Monday, April 23, 2012

Attempting to Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

Last week was bad. The week actually ended nicely. BF was visiting and I had a big professional growth event. But there were also some bad moments that I'm having trouble shaking. Perhaps most importantly, I was swamped with work and had NO motivation to cook, let alone go to the grocery store to get food with which I could cook. I did actually create this recipe last week or the week before (they are totally running together) but I struggled to find the words to describe the dish. Deep breathe and here I go.

The recipe itself was all wrong. The ingredients were great, but the proportions just didn't fit. I started to get a feeling that I needed to make some changes as soon as I started to compile the ingredients. I think I'm going to share with you the recipe as it should be. Then I'm going to show you what I actually did and how it turned out. My creation (aka-the way the recipe should have been, is really really good, so I'd highly recommend it. It's quite similar to the Quinoa Avocado salad I posted a few months back, but just some different ingredients)

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Veggies
1 cup uncooked quinoa (2 cups cooked)
1-2 avocados depending on size and preference
8 ounces mozzarella cheese (you want a large fresh cube that you can chop)
1 bunch asparagus
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
pesto
dijon mustard
a few tablespoons olive oil
salt

Prepare the salad the same way I did below. In addition, use slightly less Dijon than I did and either roasted the asparagus or grill. I personally would slice it up and saute for a few minutes in some olive oil.

The Recipe I Actually Made
4 cups quinoa cooked
1 avocado
4 ounces mozzarella
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas
pesto
dijon
olive oil
salt

I started by tossing the tomatoes with olive oil. I covered a baking sheet with olive oil to aid in clean up.
I baked the tomatoes at 375 for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes, I tossed the tomatoes to make sure they were evenly cooked. When the tomatoes were done, I sprinkled some salt on them.
 Meanwhile, I cooked the quinoa according to the package directions. When it was done, I tossed the quinoa with the avocados, cheese, tomatoes, chickpeas and 3-4 tablespoons of pesto and 3 tablespoons of dijon.
Here is the final product. As you can see, there is a major problem. For me, quinoa is never the main ingredient. It is the rice to the beans and chicken. It is backdrop to the meal, never the star. This salad was WAY too dominated by quinoa. So next time, I'll reduce the amount by half and add a bunch more things. I think it was also really missing a green vegetable and asparagus would work brilliantly. Finally, I would use slightly less dijon mustard and let the pesto flavor come out more. All in all, quite a few changes. But, I think the recipe I listed above is a winner and is super easy. Definitely something I am going to try this summer and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree with your assessment of quinoa. I like it as much as the next guy, but any dish that's composed mostly of quinoa is starting off with a major handicap. So uhh... thanks for waiting until I left before trying this one!

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