Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lemon Parmesan Quinoa Salad

As I sit here typing, I am listening to the dog bark at the neighbor's fireworks display and the low babble of Transformers on the tv.  What I'm missing, though, is the conversations with my husband and kids, who are in Canada and at camp, respectively.  Chris should be back late tomorrow night and the kids on Saturday morning, but in the meantime I miss the noise that I often complain about.  Last night was my first night alone and the house was entirely too quiet.  I simply didn't know what to do with myself.  Finally, I settled in on the couch, grabbed my laptop and spent some time working on my much-neglected book.  I have had an extreme case of writer's block for about 9 months, and have not written a word.  Last night, in the silence of the house, I wrote half a page.  That may not seem like a lot, but when I have struggled to write one word, 357 of them was awesome!  So, I am going to keep the post short tonight, so I can spend some more time writing...hopefully.

Over the weekend, I decided to make a salad from quinoa.  I couldn't find a recipe that really piqued my interest, so I came up with one myself.  I focused on lemon, broccoli and Parmesan. 

Here's your Cast of Characters.

1 1/2 Cups uncooked quinoa
1 Large lemon
1 Cup lemon juice (including freshly squeezed juice from lemon)
2 Cups water
Freshly ground pepper
4 Oz bag of frozen broccoli
3 Large green onions

1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Mayo (not salad dressing or Miracle Whip)
1 Cup Parmesan (I used a nice Parmesan & Garlic blend that I found at Walmart but plain is fine)
Zest of the lemon above
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp., each, Lawry's season salt, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb blend and McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb blend
1/2 Tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 Cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, toast quinoa on medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add lemon juice and water, as well as a couple of cranks of pepper.  Cover and cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together all dressing ingredients.

Set aside for now.

Steam broccoli until partially cooked to a crisp-tender.  Drain, and cut up any large pieces. 

Chop green onions into small pieces.

When quinoa is done, place in a medium mixing bowl.  Add broccoli, green onions and dressing.

Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, however it's better to give it 2 - 3 hours for the flavors to properly blend.