#SundaySupper: Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

When my mom was here in April, I asked her if there was anything in particular she wanted for dinners during her visit.

Her answer, not surprisingly, was “something light!”

My brother and his wife recently bought a house in my parents’ neighborhood and are doing some remodeling. While the construction is taking place, they’re living with my parents.

My dad travels a lot for his job so my mom doesn’t tend to cook much when he’s gone. Simple salads, high protein snacks, and lots of fruits and veggies are usually enough.

My brother and sister-in-law do cook, and enjoy doing so. (From what I hear I’m going to be insanely jealous of the kitchen they’ll have once their first home is complete.) The food they cook is delicious, too! But the diet change had her craving “something light.”

“Something light” isn’t usually in my wheel house, so I took to Pinterest hoping to find something in my long list of saved pins to satisfy. I sent Mom a link for a Superfoods Salad and was met with a resounding “yes, please!”

If you’re feeling the tug to healthier eating as the summer draws near, be sure to scroll past my recipe for some more great dinner salad options from the Sunday Supper crew.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

This salad was so fantastic, that I made it again the following week when my in-laws were visiting! Even my “meat and potatoes” father-in-law enjoyed the salad.

I know I’ll be making the salad again. It’s satisfying and filling without leaving you feeling weighed down. As a salad with a bunch of ingredients, it’s easy to assemble. Particularly if you have some leftover quinoa in the fridge already! Because kale is a hearty green, the salad will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to a week.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)When my in-laws were here we cooked up some chicken and had pita bread, too. I forgot the Greek yogurt/sour cream in the dressing the second time around and it works just beautifully. Literally. While I preferred the touch of creaminess to the dressing it’s not necessary, and does make for a more photogenic salad.

The recipe below feeds 2-3 people. (I tripled it to serve a party of 5, which was an over estimation.)

Kale Superfoods Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C frozen edamame, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and torn
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Toss kale, quinoa, edamame, fruits, cheese, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and Greek yogurt/sour cream in a small bowl. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Pour dressing over the salad and carefully toss to evenly coat.

*This recipe is adapted from Averie at https://www.averiecooks.com/2016/06/twelve-superfoods-salad.html*

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (3)

Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

Brilliant Beef Salads

Choice Chicken Salads

Superb Seafood Salads

Vibrant Veggie Salads

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

SRC: Breakfast Quinoa

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

I almost didn’t participate this month. My husband has been gone for a month. Not gone gone, just on the other side of the country thanks to a 5 week course for work. We’re in the final stretch and will be reunited Friday! It’s been a long 4.5 weeks so far, but with visits from the boys’ aunt and grandmothers we’ve been making it through.

Cooking has been very minimal around here, limiting my culinary output to things I know the boys will eat. Aka cheese. We’ve been living off of cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, nachos, and pizzas – all good means for “hiding” protein into their diets.

I knew signing up for SRC this month would force me to cook something other than waffles and sweets. I’m glad I did, too, because this month I was assigned The Gluten-Free Foodsmith written by Tina Marie. Tina Marie made the switch to gluten-free living after discovering it made a huge impact in restoring her to health following an illness. Tina Marie made the best of her gluten-free lifestyle and has developed an impressive arsenal of delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy!

Limiting my search of her blog to recipes I knew my kids would actually help me eat and that were healthy wasn’t too difficult! Apple Pineapple Muffins were going to be the winner until I found Warm Plum and Blueberry Quinoa Salad. Also added to my possibility list were: Pecan Walnut Chicken Salad (but I haven’t introduced nuts to Treat yet), Black Bean Salsa Wraps, and Lentil Chili Stew.

I had to make some adjustments to Tina Marie’s recipe due to dietary restrictions. I had to substitute agave for honey due to Treat being under one. I used butter instead of coconut oil because I’m allergic to coconut. And used regular cow’s milk instead of almond milk because I haven’t tested a nut allergy with Treat yet and was/am too anxious and nervous about doing so while I’m parenting solo. Obviously, I left the raw almonds out, too. Sounds like a lot, but it’s really not.

We loved this quinoa! I even made it again with strawberries when my mother-in-law was visiting. It was her first introduction to quinoa and she quite enjoyed it, too. What I love best is that it doesn’t take any longer than making oatmeal in the morning and is arguably healthier! Quinoa has almost double the amount of protein as oats do.

Treat loved the change in his breakfast from Greek yogurt to this quinoa. Firecracker, who does enjoy the seed, wasn’t as interested and simply picked out all of the fruit. I guess for him quinoa is supposed to stay savory. I enjoyed the sweet take to it and will continue explore its sweeter applications – I know Tina Maria had a couple cookie recipes on her blog using the seed!

Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup
  • 1 plum, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 C blueberries (I used frozen)

Steps:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. Add butter, agave, milk, cinnamon, and syrup to the cooked quinoa. Stir in the plum and blueberries. Keep over low heat until butter is melted, quinoa is evenly coated, and fruit is warmed through.

*This recipe is modified from Tina Maria at http://glutenfreefoodsmith.com/2015/05/warm-plum-and-blueberry-quinoa-salad/*

Breakfast Quinoa for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Fall Quinoa Bowl

You know how smoothie bowls hit the food scene over the past year or so? Well, I have yet to try one myself.

Grain bowls are also a thing. And that I’ve decided to make and put my spin on. Although, technically, quinoa isn’t a grain, it’s a seed, making this protein packed bowl gluten free. You could leave the chicken out to make a vegetarian option. Heck, you could even cook in coconut oil instead of butter and go vegan with it!

Possibilities are really endless when you stop and think about making a quinoa bowl. Quinoa itself doesn’t have too strong of a flavor of its own, much like oats or rice, and can lend itself to many preparations – savory or sweet.

What I loved about this meal was that it was a perfect dinner to serve to my entire family. Everything was both adult and kid friendly. My picky two year old ate around all of the vegetables and chicken and solely ate the quinoa – but hey, there are good nutrients in that little seed and a fair amount of protein. Treat enjoyed all of it.

To present the quinoa bowl. I simply topped the dressed quinoa with the fruit, vegetables, and protein in concentric circles to showcase the incredible colors and flavors of fall. Arranging them in lines would be beautiful, too.

An Original Recipe

Fall Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 C quinoa
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 pears, cubed
  • 1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1-2 small red beets, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 tbsp Meyer lemon olive oil
  • 1 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • scallion, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In a non-stick skillet melt a little bit of butter. Saute pears over medium heat until tender. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until fork tender and lightly golden. Add butter as needed. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cook the beets in the same skillet, adding more butter if needed, until fork tender.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Season to taste with S+P. Toss cooked quinoa in as much dressing as desired.
  6. Top quinoa with the pears, potatoes, beets, and chicken. Top with a little extra dressing and garnish with sliced scallions.

Fall Quinoa Bowl | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

CIC: Lemongrass & Quinoa

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I am pretty excited about this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge. While I didn’t vote for either of these ingredients, I’m glad they won. These two ingredients lend themselves towards healthy cooking, perfect for that post-holiday detox. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else made.

I actually found my inspiration during a search of ideas for my new Stir Fry Day Friday theme this year. Lemongrass shrimp. I reserved some of the flavoring mixture to mix into the quinoa. (I wanted to combine the two ingredients, not serve them together.) So if you don’t like or don’t want the shrimp, you can still have a beautiful, flavorful quinoa as a side to your protein of choice. You could even substitute chicken and keep the lemongrass flavor elements.

Lemongrass Shrimp with Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 C uncooked quinoa
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • zest 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste, to taste
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Steps:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package direction. (General rule of thumb is 1 C quinoa:2 C liquid)
  2. In a small bowl combine lemongrass, lime zest, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture for the quinoa.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Stir in 2/3 of the lemongrass mixture and cook one minute. Toss in the fish sauce.
  4. Mix the remaining lemongrass mixture into the cooked quinoa.
  5. Serve shimp overtop the quinoa.

*The shrimp recipe is adapted from Adam at http://unorthodoxepicure.com/2014/10/02/food-snob-chronicles-shrimp-the-real-chicken-of-the-sea-2/*

Lemongrass Shrimp | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Last weekend Tara, from Tara’s Multicultural Table, and I joined hundreds of other food bloggers in Birmingham, AL for Food Blog South. Each of the speakers at the conference had their own inspiring story and advice to give.

Before breaking up for the sessions that interested us most, Virginia Willis kicked things off with a thought provoking list of things she’s learned from cooking: FAITH, faith that sugar, eggs, and flour will turn into a cake, faith in yourself; PATIENCE, this is one that I need to work on the most, not only patience when a recipe calls for it but patience in understanding that a career in the food world takes time; SEASONING, what is life with out a little flavor?, what is a recipe without a little spice?; LAISSEZ FAIRE, don’t interfere with that steak on the grill, don’t focus on what others are doing and focus on yourself; DEDICATION, with dedication comes passion and with both comes success.

The first seminar we attended was Photography & Food Styling run by food stylist Tami Hardeman and photographer Helene Dujardin. Together they taught us tricks of the trade in both styling the food and how best to photograph the food. Helene’s collection of food props (aka plates, bowls, utensils, trays, etc) was enough to make anyone jealous. The less than 1% of her collection that she brought to the conference was like walking through an Anthropologie, a vintage thrift shop, and a Pottery Barn all at once. I immediately had the urge to rush out and find some fantastic pieces. (not that I have) When I research food photography everyone says to use white, that white makes food pop and look more appealing, but I was excited to see that they plated soup in an off-white bowl with a navy center. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to food photography, especially in dealing with my lack of natural light. Which you will see in the photos associated with this blog post – my ability to photograph and then edit cheese shot under artificial light at night is awful! Unfortunately when I asked how to shoot photos without natural light the answer was, “If it’s dark, put it in the fridge and try again tomorrow.” Too bad I only cook after dark… Oh well, I’ll figure it out one of these days… hopefully.

Next we switched tracks where Cathy Barrow shared her experience in turning her blog into a career. Upon returning from the conference I adjusted my twitter account (@Tiny_Chef_829) to be public and have started tweeting my blog posts. In a couple of weeks we get new phones and I’ll be going over to the dark side by getting an iPhone –  I will then figure out what Instagram is and how to use it. I have figured out how to add a contact page to my menu bar! Unfortunately she informed us of the harsh reality that in a world over-saturated with food writers, it’ll be hard to “make it big”.

After lunch Tara and I split up. She attended the Creativity Lightning Round while I attended Better Recipe Writing & Development. Nancy Huges was such a delight! She gave us great advice on creating recipes, tips on how best to write the recipe, and had countless stories to share from her impressive career.  I am now in the process of going through my blog posts and addressing any recipe writing mistakes I’ve made. Attending this session really re-motivated me to create some more original recipes. And that’s exactly what I did when I got home. It’s the recipe at the end of this post. I wanted to utilize one of the many vendors’ products. I had grabbed Roland’s Instant Black Bean Quinoa from their table thinking I could use it for Mexican Monday. I used traditional Mexican spices to flavor the chicken, and am so pleased with how perfectly my end results complimented the quinoa. Additionally, the red bell pepper rounded out the flavor profile perfectly.

Stuffed Peppers

I rejoined Tara for How to Win a James Beard Media Award where Marion Laney and Diane Jackson introduced us to the world of awards.

To round out the conference, keynote speaker Molly Wizenberg, gave an inspiring speech. Before her speech she sat down at our table and spoke one-on-one with us in such a personal way. She understands where we are in our budding “careers” and I found her to be very relate-able. I enjoyed her story and how far her passion for cooking has taken her.  My favorite quote of hers (and I jotted down a few) is

What do I stand to lose by following my nose; what do I stand to lose to not follow my nose.

That philosophy is the reason she’s so successful. And that philosophy is the one I need to stop being afraid of.

An Original Recipe

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkt (5.46 oz) Roland® Black Bean Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into small bite-size cubes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 C your favorite salsa, not a chunky one though
  • 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided use
  • 5-6 red bell peppers, tops cut to create a cup and seeds and ribs removed

Steps:

  1. Bring 1 1/2 C of water to a boil. Add quinoa, stir, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a large glass bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Toss pieces of chicken in seasonings.
  4. Heat olive oil a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add in chicken and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to the same bowl with the quinoa.
  5. To the chicken mixture add in the salsa and 1 C of shredded cheese.
  6. Place peppers cut side up in a casserole dish. Fill peppers completely with chicken mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Place the pepper tops back on and bake for 30-35 minutes. Note: I like having a bite to my peppers, if you prefer a softer pepper cook for 45-50 minutes with 1/4 C water or chicken stock in the casserole dish.

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Disclaimer: I was not asked to create a recipe using a Roland product. I was provided Roland products for attending the conference. All reviews are my own.

Asian Slow Roasted Salmon

Fish, although easy to cook, isn’t an easy thing for me. I never seem to crave it, and always prefer the fish I get at the local restaurants around here. But I do make an effort to keep a packet of frozen salmon filets in my freezer.

I typically find an Asian inspired flavor when it comes to salmon and this one caught my eye. I served it with quinoa. Quinoa is a great alternative to rice and is gluten free! It can be prepared the same way you prepare rice, using a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio. This go around I tested that method even further by using my rice cooker. I find using small kitchen appliances reduce my likelihood of burning and ruining my grains. The quinoa was a little too al dente so next time I’ll add just a touch more liquid. To give the quinoa a little extra flavor, I like to cook mine in chicken stock instead of water. It is also important to rinse the grain before cooking.

Our vegetable during this evening were boiled carrots, but they were such a last minute decision that they didn’t make the presentation plate! I apologize for the photo quality of this dish… I feel my food photography has taken multiple steps backwards with the time change. The windows in my house do not let in a lot of light, and now I have no hope of natural light as it’s dark before I even leave the office!

Asian Slow Roasted Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place salmon skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Brush salmon with sesame oil and season with pepper. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Over medium heat whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Bring glaze to a simmer. Whisk in cornstarch until the glaze is smooth and reaches desired thickness.
  4. Drizzle glaze over cooked salmon and serve with grains and vegetables.

*This recipe is adapted from Riley at http://www.mydailymorsel.com/2013/06/17/asian-slow-roasted-salmon/*

Asian Slow Roasted Salmon