Quinoa salad

I mostly peruse through recipes online when I’m cooking something new. That has changed a little bit in the past week. Ever since I got my membership at the local library, I’ve been using it to bring lots of low-carb recipe books home 🙂 However the recipe I followed for this lentil quinoa salad is from here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water, plus 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (the one we use for sandwiches)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tbspns lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • A handful of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Method:
Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a large microwave-proof bowl with a cover, add the rinsed quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes. Let it sit for 2 minutes then stir. Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but not mushy.
Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a saucepan, simmer the lentils in 2 cups water until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. This will only take a few minutes, if you are using other lentils, it might take longer. Drain and cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together, and drizzle in the oil as you continue whisking. Add the garlic powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Assemble the salad by mixing the quinoa, lentils, green onions, and chopped cilantro. Top the salad with the dressing, toss to coat and serve.
Enjoy!!
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Grilled eggplant and quinoa salad

In my quest to eat low-carb food I have been reading a lot and definitely changing the way the husband and I eat. One change that we had made even before this whole lifestyle change was shopping for organic foods. 90% of our dairy, vegetables and meat are now organic.

The past week we visited our favorite people in CT while we were there for a wedding. K told me that she has now been eating more vegan/vegetarian food. She represents what I would like to be – a flexitarian, eating a more plant-based diet rather than an animal-based diet.

I also told a friend of mine that I can follow a diet as long as it tastes good, so I am on a mission to cook good tasting low-carb food 🙂 My first foray into it was cooking a vegetarian meal without bread, flour and sugar. I chose to grill eggplant that K had given me. It was grown by her next-door neighbor. I made a quinoa salad as a side dish. I adapted both recipes from ones I found online here and here. This was a really great and quick dinner! I’ll post the quinoa salad recipe soon.

Grilled eggplant-

Ingredients:

1 large globe eggplant
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 mashed garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika (add some cayenne if you want it hotter)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Peel stripes of skin off the eggplant to create a zebra pattern of skin and no-skin. It makes it easier to eat. Slice eggplant into ½ inch thick circles.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant generously with salt on both sides and lay them in a colander. The eggplant will release some liquid. This will help get rid of bitterness and make the eggplant less watery after it’s cooked. After letting it sit for 15 minutes dry both sides well with paper towels.
  3. In a large bowl, mix honey, olive oil, garlic, chili, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Dunk both sides of each eggplant slice into this marinade.
  4. Preheat the grill to high (I use a stove top grill). Oil the grill.
  5. Place the eggplant slices on the grill and turn down the heat to medium-high. Grill until marked, about 3 minutes. Turn 90 degrees to make cross-hatch grill marks. Grill until marked, about 3 more minutes.
  6. Brush the slices with remaining marinade, flip and repeat the grilling procedure on the other side. Regulate heat so that the eggplant is browning, but not burning. Remove to a plate, and enjoy!