jump to navigation

Chopped Spinach Taco Salad April 5, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in lunch, quick meal, salad, vegetarian.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

I mentioned this salad briefly a few posts back, but since it is my meal at least 3 times a week, I figured it deserved it’s own post!  I make this for lunch a lot, packing all of the ingredients except the salsa, hot sauce, and chips into one container, and then mixing it all together right before I’m ready to eat.  It’s quick, easy, and really, really good.  I usually get three lunches out of one can of black beans.

Chopped Spinach Taco Salad
(serves 2)

chopped spinach taco salad

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed well
Handful of grape tomatoes or one bigger tomato, chopped
1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
1/8 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 salsa
Hot sauce, to taste
Handful of tortilla chips, crunched up

Method:
Chop all of the ingredients, mixing in the salsa, hot sauce, and chips right before serving.

Advertisements

French Lentil Potato Salad October 19, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in salad.
Tags: ,
4 comments

I went to yoga tonight.  I went with the expectation of getting some light exercise before heading home to make dinner but must not have read the schedule correctly, because I walked into a room hot as a sauna, heat cranked up plus two glowing red heaters at the front of the room.  I hadn’t eaten before class and it made it extremely tough on two fronts: my blood sugar dropped and I got wobbly and dizzy, plus I couldn’t concentrate because my thoughts kept wandering to all of the food I wanted to gobble up after class.  My mind went something like this:

Heaters?  What the heck?  I didn’t want to have to shower after this. Oh well.  It’s only an hour.  Ok, here we go.  Up, down, sideway, down, up, down, wait, she’s playing Lauryn Hill.  I haven’t heard that album in ages.  Maybe I’ll go home and listen to Lauryn Hill and cook green beans.  Down dog, top of a push up, raise your leg up and make an airplane, put it a little higher and make a standing split, up, down, whoa, starting to black out.  Maybe I need protein.  Maybe I need water.  I don’t know what’s going on.  Put the other leg in the air.  Try not to wobble. Maybe I should get take out.  Take out is a waste of money. Maybe I should eat potatoes.  I have too many peppers.  Are the green beans in the fridge still even good? Sweat is dripping into my ear. So much for not showering.  Down and up and down and up, Kanye West yoga soundtrack is distracting me. I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing.  I’m seven moves behind. Is this the longest class ever? When do I eat? What is “flip the dog over”?  I don’t think I can do that.  Maybe I should leave.  I should stick it out.  Never again.  Lentils.  They can cook while I shower.  I think I’ll lay in child’s pose for a while.

French Lentil Potato Salad
(Printable Recipe)

lentil salad

Ingredients:
1/2 cup lentils (I used French green lentils, any lentils except red would be fine)
1 1/4 cup water
Two big handfuls of fresh arugula or baby spinach
2 small to medium potatoes
1/4 green beans
Feta cheese
Salt & pepper
Vinaigrette (see below)

Method:
Start your lentils first.  Add dry lentils and water to a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Cover, and let cook for about 20-25 minutes.  Test after 20-25 minutes to see if they are done.  Add a little more water at this time if you need.  When they are cooked through, remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.

While the lentils are cooking, wash and slice your potatoes into paper-thin half-moons or small dice.  Heat a little oil in a saute pan, and cook the potatoes until tender and a little crispy.

Cut your green beans into inch-long pieces.  Add to potato pan when the potatoes are close to done. Cover, if possible, and let them steam a little. Salt and pepper the potatoes and green beans

When everything is ready, assemble the salad. Start with a bed of fresh arugula or spinach, top with the lentils, then the potatoes and green beans, and finally the feta.  Sprinkle some cracked black pepper on top. A nice vinaigrette is good with this.

Vinaigrette

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix thoroughly.

Kale Peanut Salad September 28, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in salad, vegan.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

Sometimes, after a weekend of eating pasta, fajitas, cookies, and maybe a few beers, Monday night rolls around and the only things that sounds good are VEGETABLES.  I ate an entire head of kale for dinner last night and I’d do it again tonight!

The original basis for this recipe is from a dish served at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. It was sent to me by a friend of a friend, and there used to be a video of the chef at M Cafe making this dish online.  It seems to have disappeared, though.  Over the course of making this quite a few times, I’ve changed and simplified the recipe down to the bare essentials.  The original called for boiling & blanching the kale, but I think steaming it is quite a bit easier and holds the structure of the kale leaf better in the end product.  The original was also garnished with shaved carrot and red onion, but I don’t usually do that—sesame seeds and sriracha for me!

Kale Peanut Salad

kalepeanutsalad

Ingredients:
1 head of kale
For peanut sauce:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs sriracha (or other hot sauce, or a few pinches of cayenne pepper)
2 tbs Golden Mountain sauce (optional)
1 tsp ginger (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

Chopped peanuts for garnish
Sriracha for garnish
Sesame seeds for garnish

Method:

Prep your kale by rinsing thoroughly to remove any grit from the leaves. Remove the thick stem from the middle of each leaf, and rip or chop into smaller pieces.

chopped kale

Assemble your ingredients for the peanut sauce.  I think you can make a perfectly fine peanut sauce with just four ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha.  You can certainly add in any of the optional items above to fancy it up a little but in a pinch, four ingredients will be just fine.

peanut sauce ingredients

Put your kale on the stove to steam.  I use a metal steamer basket in my largest pot.  If you don’t have a way to steam it, you can blanch the kale in boiling water for half a minute of so, and immediately remove it from the boiling water to an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.  If you do it this way, make sure to press as much water out of the leaves as you can. You don’t want the kale to be too soggy.  I find steaming it to be much easier!

While the kale is steaming, put all of your peanut sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend it up.  Taste, and adjust any seasonings you might need to tweak.

When the kale is done (it should be bright green and easy to chew–not too tough but not limp), plate it, drizzle the peanut sauce on top, and garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and a little more sriracha.

If you have any leftovers, this is good as a cold salad the following day!

September Cooking Club Part 2: Mediterranean Halloumi Salad September 7, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in cooking club, salad, vegetarian.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

For my other contribution to last week’s cooking club (the first was the Pomegranate Mint Gin Fizz), I made a Mediterranean salad using grilled halloumi, homemade sumac pita chips, roasted beets, pistachios, finished with a homemade lemon mint vinaigrette.  I was really happy with everything–the pita chips were crunchy and tangy from the sumac (sumac is a spice typically used Middle Eastern cuisine.  It has a tart flavor and a deep red color, and is the key ingredient in fattoush salad dressing. The chips are a great snack by themselves, and a really good way to use up some pita that is slightly past it’s prime), and the vinaigrette will definitely be a regular around our house.  And grilled halloumi is always good.  (Check out this halloumi salad recipe for another Allen household staple.)

There are a lot of steps below but they are all easy, and involve plenty of hands-off time.  I made a bunch of each ingredient, kept them in separate containers, and had enough for several lunches as well as our cooking club dinner. And everything can be made ahead of time and stored for a couple of days. Even the halloumi, though it’s best straight from the grill!

Mediterranean Halloumi Salad

halloumi saladIngredients:

5 oz herb spring mix (or other mixed greens)
3 medium beets, roasted
8 oz halloumi cheese, grilled
1/4 cup pistachios
Baked pita chips with sumac (ingredients: pita bread, olive oil, sumac, salt, and pepper)
Lemon mint vinaigrette (recipe below)

Method:

The order I would recommend making the ingredients is: roast the beets, make the salad dressing and prep the pita while the beets are roasting, bake the pita chips while the beets are cooling, and grill the halloumi right before serving.

To roast the beets: Pre-heat your oven to 450. Wash the beets, and wrap each one up individually in an aluminum foil packet with a teaspoon of olive oil drizzled on top.  Roast the beets in their little packets in the oven for about 50 minutes.  You should be able to stick a fork in them when they are done.  They will be HOT when you take them out.  Let them cool a little (I rinsed mine under cool water to speed this up), cut each in half, and then slip the skins off.  They should come off fairly easily in your hands.  Cut into small matchsticks or dice and set aside.

To make the pita chips: Rip your pita bread into pieces (bite-sized or slightly bigger) and place in a large bowl.  Pour some olive oil on top, sprinkle with liberal amounts of spices (I used sumac, salt, and pepper), and stir the bread to make sure the oil and spice are distributed evenly. I find this works best if you just use your (clean :)) hands to mix it up.  A spoon just didn’t cut it for me.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes–the time window between perfectly crispy and burnt is small, so you kind of have to keep an eye on them.  I usually shake or stir mine halfway through cooking.  Cool, and eat!

Grill your halloumi on a grill pan, in a skillet, or on the outdoor grill on some foil.  Assemble the salad using your ingredients, and enjoy!

Lemon Mint Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Combine all ingredients, shake to mix thoroughly, and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

Grilled Vegetable Halloumi Salad July 27, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in salad.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Ryan requested this salad for dinner on Monday night after a weekend of grilling (I believe I saw him eating a campfire “double down” beef and cheese burger….and I ate my weight in chips and dip and veggie dogs) and beers.  It was inspired by a grilled salad I bought once at Holiday Market and then never saw there again.  It’s made just as easily on a grill as in an oven, and we eat it year-round.  The ingredients are simple, but you could easily add any other veggies you might like to grill to change it up a little.

Halloumi cheese, if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, is a Greek sheep and goats milk that is typically grilled or fried before serving.  I use our grill pan to cook it—I just slice up the block into 1/2 thick slices and place them on the pan (no need to spray or oil it before hand—the cheese has enough fat in it to cook nicely without any added oil), making sure to flip over each piece as it browns.  I’ve grilled it outdoors, too, on a piece of aluminum foil, but I have always gotten WAY better results cooking it on the grill pan.

Grilled Vegetable Halloumi Salad

halloumi salad

Ingredients:
1 block halloumi cheese
Enough spinach for two salads
1 large chopped tomato (or a handful of grape tomatoes, halved)
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed (ideally, get the skinner spears, not the fat asparagus spears)
Two portabello mushroom caps, sliced
A few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Dressing (my favorite on this salad is Brianna’s French Vinaigrette–but you could always make your own, too!)

Method:

You should have your veggies grilling & halloumi frying at the same time.  If you are grilling outdoors, you might need a hand making sure nothing burns.  But you can easily just roast the vegetables in the oven & cook the halloumi on a grill pan, making it easier for one person to handle.

Prepare the veggies to grill by tossing the asparagus spears in olive oil  and salt & pepper, and the mushroom slices in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt & pepper.  Either put them in the oven to roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or grill them outdoors for 10 minutes or so.

Cut the halloumi into slices about 1/2 inch thick and grill indoors on a grill pan, making sure to flip the pieces so all sides evenly brown.

When the veggies are roasted and the cheese is browned, chop them into bite-sized pieces and served over a bed of fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes.

Veggie Cobb Salad, and My Favorite Way to Cook Tofu June 30, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, lunch, salad, vegan, vegetarian.
Tags: , , ,
5 comments

I made veggie cobb salad for dinner last night.  This was monumental because it marks the first time in my LIFE I have ever hard-boiled an egg.  Remember when I told you I couldn’t really cook an egg?  That didn’t only apply to fried eggs…it applies to every kind of egg a person might want to eat.  But I did it.  And it turned out magnificently, or so I’m told.  I didn’t eat it.  But Ryan did, and I saw it, and it looked like a hard-boiled egg should look.   My salad is the one pictured below, sans egg.  This post isn’t really about boiling an egg, though.  It’s about my hands-down favorite way to cook tofu, and a salad you can make using the tofu.

The Best Way to Cook Tofu. (modified from the Grit Cookbook)

grit style tofu

Ingredients:

15 oz block of water-packed extra firm tofu
1 tbl olive oil
Soy sauce (a few shakes of the bottle)
Nutritional yeast (about 1-2 tbl)

Method:

Drain the tofu and press excess water out using a tea towel or paper towels.  Cut tofu into a small dice.  Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet, and add tofu.  Cook it, flipping pieces infrequently so the tofu gets nice and brown and crispy on the outside.  When tofu has browned (it takes me about 20 minutes to get it how I like it), turn the heat down to about medium-low and add a few shakes of soy sauce to the pan.  Stir the tofu around, making sure it all gets evenly seasoned.  Add one to two tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the tofu, again stirring it around so it is evenly coated.  It should look like the tofu above when you are done!

Veggie Cobb Salad

vegetarian cobb salad

Ingredients:

1 block’s worth of grit-style crispy tofu
4-6 veggie bacon strips (I buy Morningstar brand)
2 chopped tomatoes
1 diced avocado
A few cups of chopped romaine, leaf lettuce, or other greens
Cheese—blue cheese is good, or shredded cheddar
A hard-boiled egg, if you wish!

Method:

Once your tofu is prepared as described above and your veggie bacon has crisped up in the skillet, all you really need to do is chop the veggies up & arrange in a cobb-esque fashion.  🙂

Thai Fresh “Drunken Noodle” Salad June 28, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, salad, vegan.
Tags: , ,
5 comments

I went into Kim Nhung Superfood (on the southwest corner of Dequindre and 13 Mile) on Saturday, looking to buy some fresh lemongrass.  I picked up a few more things while I was there (mini cans of a few different curry pastes, a giant bottle of rice vinegar since we seem to go through it quickly, and some tofu) and came across a bottle of Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce.  I recalled reading a recipe recently that used Golden Mountain as an ingredient, and decided to bring that home with me as well.  A quick search through my email (I email recipes I want to try to myself and then tag them with a “recipes” tag  in Gmail–making it easy to do a quick search by ingredient in my Gmail account when I’m trying to find something to make) and brought up this recipe for Drunken Noodle Salad, originally posted on The Kitchn.  The Golden Mountain sauce is often called the “secret” to Thai cooking—a salty and tangy but slightly sweet fermented sauce made from soybeans but unlike any typical soy sauce found in grocery stores.  I liked what it added to this recipe, and I can see myself using it a lot in curries and noodle dishes.   The bottle claims it has no MSG but like any soy-based sauce, it is pretty high in sodium, so not entirely healthy.  Here’s what it looks like, should you care to try it:

golden mountain sauce

Thai Fresh “Drunken Noodle” Salad

(Modified only slightly from The Kitchn)

Drunken Noodle Salad

Ingredients:

For the Salad:
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium cucumber, julienned
2-3 medium carrots, julienned
2 hearts romaine lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup of fresh chopped basil (Thai basil is preferred, but sweet basil works fine too)
2 bundles vermicelli rice noodles, about 8-10 oz.
2 T cooking oil
1 package firm baked tofu, diced
lime wedges, for garnish

For the Sauce:
3 T vegetarian oyster sauce
3 T soy sauce
3 T golden mountain sauce
3 T rice vinegar (white vinegar will work too)
2 tsp sriracha (adjust to taste, depending on how much heat you like)
3 T fresh lime juice
1 T sugar

Method:

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut up and prep all the veggies (a mandoline will make julienning go much quicker, but if you don’t have one and want to save time on cutting, any bite size pieces or slices will do!).

Combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix until the sugar dissolves, then set aside.

When the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water until completely cool, then drain again and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add all of the sauce and the chopped basil and cook until the sauce is warm and the basil has wilted, about a minute, then turn off the heat.

To serve, place chopped romaine lettuce at the bottom of a bowl, followed by a handful of rice noodles. Add tofu and sauce. Top with the tomatoes and julienned vegetables, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Meat eaters could replace the tofu with chicken or shrimp.

This was delicious cold for lunch the following day!

Vegetable Enchiladas and a Giant Salad June 1, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, good for a group, salad, vegetarian.
add a comment

I spent the better portion of this holiday weekend priming, painting, cleaning, and painting some more.  We had work done in our basement last week (new ceiling and storage room) and it’s getting really, really close to being a livable space.  All that’s left is painting and building furniture!  It is really exciting and I just want it to be done—which is why I spent most of the holiday weekend cooped up underground, listening to Pulp on repeat, and painting until my hands, neck, and teeth (??? I must clench them when I paint!) hurt. Tonight’s goal is to finish all of the painting and perhaps start the furniture building.  Our buds have kindly agreed to come over and help with this, so I wanted to make a dinner for them as thanks.  Enter vegetable enchiladas and an enormous salad!

Vegetable Enchiladas

enchiladas

Excuse the picture! I forgot to take one until we were done eating, and had to take a quick shot of the leftovers packed up for lunch.

Ingredients:

16 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheeses or pepper jack cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper (or half of a large), chopped
1 cup of corn
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or a few fresh tomatoes chopped up)
salt & pepper
Enchilada sauce (see recipe below, or use one can of enchilada sauce)
18 corn tortillas

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

In a dutch oven or a large skillet, heat a little olive oil and add the chopped onion.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook another minute, watching so it doesn’t burn.

Add the red and green peppers, and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring every so often.  Add the corn, and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Add the drained diced tomatoes and cook until heated through.  If the tomatoes give off a significant amount of water, you will have to cook longer until the water is gone.  You don’t want it to be too soupy.  Add chopped green onion. Season with salt and pepper.

When the veggies are done, heat the corn tortillas in the microwave.  I will usually heat 6 or so at a time, wrapped in a paper towel for about 30 seconds.

Spray your baking dish with non-stick spray. I use two large, 9×13 dishes for this amount of enchiladas.

Start building each enchilada, spreading a tablespoon or so of the sauce on the tortilla, adding a tablespoon or so of the veggie mixture, and topping with another tablespoon or so of shredded cheese.  These amounts aren’t specific–but corn tortillas are small, and you will be able to see that you can’t fit that much in without ripping the tortilla.

Roll it up and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you have run out of fillings.  I made 18 using the amounts listed above.

Spoon leftover sauce on top of the enchiladas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup water
salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in cumin, flour and tomato paste. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and water – bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Giant Salad

mexican salad

This salad contained:

One large head of green leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 can of black beans, rinsed thoroughly
1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup leftover chopped red & green pepper

Tortellini Salad May 7, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, quick meal, salad.
Tags: ,
2 comments

This salad is the perfect thing to eat the day after a burrito-eating, beer-drinking evening.  I make this salad all of the time—it’s one of those easy staple meals that come together in minutes (boiling the water is the longest part).  The fresh vegetables, tangy banana peppers, and warm tortellini are the perfect combination and make a meal that is filling but not over-the-top heavy.  I think I got this recipe from Cooking Light originally, but what follows is how I usually make it.  Did I mention how easy this is??

Tortellini Salad
adapted from Cooking Light

tort salad 2

Ingredients:
1 (9 ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
2 chopped tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes
2 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped banana peppers
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/8 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking combine tomatoes, spinach, banana peppers, parmesan cheese, and  basil in a large bowl. Drain pasta and add pasta, lemon juice and oil to tomato mixture; toss gently.

How I almost burned down the kitchen right before Lost came on May 5, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, lunch, salad, vegetarian.
Tags: , , ,
6 comments

I was excited about dinner last night.  A friend at work had sent me a recipe for quinoa cakes, and I decided that would be the base of the night’s meal.  I had planned a nice salad with grilled halloumi cheese and green beans, and thought some soup would be perfect to round out the meal (while using up two more cans of diced tomatoes from my cabinet).

Once everyone arrived, we sat down in the living room, mere minutes from the time Lost was going to come on.  I started to smell smoke, but figured it was our neighbors to the left burning something on their grill again.  A minute later, Ryan said, “I think I smell something burning” and we all looked down the hallway toward the kitchen to see smoke billowing out into the hallway, right ONTO the smoke detector, which never bothered to go off.  Good thing we have that. I raced into the kitchen  and found the stovetop up in flames from a burning oven mitt left on a too-hot-still burner.  I smacked the flames out with a towel, yelled at Toby to stop eating falling ashes, and Ryan took the charred mess outside to hose it off and stop the smoldering fibers.  By this time, the smoke had filled our entire house with thick air and a campfire aroma (which is still lingering this morning). Jokes were made about the Smoke Monster visiting our house, fans were brought out, all the windows were opened, and we continued to eat.

burning oven mitt

Here’s a recipe for quinoa cakes.  I modified it from the original to add cheese and baked them instead of frying.  Come to think of it, this meal might have been one of the healthiest we’ve eaten on a Tuesday in a while.

Update: I had two plain leftover quinoa cakes for lunch today.  I smeared some tomato paste on them, sprinkled a little mozzarella on top, and heated them up, and they were delicious!  Next time I’ll make extra cakes just to eat them the next day.

Baked Quinoa Cakes with Spring Halloumi Salad

quinoa cakes with salad

For the quinoa cakes:

3 cups water
2 cup quinoa
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper (at least 1 tbs each)
Herbs/spices if you’d like
Cooking spray

For the salad:

1/2 lb green beans, cut into approx. 1 inch segments
1 bunch kale, rinsed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 tbs fresh dill
1/2 halloumi cheese, 1/2 inch dice
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbs olive oil

Making the quinoa cakes:

  • Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan.
  • If needed (I’ve found Trader Joe’s quinoa doesn’t need washing but Costco’s does), wash quinoa in 3 changes of water in a bowl, then drain well in a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Stir quinoa into boiling water and return to a boil, then simmer, covered, until quinoa is dry and water is absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool, stirring occasionally until cooled off, about 10 minutes, then stir in eggs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and additional herbs/spices, if using.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray a 1/2 cup dry-ingredient measuring cup with cooking spray. Pack enough quinoa into measure with a rubber spatula to fill it two-thirds full. (If spatula becomes sticky, dip in water.) Unmold onto baking sheet and gently pat quinoa into a 4-inch-wide patty with spatula. Form the rest of the quinoa cakes the same way.
  • Cook for 20 minutes at 400, flipping once if you want.

Making the salad:

  • First, cook the halloumi. Cut the halloumi into bite-sized pieces (1/2 inch or so) and place on grill pan or skillet over medium.  There is no need to add extra olive oil or use cooking spray; the cheese has enough oil in it to grill nicely by itself.  Cook the halloumi over medium heat until golden brown, then flip to cook the other side.
    • Note: We have a grill pan with a press from Target that is probably the most-used pan in the house, and perfect for this purpose.  If you don’t have a grill pan, any sort of skillet will do.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add kale, and cook until leaves are bright green. Add green beans and salt and pepper, cook until green beans are bright green.  Add halved cherry tomatoes, dill, and pre-cooked halloumi chunks, and cook just until tomatoes start to soften a bit.  Remove from heat and serve alongside the quinoa cakes.