Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And the Winner is....Quinoa Salad

I hosted a bridal shower for my neice, Dana, on Sunday at my house, I considered making quiches, but at the last minute decided to put into practice the recipes and salad making methods I learned from hanging out with Fawn and watching her prepare food for 2 barbeques she hosted at her home this past summer. She has a talent for creating layers of texture and flavors, making 3 different salads that could easily stand alone. Working as a former professional Chef, Fawn is also well educated and experienced about nutrition, always chosing the freshest organic foods of the highest quality.

The 3 salads I made were;

Quinoa salad with roasted corn, sweet tomatoes, and baby greens. Dressed with cilantro jalapeno and pistachio pesto with a squeeze of lime, topped with queso fresco.

Cabbage and Black Bean Slaw with a spicy chipotle, tomato dressing.

Potato, Spinach and Bean Salad made with purple chinese long beans and white and green string beans, dressed with Fawn's lemon and scallion vinaigrette.

Geez, all that? It's much simpler than it sounds! The favorite was the Quinoa salad, the spicey slaw came in second, but all three were, in my opinion, fabulous!


Quinoa salad (pictured above....sorry it's a day old, lol!)

quinoa (I made mine with corn stock I had in my freezer)
roasted corn
baby salad greens
queso fresco cheese
cilantro pesto....or you could add 1 bunch cilantro chopped fine, and dress it with oil and lime

don't forget to season with salt.

Cilantro pesto

1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno
1/4 c. pistachio nuts
1/2 c. olive oil
good pinch of salt

Cabbage and Black Bean Slaw

green and red cabbage, shredded
carrot, shredded
green onions, sliced
jalapeno, diced (of course, lol)
red bell, diced
black beans

Spicy chipotle dressing

2 canned chipotle peppers
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes in oil (I used 1/2 c. roasted roma tomatoes I had made the day before)

2 tbl. cider vinegar
2 tbl. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayo
3/4 c. plain yogurt
good pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a blender. You can use any ratio of mayo to yogurt, this makes about 1 1/2 c. dressing.

Potato, Spinach and Bean Salad

small red potatoes, or any other waxy potato, blanched
chinese long beans, blanched and cut into 2" lengths
string beans, blanched and cut into 2" lengths (used white and green....I got them in CSA box this week)
spinach, chopped
green onions

Purple chinese long beans are in season right now, and I blanch them for about 4-5 minutes before I cut them into smaller lengths because they're hollow and I find that they get 'water-logged' if cut prior to blanching. Also, watching Fawn make potato salad I was reminded to toss the drained hot potatoes with cider vinegar (about 1/4 c) for an extra flavor boost...I had forgotten about that little secret! Blanch all of the beans first and then the potatoes.

Lemon and Scallion Vinaigrette

1/3-1/2 c. lemon juice
sliced scallion tops (6-8 inches of the green part) from one healthy bunch
grainy mustard, about 1 tbl.
honey, to taste, about 2 tbl.
oil 1 c.
good pinch of salt

I couldn't remember if Fawn used mustard, but I chose to use it for this salad because I like mustard with potatoes!

I served these salads with ribs and grilled chicken, fresh fruit....grapes, red purple and green....sliced pineapple, watermelon and honey dew melon balls! Geez. what a 'copycat'...thanks Fawn!

Life is good, salads are good and friends like Fawn Friday are good! Am I lucky or what?


fawn said...

I love when you take my ideas and make them your own! Your salads look great! I am actually kind of jealous....

Tracy Reifkind said...


You? Kind of jealous of me? Hardley, lol!

The lefovers were just like being at your place....minus the corn chips (I threw them out) Oh, and no bison beef sticks!

Jen said...

Thank you Tracy, Thank you Fawn!

I'm copying your feast here in Santa Barbara this weekend. I just found out that we're having guests and this is a perfect menu! (let's see if this menu can be made all over the country! LOL!)

Thank you!! I'll let you know how my version turns out :)