Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Blueberries, Toasted Almonds
Spinach, Arugula, Red Onion
Pineapple Vinaigrette

Here is a harmonious salad that I developed for my friends at Great Giant Pineapple, one of the top three global producers of premium pineapples. It is perfectly balanced, with a variety of flavors, textures, and colors. And it’s simply delightful for summertime al fresco dining…

We will be sampling this salad along with other pineapple products at the IDDBA Convention on June 2, 3, and 4 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. IDDBA is the largest industry-only show for dairy, deli, bakery, and food services industries. Please visit us at Booth 3444 where I’ll be preparing this Quinoa Salad plus a fabulous Goat Cheese Flatbread with Pineapple Salsa and Fresh Herbs.

Quinoa Salad Recipe

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Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom GravyA Moist, Tasty, Satisfying Vegetarian Meatloaf
made with
Oatmeal, Quinoa, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Gruyere Cheese
served with
Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

The somewhat mysterious walnut loaf on the vegetarian restaurant menu seemed way too heavy for lunch, so I ordered the sprouted salad instead.

While the salad was completely delicious, I was still curious about that hearty, compelling “vegetarian meatloaf” so I decided to make one at home.

While researching vegetarian walnut meatloaf recipes, I came across several that sounded similar to our local restaurant’s version. Upon further investigation, it appears that the original recipe is over 2 decades old, from famous vegetarian chef Deborah Madison.

Madison recently noted that 20 years ago she would add cheese to many of her recipes. These days however, with the variety and quality of vegetarian ingredients, she no longer relies on cheese to substitute for the meat. In this vegetarian meatloaf, cheese does play an important role…but vegan cheese should work fine too.

In my interpretation of the recipe, I substitute oatmeal and quinoa for Madison’s brown rice, and make many other adjustments as well, but credit for the concept definitely goes to her.

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy Recipe

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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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