Posts Tagged 'red onion'

Wheat Berry Salad with Kale and Feta

If I could have three wishes, I would be super tempted to make Mondays off one of them.  I was lucky enough to have two in a row in January and again in February, and I definitely made the most of them.

Even though it was unusually chilly (we got super spoiled with the awesome weather the last couple weeks), we went to the playground in the morning.


After lunch and a nap, we met up with the grandparents at the zoo!


We spent most of the time in the little house with the monitor lizard, but also said hello to some birds, the elephants, and the meerkats.

Dinner was really quick and easy.  I cooked up a whole bunch of wheat berries this weekend, so all I had to do for this was crumble up the feta and slice up some vegetables.  There are a ton of variations on this, and the leftovers are perfect to take for lunch.



Lemon-Thyme Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I spent all day thinking about this dinner. I realize to some people that might be a little obsessive, but I knew I had quinoa and a random assortment of vegetables at home, and I wanted to make something that would use up what I had on hand but not feel like a dumping ground for odds and ends. I wanted it to be well put-together, satisfying, and delicious.

It’s kind of like when you were in middle school and wanted to talk to the boy you liked, so you’d agonize all day over what to say to seem cute and fun, not clingy and desperate. Middle school was so awkward. Anyway…

Roasting the mushrooms, red onion, and zucchini together in a little olive oil with salt and pepper bring out complex flavors in all three, and the lemon and thyme in the dressing bring a bright summer freshness that is hard to beat. With quinoa, the protein-packed super-grain, and some white beans for added protein and fiber, this is an awesome main course dish that will definitely keep you satisfied. For those of you that eat meat, you could always leave out the beans and serve it alongside grilled chicken or shrimp. I’m also thinking that for summer, grilled vegetables would be a seasonally-appropriate stand-in for roasted…whatever works for you!

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa

1 large zucchini, cut into 1″ chunks
10-12 large button mushrooms, quartered
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1 can (or about 1 1/2 cups cooked) navy or canellini beans, rinsed and drained

juice of 1 large lemon (2-3 tbsp)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Toss the zucchini, mushrooms, and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Remove and set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa. Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add the quinoa. Cover and turn to low, cooking for about 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove the cover, transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.

Mix together the dressing ingredients (lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper, olive oil, and shallot) and toss with the quinoa. Add the beans and vegetables, toss a few more times, and serve.

Southwestern Pinto and Roasted Vegetable Soup

When we moved into this house back in December, Mike bought a GIANT bag of pinto beans. Since I didn’t think I really liked pinto beans, I thought it would just be that thing that is still sitting there when it’s time to move out (whenever that may be), and we’d laugh about how he thought we’d go through that many beans. I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about that now though.

I’m not sure why I was anti-pinto, but this recipe changed that. It’s a little time consuming because of the dicing and roasting of vegetables, but that part is so, so worth it. The flavor that roasting adds makes this soup. I cooked dried pintos because I have millions of them, but I’m sure 2 cans, rinsed and drained, would work well. I also kept the amount of liquid fairly low, so this was more like a stew than a soup, but of course, that part is flexible and you can add as much broth as you’d like.

(adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld)

1 zucchini, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 ear or corn
1 fresh poblano chile, stem and seeds removed, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
3 cups pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tsp New Mexico chile powder
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cups vegetable broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the kernels off the ear of corn. Toss the zucchini, red onion, poblano, and corn kernels with 1 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto two Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheets and roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or heavy soup pot. When hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden. Add the chile powder and oregano, followed by the beans and broth and stir well. Add the roasted vegetables, and simmer until everything is heated through. Add salt to taste, then serve.

Kale and Onion Tacos with Guajillo Salsa

Kale may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re making Mexican food, but trust me, it should be. Whether or not kale actually grows in Mexico, I’m not sure, but it goes really nicely with tortillas and is much healthier than say, carne asada, so I’ll stick with it

After loving the kale enchiladas I made a few months ago, I knew it was only a matter of time before kale tacos would make an appearance on the dinner table. Since our favorite farmers market vendor loves to give us about twice as much as we pay for whenever we buy vegetables, the refrigerator was recently overflowing with two different varieties of kale. I used the curly kale to make kale chips (toss with olive oil and salt and bake until crispy – better than Lays. Seriously), but saved the Tuscan kale, which I’d never used before, for these tacos.

Because there’s not a lot of protein going on here, I served these with black beans, and next time I think I might just mix black beans in with the filling. And if the idea of kale tacos doesn’t excite you, at least try the salsa. It’s seriously some of the best salsa I’ve ever made. Rick Bayless, you are truly amazing.

(adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

1 bunch Tuscan kale (tough stems removed), cut into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
pinch red pepper flakes
8 corn tortillas
4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir a few times, then add the kale. Cook, stirring, until the kale is soft (about 7 minutes), adding water if it gets too dry and the pan begins to scorch. Add salt to taste, then remove from heat.

Heat the tortillas in a warm oven, or directly over the flame of a gas range for a few seconds on each side. Put a little filling in each tortilla, top with salsa (recipe below) and crumbled cheese.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 quajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 medium tomatillos, husks removed, sliced in half horizontally
1/3 cup water

Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the chiles in the hot oil and turn every few seconds until very fragrant (about 30 seconds total). Remove with tongs and let as much oil drip off as possible.
Pour out the oil and wipe the skillet with a paper towell. Heat the garlic and tomatillos (seed side down) until browned on the bottom, then flip them over. They will cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat, and put the garlic and tomatillos into the blender with the chiles and 1/3 cup water. Blend until almost smooth, then add salt to taste. Pour into a bowl to cool.

Fresh Garbanzo Salad

We may have opposite political leanings and a preference for totally different movies (I just can’t do sci fi), but I know I married the right guy. Not only will he wake up at 5 AM to go running with me, but he gets just as excited about ethnic grocery stores as I do. This weekend, he brought home nopales (which I’ve never cooked with before), epazote, tomatillos, mangoes and fresh garbanzos from a Mexican grocery store. He couldn’t stop raving about all the great stuff they had.

I had no idea what to do with fresh garbanzos, which come in a hairy, papery husk and look just like dried garbanzos, but green. Apparently, they can be steamed and eaten like edamame, or shelled and used in the same way that dried garbanzos are. They end up tasting like a bright, fresh version of the dried kind, almost like a cross between a cooked garbanzo and a fresh pea. I was inspired by a recipe in Food & Wine but changed a few things to make it fresher. I’m sure it would be good with canned garbanzos, but using fresh ones give it a completely alluring fresh, clean flavor (and they’re so pretty!)

I steamed the shelled beans before I sauteed them, but I’m not sure if it’s necessary, so next time I want to experiment with just sauteeing them raw. I know lots of people eat fresh garbanzos raw, so steaming definitely isn’t essential, but I wanted to make sure they were tender.

2 cups shelled fresh garbanzo beans
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 small mango, diced
1 serrano chile, minced (omit if you don’t like spicy food)
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

If you want to steam the garbanzos, put them in a steamer basket over simmering water for about 3 minutes, or until slightly tender. Remove from the pot and set aside to drain and cool.

Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Add the cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds and saute for about 2 minutes, or until very fragrant and beginning to turn dark.

Add the garbanzos and cook, stirring, for about four minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl, stir in a pinch of salt, and let cool to room temperature.

Add the mango, chile, onion, and mint and toss well.
Serve with wedges of fresh lime, to squeeze over the salad before eating. The salad can be chillled or eaten at room temperature.

Spinach, Butternut, and Chickpea Salad

This comes from a recipe that isn’t new. In fact, I’ve seen it on so many food blogs I lost count long ago. I’ve made it a handful of times as well, but it always seemed there was something missing. Then today, on my run it occurred to me: crunch and green. Yes, the original recipe calls for cilantro, but I needed more. And the original recipe has red onion, which provides a little crunch, but not enough. So here, just for you, is a new (and I think, improved, although if you disagree I won’t take offense) version of the ever-popular Warm Butternut and Chickpea salad with tahini.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but chickpeas are so insanely easy to cook up in the slow cooker (I just cover them with a few inches of water, a teaspoon of salt, and cook on high for 3-4 hours), I never buy cans anymore. I timed it so they were ready just as I was making the salad, so the heat from the squash (fresh out of the oven) and the chickpeas (fresh out of the crockpot) helped the spinach wilt nicely. I know that wilted spinach doesn’t sound appealing under most circumstances, but here I think it’s ideal.

(adapted from Orangette)

1 2-lb butternut squash
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and broken into a few pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas (drained) or 1 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 handfuls roughly chopped spinach
3 tbsp pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted in a skillet

3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp lemon juice
pinch salt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425.

Peel the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut into bite-sized (1″) pieces. Toss with olive oil, garlic, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
Spread onto a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
While squash is roasting, whisk all the dressing ingredients together, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
When the squash is done, discard the garlic pieces, and put the squash, chickpeas, spinach, and onion in a large bowl.
Add the dressing and toss well, then serve sprinkled with pepitas.


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