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Chicken, Peach and Quinoa Salad

chicken, peach & quinoa saladAs much as I like cooking a whole chicken, I can’t seem pass by a grocery store rotisserie chicken without stopping to inhale its amazing aromas.  And, how is it they’re cheaper than buying a raw one?  I bought a 4 lb. rotisserie chicken for $7.99 whereas an uncooked 4 lb. one was nearly $11.00.  From what I can gather by nosing around the internet, a supermarket sells fresh ingredients before the best-before-date and anything after that gets chopped up and sold in a salad bar and the meat is cooked and sold hot (helps minimize food waste).   Continue Reading →

Quinoa Risotto

quinoa risottoThe classic Italian risotto is prepared with arborio or carnaroli rice but this recipe throws the ‘traditional’ rice out the window and replaces it with quinoa.  I know my Italian friends will read this and shudder but…  Continue Reading →

Quinoa Barley Salad

Quinoa Barley Salad by The Culinary ChaseSpring is such a pretty time of the year with new growth, greenery, flowers and birds singing. Many will embark on a Spring cleaning campaign of their homes, open up cottages, and plant gardens all of which require a well-fueled body. This quinoa barley salad will keep you satiated for hours and give you the energy to fulfill those Spring cleanup chores. Barley has a chewy, pasta-like consistency. It’s a super grain in my books – rich in fiber (helps lower cholesterol and good for intestinal health) and helps curb your appetite for high calorie food. Quinoa, the super seed hailing from South America, is high in protein, good source of riboflavin, and is low glycemic index (won’t spike your blood sugar). This salad is perfect for a pot luck gathering, barbeque or picnic.

Serves 4 to 6
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 tablespoon minced garlic
handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Cook barley and quinoa according to package instructions. Allow to cool to room temperature.
lemons zested by The Culinary ChaseIn a large bowl add herbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Mix to combine and then add quinoa and barley. Toss and add tomatoes. If the mixture looks dry, add enough olive oil to moisten. Adjust seasoning according to taste. Serve room temperature or cold.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
A vegetarian delight! Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped cucumber for added crunch and fresh dill. Enjoy!

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions on Quinoa Polenta

sausage with peppers & onions on quinoa polenta by The Culinary ChaseI bought a bag of sweet baby peppers the other day and knew that if I didn’t use them soon, they would go off. Sausage, peppers and onions are perfect for a sandwich (hoagie) but I was thinking of something more for dinner. I’ve made many versions of polenta over the years but as I was grilling the peppers, it suddenly occurred to me that I could use quinoa, too. Before you go and turn your nose up at the notion that quinoa isn’t a substitute for polenta, let me say this, it can! Especially when you have a sauce like this over it. If you want it to be creamy like porridge, then you’ll need to add mascarpone and more water or chicken stock. I know, if you’re an Italian reading this, I can imagine you gesticulating and horrified that I even made the correlation. That said, confirmation from Mr. S. to make this again is all I needed to hear.

Serves 4
4 bell peppers, roasted or grilled
large onion, sliced
olive oil
450g Italian sausages (casing removed)
1 can Italian cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Quinoa Polenta

1 cup white quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

sweet baby peppersAfter roasting or grilling the peppers, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel skin and remove seeds. Cut peppers into strips and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions with a pinch of sea salt and cook until soft. Remove from pan. In the same pan, add sausage meat. Stir, breaking up chunks of meat and cook until meat is browned. Add tomatoes and stir. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes then add onions and peppers. Simmer until heated through.

For the quinoa polenta, rinse quinoa in cold water, drain and add to saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir and add cheese.

Arrange quinoa on a plate and spoon over the sausage sauce. Top with chopped parsley.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use bulk Italian sausage meat to save time from having to remove the casings. If you can’t find canned cherry tomatoes, use chopped tomatoes and cook 10 or so minutes longer to allow the juice to reduce. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Radish, Dill & Avocado‏

quinoa salad with radish, dill & avocado by The Culinary ChaseI love a colorful salad…I always have.  I discovered a few years ago that one of the secrets to staying healthy is to always incorporate color onto your plate of food. Doing so means you are getting a good variety of nutrients to help your body be strong and healthy.  Eating more plant-based meals has been proven to lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.  Pick fruit and vegetables that are the colors of the rainbow and you can’t go wrong plus your dish will look darn pretty! Quinoa (keen-wa) is a staple in my pantry.  If I’m not sure what to make for dinner, I often cook it and toss it in with other vegetables and herbs.  It’s so versatile and because it’s a seed, not a grain, it’s a good choice for those who are gluten intolerant.  Use quinoa where you would rice.  This quinoa salad is loaded with flavor and texture.  For more ideas on how to use quinoa, chick here for 8 recipes from my site.

Serves 4
adapted by The Kitchn

1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
8 small red radishes, chopped
1/3 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 avocado, roughly chopped
chopped fresh dill – about 1/2 cup
zest of 1 lemon and 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

radish by The Culinary Chase1. Rinse the quinoa for a couple of minutes in a fine mesh strainer. Drain. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in broth, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cooked quinoa over it in an even layer. Let cool.
3. Toss radish, cucumber, shallot and dill with the quinoa in a large bowl. Add lemon zest. In a small bowl whisk the juice together with the olive oil, and balsamic vinegar until emulsified. Toss this with the quinoa.
4. Fold in chopped dates, avocado, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
I served this while the quinoa was still warm. As always, the flavor gets more pronounced the following day.  This makes a perfect dish for a pot luck dinner or as a side to a main meal.  Enjoy!

Carrot Soup with Feta and Quinoa

carrot soup with feta & quinoaWhen it’s cold outside there’s nothing more comforting and warming than homemade soup.  Soup, by the way, doesn’t need to be arduous nor does it need to take a long time to make to taste good. Carrot soup with feta and quinoa should make you take notice as this isn’t something ordinary but downright scrumptious! The crunchy chewy texture coming from the quinoa not only adds substance but will keep you feeling satiated longer (always a good thing when trying to stick to those new year’s resolutions!).  Carrots have a host of nutritional health benefits:  helps to cleanse the liver, improves vision, reduces the risk of cancer, anti-aging, and healthy skin to name a few.  This soup can be ready in 30 minutes.

Serves 4
adapted by Gourmet Traveller

2 1/2 lb (1.2 kg) carrots, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup quinoa
300g Greek feta, coarsely crumbled
handful of coarsely chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley
extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

carrots by The Culinary Chase1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender. Add carrots, cumin, paprika and lemon rind.  Stir occasionally until carrot softens. Add stock and 2 1/2 cups boiling water, season to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until well-flavored.
2. Cook quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (10-12 minutes), then drain and set aside in a bowl.
3. Remove soup from heat, add lemon juice and half the feta, process with a hand-held blender until smooth. Top with quinoa, scatter with herbs and remaining feta, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use a food processor with a grater attachment to speed up the grating process.  *You may need to add more water if soup is too thick.  With so many flavors and textures, this recipe is a keeper.  Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad

quinoa salad by The Culinary ChaseAncient grains…two words that conjure up something you might find in an archeological dig!  They’ve been around for a millennium and include quinoa, amaranth, spelt, and kamut.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain that comes from the Andes mountains of South America and its origins dates back to that of the Inca’s.  There are more than 2,000 varieties of quinoa which range in color from ivory to pink, brown to red or almost black.  Quinoa has a pleasant, slightly crunchy, nutty taste. It can be used in salads, stuffing, risotto, breakfast cereal, or desserts.

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 cooked corn on the cob, kernels sliced off with a knife
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved (assorted colors, if possible)
large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
large handful fresh mint, chopped

rainbow quinoaBring quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temperature. In a shaker, combine lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.  Shake until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add quinoa to a large bowl and add cucumber, tomatoes, corn and herbs. Gently combine. Add dressing and toss to combine.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: If you’re having a party, chop tomatoes into bite-size pieces and spoon the quinoa mixture into endive spears – finger food at its best. Enjoy!