Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Veggie Friendly Dinner Fiesta

I wanted to share with you two healthy, veggie-friendly dishes I made recently for a Break-the-Fast Yom Kippur dinner, hosted by my mother-in-law, Vicki.

My mission was to go healthy, as these things are usually big carb fests and that’s not even skimming the surface when you put dessert into the mix.

Originally requesting that I bring dessert (Vicki knows I like to bake), I suggested a quinoa salad instead, which she graciously accepted and seemed genuinely excited to try. While I didn’t have a recipe, I created an easy-to-replicate mixture of healthy ingredients from my imagination. While I originally wanted to toss some asparagus into it as well, it didn’t seem to go with the other ingredients, so I decided to just serve it on its own. All turned out well and I even had some recipe requests.

Veggie Quinoa Salad (Serves 6)
1 ½ cups of organic Quinoa
½ pint of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on their size)
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 generous handfuls of pumpkin seeds
½ cup of dried cranberries
Large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Dressing:
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of grain or Dijon mustard 

¾ of a lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking all ingredients and tasting to make sure you are satisfied with the flavor. Then roast the pumpkin seeds in a non-stick skillet with a little bit of olive oil rubbed into it (but very little). Cook until they turn golden brown, but make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. 

After the quinoa is done, let cool for a few minutes (approx 15 or 20) and then add the rest of the ingredients including the dressing. Toss well and serve with the protein of your choice, or enjoy on its own.

Truffled Asparagus (Serves 4)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus (green or white)
2 tsp of truffle butter of ½ tsp of truffle oil
4 to 6 lemon wedges, depending on your taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Place asparagus into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with tongs or a strainer. Top immediately with truffle butter, salt, pepper and lemon wedges.

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