Spring quinoa bowls

 


 

Today felt like spring for a bit. Morning showers washed  away the snow we had gotten earlier this week and thoughts of picking fresh vegetables and visits to the farmers market came to mind right away. 

There's something about Spring that makes me want to leave behind all the soups I cook during the winter and dive into salads and quinoa bowls. As the farmers markets have a few weeks left to open, the inspiration for this quinoa bowl came from my pantry and fridge. It was the kind of day where I gathered it all, vegetables and spices, homemade pesto, and a perfect avocado that made it come together into one of my favourite bowls to date. 

The beauty of a grain bowl (you could also use farro, bulgur or couscous) is that besides being the easiest thing to make, you have the freedom of using them as your canvas and mix in everything you have on hand, creating  a healthy meal made in no time. If you happen to make some on the weekend, do a meal prep for the week, layer the ingredients into mason jars, bring them  to work and you're set.

Would love to hear how yours turned out!





INGREDIENTS

1 small butternut squash
8 asparagus stalks
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup homemade (or store bought) pesto
1 avocado
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS


Preheat your oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Cut the squash in half and brush the maple olive mixture onto the squash. Place on a baking sheet, cut sides down and bake for 15 minutes.

Cook one cup of quinoa with one cup of water, 1 cup of coconut milk and a pinch of sea salt.Set aside.

Cut the asparagus in small pieces, and add them to the same tray as the squash, coat them with one tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the squash cut sides up and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Take the vegetables out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Place the squash in a cutting board and cut into 2 inch cubes.

In a bowl, mix the pesto and chickpeas .

Divide the quinoa into 4 small bowls, add squash, asparagus, feta, chickpeas, avocado , walnuts and cilantro.

Vegan option: substitute feta for tempeh, seitan or tofu.

Happy spring!

Parmesan & Herb Crisps

With temperatures getting colder, all I want to cook is soup, or anything to warm me up. Usually, I end up having it with some avocado, or with my favourite cheese crumbled on top.

Cheese is one of the things that I need to have in my fridge. It’s a must! Come to think of it, I use it daily. Frittatas with asiago, omelettes with feta, manchego with quince jelly and burrata with basil and tomatoes. My all time favourite cheese is Parmigiano Reggiano. Trips to Italy always end up bringing tons of it home, allowing us to make fresh pesto during the summer months or to dress our pasta bowls with it during the winter.

By now you know that for me, when it comes to food, simple is better and that brings me to these Parmesan crisps. I am celebrating Parm Night with the new 30-Month, Mountain, Triple-Tested Parmigiano Regianno exclusive to Sobeys and will be serving it with a simple tomato soup.
Fused with fresh herbs, these crisps are the perfect pairing to a bowl of soup, or as a shining star on a cheese board.

Prep time: 10 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Makes 16 crisps.

 

Ingredients

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 clove garlic, minced

1tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives 

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Toss cheese with garlic, parsley, chives, lemon zest and pepper until combined. Mound generous tablespoonfuls of mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets at least 2 in. (5cm) apart.

Bake 7 to 10 min, or until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely. Store in airtight container, between wax or parchment paper up to 2 days.

Tip: grate fresh cheese with coarse side of box grater.


Find more info about parm night at:

http://betterfoodforall.sobeys.com/parmigiano-reggiano/