Plant Based Recipes: Quinoa of Many Colors and Merry Peary Mixed Greens Salad

Quinoa of Many Colors.  Thanks, Dolly Parton, for the inspiration 😉

Quinoa of Many Colors Recipe

1 c quinoa

Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Put in a pot with 2 cups water, cover and bring to boil.  Turn down to simmer and let it cook until it absorbs all the water.  Fluff with fork.  (That’s my favorite part.)

Red Onion, diced

Red Sweet Pepper, chopped

Dry pan sauté your red onion until it begins to get soft, then add your sweet pepper.  Let them brown to get nice and caramelized.   Remove from pan and set aside.

1 medium sweet potato, chopped small

1/4 c veggie stock

In your dry pan, place sweet potato bits.  Add veggie stock and cover, stirring occasionally.  Cook until just softened.  Place aside with peppers and onion.

1 1/2 c frozen chopped broccoli 

3 Celery stalks, chopped

Place broccoli and chopped celery with the other pan roasted ingredients.  Their heat will defrost the broccoli.

In a sauce pan or medium frying pan, pour 1/3 c Balsamic Vinegar. Heating on medium high, simmer and stir often to create a balsamic reduction.  You’re evaporating the liquid and caramelizing the balsamic which increases the sweetness.

Optional, Date Puree

(Make ahead) Soak 6 dates in water for 4-6 hours (or overnight.)  In a blender, puree.  Add small amounts of additional water if needed for consistency.  It will be more saucy than jammy.

Add date puree and 1/3 c veggie stock to balsamic reduction.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.  Nobody likes a burned bottom…

Place all the veggies in a large pot, pour the sauce on top, mixa mixa mixa.

2 handfuls raisins

2 tablespoons orange zest

3 handfuls pan or oven roasted pecans (brown in oven, broiler or in a dry pan)

1/4 c Italian Parsley, chopped

Add these and the quinoa to the coated vegetables, saving 1 tablespoon of orange zest, a handful of roasted pecans and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley to top the dish.

I like to add an extra drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar after I dish mine up on my plate, so you might want to place it handy at the table for personal tastes.

(Insert beautiful, mouth-watering image of this salad…coming soonish!)

Merry Peary Mixed Green Salad

Large bowl of Mixed Greens

Red Onion, finely chopped or sliced+halved (depends on if you like rings or bits)

1 ripe pear (I like red pears, but choose your favorite,) chopped

1 c walnut bits

1/2 c craisins, dried currents or raisins

2 stalks celery, chopped

Balsamic Vinegar

Mix fruit, nuts and veggies in salad bowl with mixed greens.  Pour balsamic vinegar -easy does it- and coat everything with a mixa mixa mixa.  Leave Balsamic on the table in case anyone wants to drown their salad in it.

Tip on Balsamic Vinegar:

Any real balsamic vinegar is made in Italy.  And the best balsamic is just that.  Balsamic vinegar, no other ingredients.  And not all are made equally.  A nice bottle from a gourmet section of your grocery store (or ordered online) will make a big difference in the quality and taste of your recipes.  Balsamic is one of my top three go-to seasonings/sauces/dressings so it’s definitely worth investing in.


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