Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille is a French side dish located with Mediterranean vegetables. I decided to turn this healthy side into a salad with grilled vegetables and quinoa with this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. This gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for a weeknight summer dinner or weekend lunch. I am actually serving this alongside grilled steaks this Memorial Day weekend. It’s three of my favorite things: healthy, flavorful and beautiful!

Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad

With fall upon us, it’s time to indulge in the produce that is the essence of the season. While the weather gets cooler, it only seems natural to eat vibrant and hearty root vegetables roasted to perfection. Beets are fabulous incorporated in the season’s bounty in this Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad. In this recipe, I used Alter Eco Royal Pearl Quinoa (my latest favorite) which combines earthy beets together with the decadent goat cheese; It’s perfect for curling up and savoring on cool fall day. Also, this recipe includes the beet greens which are super healthy! These hearty leaves look very much like Swiss chard, and cool like it too. One cup of beet greens has only 39 calories and zero fat, but it contains 220 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin A and 60 percent of your RDI of vitamin C.

For more information on Royal quinoa (or “quinoa real”), it’s grown only in the Bolivian Altiplano on the edge of the salt flat and at the foothill of Andean volcanoes. Like with Champagne, Royal Quinoa can only come from this part of the world. Royal quinoa is grown at 13,000 feet above sea level and the harsh conditions dictate that only the strongest and most resilient quinoa grows and thrives there. As a result, royal quinoa is believed to be larger, nuttier and more nutritious than other types of quinoa.  Additionally, the richness of the soil in the Bolivian Altiplano contributes to the special qualities of the royal quinoa, as does the expertise of the farmers there.

 

Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint

Quinoa is one of my favorite Super Foods of 2012. I talked a great deal about quinoa this weekend at my nutrition/healthy eating seminar including how to pronounce it, purchase it and cook it. I had a lot of wonderful questions regarding this gluten-free grain. One serving of quinoa provides all 8 essential amino acids, and it is high in protein and fiber. It’s also a wonderful grain for those on a gluten-free diet, and it works wonderful for breakfast, a side, in soups and salads. I recommend buying the rinsed version to make your life even easier. I developed this recipe for Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint for Thanksgiving for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms Turkey. It makes a great side dish or salad, and my kids absolutely loved it. Add grilled chicken or shrimp if you wish for a main dish salad.

How to Store & Freeze Basil & Gluten-Free Recipes

Basil is a wonderful herb to use year-round, but its growth season is during the summer months. Here are some tips on how to store it for later use. Storing basil in the refrigerator isn’t a long-term solution, but it works great for short term. Just place it in a glass of water and change the water daily. Freezing is a popular method of storing basil. Place 1 tablespoon basil in an ice cube with water and freeze. When you’re ready to use it, just take out an ice cube, and use it in your recipe. Another way is to place the leaves in a food processor with a little oil, and then place it in an airtight container. See my friend, Kalyn, from Kalyn’s Kitchen for more great information on this tutorial. You can freeze basil for up to 6 months if you use a properly sealed container. Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free recipes using basil such as Quinoa with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Kaniwa with Lemon, Basil and Tomatoes

Game Day Basil Bloody Marys

Kañiwa with Lemon, Basil and Tomatoes: Gluten-Free Super Food

Kañiwa, pronounced “ka-nyi-wa”, has been cutlivated in South America for thousands of years. Kañiwa is gluten-free and a great power food. It has been called the “new quinoa”. It is a cousin to quinoa but, actually, has higher protein, fiber and antioxidants along with significant levels of calcium, zinc and iron. Its nutty taste is unique, and it tastes even better than tabbouleh in this recipe for Kañiwa with Lemon, Basil and Tomatoes. To prepare it, you just boil water or broth, add the Kañiwa, cook and cover for 15 minutes. It’s a breeze and a nutritional powerhouse. For more information, see Roland Foods on where to find it. Trust me. You will be hearing a lot more about this incredible grain.

Crisp, Fresh and Flavorful: Basil-Citrus Shrimp Salad

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I’m on a main-dish salad kick this week since it’s so hot outside. I’m also so busy developing and testing recipes for a Christmas project for a major brand. It is so fun to think about Christmas and smell holiday dishes cooking in my kitchen in July. Testing heavier recipes for work makes me want something really light and healthy for dinner. This recipe is one of my favorites for this time of year. I love the freshness of grapefruit, oranges and basil served with the shrimp. When I make this, it’s gone within minutes. It’s very low in carbs, fat, calories and gluten-free.