Monday, July 20, 2015

Loaded Quinoa Bowl

If you live in Washington, D.C., I hope you've gotten to try Beefsteak, José Andrés' vegetable-focused fast-casual restaurant located on the George Washington University campus. Shortly after I visited it a few months ago, I was inspired to make a sugar snap pea salad. More recently, after seeing Andrés quinoa bowl recipe in Food & Wine magazine, I was inspired again to revisit the Beefsteak approach.

What I like about the Vegetable Quinoa Bowls with Garlic Yogurt recipe is the combination of lightly cooked and raw ingredients tossed together with a grain (or seed, in this case, since the base is quinoa). I used a similar combination of ingredients but added a few of my own and left out the lettuce and garlic yogurt--my bowl had enough going on with the honey-lemon dressing.

I also used a combination of white and red quinoa--mostly because I had just a little bit of red left in a bag I wanted to use up--but I like the resulting color contrast. Feel free to use just one color.

Loaded Quinoa Bowl
Inspired by Vegetable Quinoa Bowls with Garlic Yogurt by José Andrés, Food & Wine

Kale chips:
12 kale leaves, thin part removed from stem (stems discarded) and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Seasoned salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cups white or red (or a mix) quinoa, rinsed (it's okay if it's still a little damp from rinsing; it will dry out quickly in the hot pan)
1 cup water

Cooked ingredients:
1/2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 zucchini, cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices

Raw ingredients:
1 beefsteak tomato, cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces
1 cucumber, partially peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
2 tbsp. unsalted toasted pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. honey (substitute agave nectar to make the recipe vegan)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Roast the kale chips: Preheat oven to 250 F. Spread kale leaves evenly across two baking sheets. Toss or spray with olive oil. Season with seasoned salt and pepper. Bake until dried and wilted, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Cook the quinoa: Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is fragrant and makes a popping sound almost continuously, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the seeds are just tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pan to sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Cooked ingredients: Bring a medium saucepan half-filled with water to boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and zucchini, and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

4. Combine ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the kale chips, quinoa, green beans, onion, garlic, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, avocado in  large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the vegetable-grain mixture. Toss to combine. Serve in large bowls.


No Beef with Beefsteak

Crunchy Sugar Snap Pea Salad

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