A few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”
This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste
Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
Feeling kind of lazy to make dinner one day. So I went on fastpaleo.com and found this recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage. I adjusted it a little because there was just so much liquid in the end, it was like soup. Anyway, the dish was a hit for the whole family! This gluten-free and low-carb meal was so flavorful from the spices.
4-6 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
6 fresh Italian sausages
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 – 14.5 oz cans of diced or plum tomatoes
1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup water or stock
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (1 teaspoon of each: Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor.
Lay the sausage on top of the seasoned chicken.
Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next. Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
Top with a second round of seasonings, use the remaining portions. Again, don’t mix this up.
Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.
I served it with a side of brown rice pasta and steamed asparagus to keep it guilt-free. The next day, for left overs, I topped the chicken on a bed of greens to make a delicious salad. Yummy!