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Colourful Vegetable Quinoa with Tahini Dressing

31 May

I’m back! Sometimes I get a tad busy with work and, well, other things. Don’t be fooled. There’s still a stack of laundry yet to be touched, a list of rooms that MUST be cleaned last week, yet somehow remain untouched, and many other tidbits. What to do when you can’t squeak out more than 6 hours of sleep a night on a good night? why teach yourself to bake of course!! This rationale makes perfect sense when standing next to your sparkly new kitchenaid stand mixer. I haven’t posted any of these recipes yet b/c “teach yourself” are the key words here. As much as I love to cook I’ve never been a baker. I don’t like sweets (bitch about me later in private please), so I usually only bake twice a year. Once for Mark’s birthday and the other time for an annual Christmas party. Lately, that has changed. As soon as I figure out how to not add inappropriate amounts of salt I will share some sweet treats with you all! Until that time, back to quinoa.

We were gifted a wonderful cookbook by wonderful friends the other weekend. It came in very handy after an over the top long weekend at the cottage (spritzers and caesars? Yes please!). This was a great recipe that hit the spot as a much-needed light dinner. (Although, I would not be afraid to use it as a tasty side dish either). I obviously had to make a few changes to the recipe (this is where I fail at baking…).

Colourful Vegetable Quinoa with Tahini Dressing (adapted from Sophie Dhal’s cookbook, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights)

Serves 4 as a dinner and many as a side dish


2 cups quinoa

1 cucumber quartered and sliced

4 green onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

Tahini Dressing

3/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce

3 tablespoons tahini

1 clove of garlic

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Let cool to room temperature (it’s ok, I normally can’t wait that long either – I think I lasted 15 minutes. I just stirred it a lot so that the heat could escape faster).

In a food processor, or with an immersion blender combine the dressing.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, chopped vegetables and dressing.

Geeze that was easy! Pat yourself on the back, it’s been a long day!

This keeps nicely in the fridge, so go on and make yourself a big batch.

After a few more weeknight dinner posts I’ll blow your minds with oreo cheesecake bars. BAM!


Sesame Quinoa with Roasted Sweet Potato and Spinach

15 Apr

I wasn’t feeling well the other day and the idea of cooking an entire meal wasn’t working for me. I felt like just grabbing a simple solution on the way home that hit the spot. But when you’re not feeling well I belive (disclaimer – do not listen to me , I am probably the last person you want to listen to re: how to feel better b/c I don’t belive in pills) healthy nutritious food is the way to go. This is a simple solution that not only made me feel 100% the next day, but it also took 20 minutes to make (meaning I got to bed by 9pm).

Who out there is obsessed with Whole Foods? Ya, me, ok. I am sure I am not alone. I tried to copy one of those beautiful pre-made salads you buy at their pre-made food counter. My Mom (who is a fantastic cook) loves this concoction that Whole Foods has created. So I tried to re-create it for her. (Mom I hope you’re reading…..I know you are…you may be my only reader). The smart thing to do would have been to go and read their ingredient list b/c they post it. I didn’t. Whoops!

Sesame Quinoa with Roasted Sweet Potato and Spinach

Serves 4 as a side dish


3/4 cup of dry quinoa

2 sweet potato, diced into bite sized pieces

1 cup, packed firmly, baby spinach

1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce (if you’re gluten-free use tamari)

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. toss the sweet potato pieces in a little bit of olive oil and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes (flipping after 10) until slightly browned.

Cook the Quinoa according to the directions on the package. Once done toss with the spinach and put the lid on the pot and leave for 5 minutes.

Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce (or tamari) and roasted sweet potato and toss. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Out of respect for Whole Foods and all that they do I won’t mention the price differential. Infer what you will.

(if everyone could please ignore the random piece of quinoa on the side of the bowl. Again, alone for photography, left to my own devices. I am a maniac I tell you. I hate to admit it, but I took about 8 shots before I noticed. Then as luck would have it I decided I needed to use this shot b/c it was one of the better ones. Ya, we’ve already gone over how I suck at photography. I’m working at it (not really, my photographer has just been away).)

What is my favourite part about cooking with quinoa? protein without thinking about a protein source. Genius!

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