Category: Orange Vinaigrette

38 Power Foods, Week 24 — Quinoa — Shrimp-Quinoa Salad with Winter Fruit, Pomegranate Seeds, and Blue Cheese

38 Power Foods, Week 24 — Quinoa — Shrimp-Quinoa Salad with Winter Fruit, Pomegranate Seeds, and Blue Cheese

Festive and healthy at the same time is a winning combination.  While we often think of holiday meals leaning toward big hunks of meat and baked desserts, it may be just the time we should be thinking of cutting a bit here and there.  If you’d like a gorgeous December salad that’s colorful and filling without being heavy, try this little plate of love.  There’s plenty of shrimp (I bought cooked shrimp for ease of preparation) for those who need visible protein, but it’s off-set by the addition of lots high-fiber quinoa, green apples, red pomegranate seeds, cucumber, fresh cranberries, clementines, and spinach–to say nothing of the blue cheese grace notes.  A light orange vinaigrette spiked with a bit of crushed red pepper tops it all.   You could add some steamed, chopped asparagus or green beans, I think, but the spinach gives you lots of green.  I served a little bread and butter with this salad to round out the meal.  Try this:


shrimp-quinoa salad with winter fruit, pomegranate seeds, and blue cheese   serves 2-3

1.Make the quinoa:  1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 25 minutes until tender.  Cool at least a few minutes (stir to cool more quickly) before adding to salad.  You’ll  have leftover quinoa for soup or breakfast.
2.  Make Vinaigrette:  2T white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon honey, pinch each: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. * Whisk together everything but the olive oil first, then drizzle in oil whisking until well-combined.   In a separate medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to marinate a half-pound cooked shrimp. (Reserve the rest of the vinaigrette for the salad.)  Set aside  while you chop the fruit.

3.Chop 1/2 an at least partially peeled cucumber and 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, optional.

4. Slice thinly an unpeeled Granny Smith apple.  Peel two clementines (or one orange) and separate them into segments.

Here I began to mix just a small portion of the salad to try it out.   Hey, I liked it!

5.  In a large bowl, mix 1 cup cooled quinoa with 2 cups fresh spinach, and the marinated shrimp.
6.  Gently stir in the cucumber, cranberries, apple slices, and clementines.  Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
7.  Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to moisten the salad well.  Squeeze just a bit of lime juice over everything.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  You could add another pinch of crushed red pepper if you like a bit of heat.

8.  Spoon the salad out onto a large serving platter and garnish with 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds and 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese.  (2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans–optional)  Serve immediately and pass the pepper grinder at the table.

Ingredients list:   1/2 pound cooked shrimp, 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 apple, 2 clementines or 1 orange, 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/2 cucumber,  1/4 cup fresh cranberries  (optional), Juice of one orange, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 2 T white wine vinegar, 1/2 lime, walnuts or pecans (optional), 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper.

*If you like a sharper vinaigrette, use sherry vinegar or add 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard.
This vinaigrette is mild so that the fruit all speaks for itself. 

Want to bring this a potluck?  Put the sliced apples in with the shrimp and vinaigrette to keep them from browning.  Bring the vinaigrette separately and dress the salad right before serving.

Wine:  I liked this with a glass of California Chardonnay, but an Oregon Pinot Blanc might drink beautifully.  I just sent a half-case of Bethel Heights Pinot Blanc for a Christmas gift.  It might not be too late for you to do it, though the weather could be turning dicey for shipping. At $18 per bottle, it’s a beautiful northwest winery steal even if they have to wait until spring for delivery. 

quinoa…It’s really a seed related to spinach or tumbleweed (rather than a grain) that can be    traced back to ancient Peru…and yes, it’s gluten free.

Low in calories and fat, quinoa is  high in carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.  While it cooks in just about the same time and same way as white rice (maybe a few minutes longer), it also has close to the same amount of calories.  A good source of all the amino acids, iron, potassium, and magnesium, quinoa also offers a bit of zinc– about 1/4 of the daily allowance for women.

Try quinoa as tasty hot breakfast cereal with maple syrup and hot milk, or as a good foil for spicy hot chili.  This grain is luscious in salads and can sub for couscous or even rice in many places.   On it’s own or nestled next to your chop, add a little butter, salt and pepper and it’s ready.  Read all about quinoa here.

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I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about tasty quinoa at these sites:

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

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If you liked this, you might like

  Shrimp-Quinoa Salad with Feta and Tomatoes
 

or…

GO NUTS

 

These nuts are whipped up in no time.  A bit of beaten egg white, some sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne and they’re into a low oven for an hour or so. Great gifts, we also serve them all  throughout the season as a nibble with drinks or a salad topping. (Original recipe from my good cook and sister Helen…I’ve tinkered and damned it into submission over the years.)

this week on dinnerplace (cooking for one)
                               
        Make 6, just 6, Cornbread Muffins


Sing a new song,
Alyce 

Fried Cheese-Snake Squash Salad or I’m Sure This Has a Better Name

Fried Cheese-Snake Squash Salad or I’m Sure This Has a Better Name

 Last Friday night was a use-what’s-on-hand night:

  • The first of the Minnesota corn (very tiny kernels, but yummy)
  • One of the pork tenderloins I’d gotten on sale at Kowalski’s (froze 4 of them in April)
  • Salad makings that wouldn’t be good the next day. I sautéed the greens with garlic and lots of fresh herbs:
My own garden herbs:  marjoram, sage, chives, tarragon, basil, and thyme.

I added raisins and chopped cashews to the sautéed greens.

The first of our tomatoes went in at the end.

 Despite heat and humidity that all Minnesota is ready to get rid of, we ate outdoors under our big maple tree that reaches toward the house and garage, creating a canopy to cover the patio.  That soft, shady spot is often the coolest place anywhere and you can bet I’ve looked.  Along with everyone else on Wheeler Street.

Next night, a quick look-see in the frig assured me I had enough to throw together some sort of salad as I had a snake squash (can’t find right name) from my victory garden neighbor:

Tastes like a cross between a mild zucchini and yellow (summer) squash.

Some asparagus (now out of season, but still my favorite) was sagging in there and a little bit of the pork tenderloin called me.  What really appealed was the rest of my fresh cheese (blogged at Dinner Place), which I knew would fry.   Could there be anything bad about fried cheese?
 

Alyce’s 2-1 cheese

 What about a salad of greens, sautéed squash and asparagus, with avocado, blueberries, and thinly sliced pork tenderloin topped with fried cheese?  With a perky, ramped up orange vinaigrette?  I was sold.  Moral of story:  make up your salad as you go along.

I cooked the squash and asparagus in a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and set that aside.

Sliced up my avocado.  Creamy and fatty, it would be a good foil for my spicy greens.

Blueberries for color, texture, contrast of taste, and sweetness.

About 3-4 oz cooked pork tenderloin–or how much of whatever meat you have.

My homemade cheese fried in olive oil and black pepper.  Dave was so excited.

Et voila–

 Fried Cheese Snake Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

MAKE YOUR VINAIGRETTE FIRST:

Place the following ingredients in a small jam jar, close tightly with lid, and shake well until emulsified. I like to do this to “America” from West Side Story:  Shake to this rhythm..123,123, 123. (Thanks, Leonard Bernstein.) Set aside while you make the salad.

  • 1T fresh orange juice
  • 1/4t kosher salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 t honey
  • 1/2-1 t minced shallot (or garlic)
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil.

MAKE THE SALAD:

  •  2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup each:  sliced zucchini (or snake or summer squash) and  chopped asparagus (or green beans)
  • Kernels from 1 ear of fresh cooked corn (you can cook it in unshucked in the microwave.)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 6-8 cups baby greens, your choice
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choice, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts chopped
  • 2-4 ounces sliced, cooked pork tenderloin, steak or chicken
  • 2T fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • 6-8 small pieces fresh cheese
  • Orange vinaigrette (above)
  1. In a large skillet, sauté squash and asparagus in oil over medium heat for five minutes.  Dust with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove veggies from pan and place in a large bowl.  (Keep pan out; you’ll use it for the cheese)
  3. To the squash and asparagus, add the corn, chopped avocado, blueberries, walnuts and pork, keeping the ingredients at the center of the bowl.
  4. Around the pile of veggies and meat, place the salad greens and fresh herbs.
  5. Set aside or in refrigerator.
  6. In the skillet, pour another tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat once more. Grind some black pepper into the oil as the pan heats.  Place the cheese slices in the pan and cook a few minutes or until nicely browned.  Turn carefully with a spatula and let the other side brown.
  7. Take the salad and drizzle with the lemon juice.  Dust the whole thing with some salt and pepper.  
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with the browned cheese. 
  9. Eat immediately.  Won’t keep.
  10. Take downstairs and watch movies.   
Wine:  The Wine Thief  (2 doors west of me on St. Clair)  has a lovely, palepalepale rosé called “Whispering Angel.  Drink it.
  

Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood

Fern garden.
On the wall ladies’ room in restaurant The Angry Trout
In our south garden

Heavy, heavy hydrangeas after rain– next to drive

As my mom would say, “Morning, Glory.”
This incredible flower showed up in my corner garden yesterday.
My pharmacist’s assistant tells me this is a perennial hibiscus.

I’ve been making blueberry jam, actually blueberry-orange conserve.
Miss Gab

Tucky-Bucky

Hot and muggy.  Lots of storms and rain.  Tomatoes are coming. The first ones weren’t so good.  Wonder if it’s like pancakes–throw out the first ones?

Sing a new song; enjoy August,
Alyce