Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Picnic Food

Last weekend we had two picnics/potlucks to attend. I tried two new recipes (crazy me!), but both with wonderful results. I had many people ask me for the quinoa salad recipe (which I made up but used a Vitamix dressing recipe). The beans were so delicious (to me) that M and I ate most of the leftovers the following day with tortilla chips.

Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Lemon-Garlic Dressing
2 cups uncooked quinoa, cooked in chicken broth or water (should make about 4 cups cooked)
1 cucumber, seeded and diced small
1 small red onion
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup peas
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper, diced
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
feta cheese (optional; I didn't use this)

Dressing (Vitamix):
1 lemon, peeled, halved, seeded
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup olive or grapeseed oil

1. Cook quinoa according to directions. (Don't forget to rinse first!) Allow to cool.
2. Chop veggies. I didn't use all of the above, but only what I had on hand each day.)
3. Place all of the ingredients, except olive oil, in the Vitamix (or blender). Turn machine on and increase speed to variable 10 and then to high.
4. Blend on high for 1 minute. Reduce speed to variable 7 and add oil slowly through the lid plug. Blend for 20 seconds.
5. Combine quinoa, veggies, (optional cheese) and dressing in a large bowl. Garnish with fresh parsley.

I really went out on a limb in making a bean salad. I mean, I knew my kids wouldn't willingly choose this off a buffet line. . . but who knows? I was intrigued by the homemade BBQ dressings, which I really liked. I used garbanzo beans that I had cooked earlier in the week with rosemary (yum!) as well as some kidney beans (which I overcooked). I tried to take a good picture, but really it is The Lawyer who is good with the camera. Maybe you can get an idea, at least. of this bean salad.

Barbecue Bean Salad

adapted from Kitchen Simplicity
Barbecue Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (without high fructose corn syrup!)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Lower heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes to meld flavours. Allow to cool slightly before using.
  • 2 cans beans or 4 cups, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Stir together all ingredients except chips. Add dressing and toss to coat. This is best if you give the flavors time to meld in the refrigerator. Stir in chips (optional) just before serving.
Makes: 7 servings

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