Strawberries are nearing the end of their season right now, so the time is ripe to go strawberry-crazy!
My local farmers market had a crazy deal this week: 3 baskets for just $5!! Can’t beat that. And they’re locally grown, to boot.
The good news, they’re delicious. The bad news, they have to be eaten with 5 days or so before they start to turn, so we went a little strawberry cray-cray this week.
Strawberry smoothies, strawberries as snacks, strawberries in oatmeal, and yep, even strawberries in salads.
Guess where strawberries fit particularly well? With quinoa.
and leeks… and pistachios… and goat cheese… and parsley… and lemon… Basically everything good in the world.
And, SURPRISE, these are the ingredients in my newest recipe for Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad.
It’s a perfect light summer meal that can be thrown together quickly and doesn’t heat up the whole house.
The sweet strawberries mesh perfectly with the creamy tangy goat cheese, and the salty pistachios add the perfect crunch. Serve with some breadsticks brushed with garlic olive oil, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup pistachio pieces
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
Place the quinoa and water in a rice cooker or saucepan. If cooking in the rice cooker, cook on the white rice setting. If cooking in a saucepan, or bring the water to a boil, reduce the flame to bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed (or follow package directions). The quinoa is done when you can see the little spirals popping out of the grains and they are a translucent color. When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and place in a large serving bowl to cool.
While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Next, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet and add the leeks. Saute over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, until tender. Then add the garlic and sugar snap peas and cook for another two minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the leek/garlic/pea mixture to the quinoa. Add the pistachios, parsley, and vinaigrette and toss well to combine.
Next add the strawberries and goat cheese and toss gently until just combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and enjoy.
I’ll admit it, I don’t branch out much for lunch.
I’m usually at home, so I’ll eat leftovers or whip up a sandwich. I rarely take the time to try a new lunch recipe.
But, I was super intrigued by the idea of collard green wraps.
Basically, you cut the stems off of collard green leaves, then lightly blanch them to make them more pliable. Then, voila, you have a convenient & super nutritious tortilla-substitue.
You can make a whole bunch of these blanched greens, then store them in the fridge for easy lunches all week. Anything you’d normally make with a tortilla or wrap, you can make with collards instead! You can roll up tofu, beans, lunch meats, cheese, veggies, tuna, grains, pilafs, ANYTHING!
Quinoa tabbouleh is always a go-to filling.
It’s delicious, easy to make, and chock full of mediterranean veggies and herbs.
Plus, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids your body needs.
So you’re getting tons of satiating and nourishing protein, plus antioxidant and fiber-rich veggies, AND greens! This is probably one of the most nutritious meals you could enjoy, which is why I’m obsessed with the idea of batch cooking the wraps & making it super duper easy.
Awwww look at these cute little wraps!
A big bite of deliciousness.
(PS I don’t actually recommend cutting these wraps in half. The quinoa filling will tumble out. Just enjoy whole! I only cut one in half for this shot 🙂 )
Quinoa Collard Green Wraps
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 heaping tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 cup chopped English or Persian cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
- 1.5 ounces pine nuts
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 large collard green leaves
- A few handfuls of ice
First, cook the quinoa. I like to use my rice cooker (just put the quinoa inside with 3 cups of water and cook on the white rice setting). If you don’t have a rice cooker, just follow the directions on the package. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a small skillet. Toast lightly over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly golden, just a few minutes. Turn off the heat and add the pine nuts to the bowl with the quinoa.
Add the grape tomatoes, green onion, mint, parsley, bell pepper, cucumber, olives, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and goat cheese or feta. Toss to combine, drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss again to combine.
Rinse the collard greens well to remove any grit. Cut the stems off at the base of each leaf, creating a large rectangle-like shape. If the remaining rib of the leaf is very large and thick, use a small paring knife to slice off a layer of the rib to make it more flush with the leaf.
Add a few handfuls of ice to a large bowl & fill with water and set aside. Add a few inches of water to a large skillet and bring to a simmer. Place each leaf, one at a time, into the simmering water to blanch for just about 30 seconds, until the greens are bright green and more pliable. Transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then pat dry and place on a plate.
When the collard greens are done, spread one out on a cutting board, mound a few generous scoops of quinoa in the center, fold in the vertical sides, then roll up from the horizontal bottom, like a burrito.
Alternate Prep Options: If blanching and rolling the collard greens seems too complicated, you can always skip the blanching and eat these taco-style, with the raw leaves as your taco shells! Or, you can chop the collards and use them as a salad base, then top with the quinoa and enjoy with a fork.