat to low for 5 minutes just so the corn can heat through all the way.

4) Finally stir in your butter/honey mixture, fresh herbs, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Also season with salt and pepper.  Serve <— warm, cold or room temperature!

The final result:

First of all, let me start by saying that butter & honey make the most amazing dressing on this salad.  Butter is king.  That is all ;)

Secondly, quinoa has the most fun texture and pairs perfectly with the pop of the corn kernels!

Third, fresh mint has the most refreshing flavor.  It’s seriously one of my favorite fresh herbs to use ever.  And I just adored how it went with the sweet honey butter dressing on this salad.

Fourth… well, this was just flat-out freakin’ delicious!!!!

This one’s a keeper :P

If you’re looking for a new & different take on a summer salad this one comes with high recommendations from yours truly!  It’d be perfect for a cookout side dish too, since it seemed to taste its best when served room temperature in my opinion :)

Tell me, have you ever cooked with quinoa?

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad from Heather’s Dish & Okra “Fries”!

Lately I seem to be stumbling across some absolutely fantastic recipes on the blogging internets…

Like this Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad from Heather’s Dish.

This recipe is truly a superstar, it combines so many flavors that I would have never added to the same bowl, yet yields a result that is as delicious as delicious can be!

Served with some okra “fries,” this is a summer dinner that I could get used to :)

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad from Heather’s Dish

I can’t take any credit for this one, but I can recommend that you friends give this fabulous salad a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

My version of the salad included:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 6 oz. bag spinach, chopped small
  • 1/2 onion, chopped

Dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp cane sugar
  • 2 tblsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tblsp chili powder
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup white balsamic vinager

This Dijon mustard from Trader Joe’s packs serious punch, which I think I’ve told ya’ll before, but it’s no lie!!  Love it :D

I  used an immersion blender to combine the dressing ingredients since I don’t own a food processor (I know, *gasp*, right?!?!)

It worked perfectly to achieve the most wonderfully flavored dressing maybe of all time.  I wanted to drink this stuff!!! (weirdo, right?) :P 

Then I layered the spinach, onions and chickpeas into a bowl.

And topped with the dressing, stirring everything to combine.

If you prefer your salad lightly dressed, I’d recommend not using the entire batch of dressing and adding just enough to your liking.

While I allowed the salad to sit and the flavors to blend, I got to work on a summer favorite of mine:

Okra “Fries”

We picked up this gorgeous okra at the market on the ride home from the beach, I was pretty excited about this!

1 tblsp olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper.  A quick stir.  Then into a 400F oven for 20 minutes, flipping once in between.

And there you have it!  Okra “fries” :) 

We serve ours with ketchup.  And hey, don’t knock it til’ you try it.  They are seriously deeeeelicious.

If this isn’t summer on a plate then I don’t know what is…

Lovin’ it :D

Like I said before, I’d totally recommend trying this summer salad recipe out, I think you’ll be pretty excited with the results.

Lil’ sis and I are already thinking of what other ways we can use this fabulous cilantro lime dressing in other dishes, it’s that good!

Plus it was perfectttt on a day with 95 degree + temps, so cool and refreshing!

Even Lucy Dog is goin’ nutzo from the extreme heat…

Too bad I couldn’t give her some of this chickpea salad too ;)

How scary is that picture lol?!?!

Happy Wednesday!

 

Spicy Summer Corn & Cilantro Salad

After a wonderful weekend getaway at the beach, the only thing on my mind upon arriving home yesterday was whipping up a fresh & fabulous dinner using the delicious farmer’s market finds we picked up along the way!

Does this surprise anyone lol?

Enter:  the simplest summer salad of all time.

Packing a fresh flavor punch that could contend with the punch these almost-100 degree temps here in central VA are bringing.  Just sayin’ ;)

Spicy Summer Corn & Cilantro Salad

  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds removed & diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed & diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 ears fresh corn, cooked & kernels removed
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

Boil the fresh corn for about 10-15 minutes in enough water to cover.  Remove from water and allow to cool before removing the kernels with a sharp knife —> see how-to video here.

While the corn is boiling, give the green pepper, onion, jalapeno, tomato and cilantro a chop.

Using the freshest of vegetables for this salad will make all the difference in the world. 

Something about the deep flavor and even smell of veggies straight from the market just makes the flavors that much better :D

These farmers market green peppers had the best smell! 

Am I weird?  Yes. Okay :P

Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and then let sit for a little while, 20 minutes or more. 

Now serve!

Lil’ sis drizzled her salad with a bit of white balsamic vinegar. 

I think that would make a nice addition.  However I found the flavors to be perfect on their own, as-is!

The jalapeno was such a fun spicy kick in each bite with the super sweet corn & tomatoes… plus the crisp onion & green pepper really rounded the flavor & texture out.  So good!

Even Fanatic Dad, who was over visiting while I was making this, requested to “take some to go” after tasting a bite ;)

Alongside the corn salad I served up some of my girl Andrea’s famous tuna burgers (which you’ve seen before —> here!)

This time I added a bit of diced onion to the mix (1/3 cup) and just like last time around, substituted plain Chobani for the sour cream.

Lil’ sis declared these a huge hit. 

I, of course, already knew that, so agreed immediately :D

Ahhh summer dinners are back in full-attack.  And I’m likin’ it, likin’ it for sure!

What’s your favorite find at the farmer’s market this time of year?!?!