Sometimes my food blog posts are dictated by hunger. This is one of those times.
Last week, I'd gotten two great books-- Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm from the library; and The Spectrum by Dean Ornish, MD, a gift from a friend. I'd wanted to get started reading both books, but I was already reading this book, which I'll write more about in a future post.
Anyway, Saturday morning arrived, and I still hadn't spent much time with either of these books. With few plans for buying, I tossed my market bags in the car and went to the farmers' market. I was thinking about grilling, so I got some zucchini, figuring the book had to have a grilled squash recipe.
River Farm had large sized summer squash,which are a lot less expensive than baby varieties. (You can pay up to $6.00 a pound for those when they first come to the market.) But because the large ones have been allowed to mature, they taste much better on the grill.
Zucchini may not be a nutritional powerhouse, it does contain vitamin A, and it's so easy to get in the summer, even if you don't grow it. It's worth it to cultivate a taste for summer squash. One or two plants in the garden is practically all you need for the summer, and River Farm has amazing produce deals on seconds and large squash.
Grilling Vegan Style offers 6 recipes, every one sounded delicious. But I didn't get basil or chervil for the recipe I'd had in mind, and even though I was hot to make these recipes, when I got home from the market, I was hungry. So, I made a quinoa salad and figured I'd make the grilled zucchini later, maybe even add it to the salad.
Here is what I ended up doing with the zucchini:
Easy Grilled Zucchini
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup Italian dressing
Brush each slice of zucchini with dressing. Grill for about 5 minutes or until the zucchini begins to brown. Remove from grill and serve. These make excellent additions to sandwiches and roll-ups.
But while I was still musing about the possibilities for summer squash I quickly came up with a quinoa salad recipe to tame my hunger. I'd add black beans and make an easy dressing.
I keep a good supply of Rockridge Orchards cider vinegar, and since we're cutting back on oil these days, I used just a couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the mix. I figured if we had some leftover, we could brush the zucchini slices with it.
You can also make your own berry vinegar when berries are in season. I used a recipe similar to this one, minus the sugar. I'm not a big fan of adding sugar to everything.
Corn, black beans and quinoa scream salsa, so I added that to the mix as well. And since I'm a big fan of color, I got parsley from our garden to add for eye candy.
I love parsley. It grows like a weed in my garden.
One can never have too many whole-grain and bean salad recipes. Here is my newest creation:
Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Salad
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
Pinch of sea salt
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup berry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons salsa
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 cup finely chopped curly parsley
1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, corn and sea salt. Cover and bring to a second boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in black beans.
2. Combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, agave nectar, and salsa in a small bowl. Stir into quinoa and bean mixture. Stir in olives and parsley. Serve with grilled tofu and vegetables.
I topped it with a few spears of pickled asparagus just for show. My Cooking Assistant seems impressed. I think both of these recipes together would make an amazing tortilla roll-up.
These whole grain-bean salads make a quick hunger fix any time. Enjoy each bite.