Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to Reality

We have been on vacation for the past eight days and it was a ton of fun! Two and a half days at Disney and five days at the beach.  We had a really good time visiting with our friends from Oregon and hanging out with my parents, a couple of snowbirds.
I could stand a few more days soaking up the surf and sun in the Gulf of Mexico for sure.  With reality looming it's a lovely 38 degrees and raining in central New York today.  Yuck.
The only thing I was ready for upon our return home was to eat something not prepared in a restaurant.  I love to go out to eat, but every day for a week gets to be a bit much.  I start to crave vegetables like nobodies business.  I'm sure I haven't always felt that way but for the past few years or so I notice it more and more after a period of eating out often.  I thought today would be the perfect day to tip you all off on that fabulous quinoa recipe I made before vacation.  I had never had quinoa before and I'm not sure why because I loved it!
The recipe I tried was from Giada De Laurentis, Orange-Scented Quinoa, which includes one of my faves, chick peas.  There are two minor changes I will make the next time I make this (which will likely be very soon).  I think a little less olive oil could be used (I think that was the reason the kids didn't love it, because the oil taste was pretty strong).  And since I don't add salt when I cook rice, I wouldn't add it to the quinoa either, I don't think it needs it.

Orange-Scented Quinoa (Giada De Laurentis)

1 1/2 cups quinoa
zest of 1 orange
kosher salt


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about one orange)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water, the quinoa, orange zest and 1 tsp (or a half) of salt to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook until all water has been absorbed, 10-12 min.  Fluff with a fork, cover and let sit for 10-12 more min.

In a small, bowl whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, 1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper until smooth.

Place quinoa in a large serving bowl.  Add the dressing, beans and parsley.  Toss until coated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served mine up with some grilled shrimp and summer squash.  This meal screams of summer...just as the beach I just left does. 

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