Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa

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 Overhead Shot

Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Don't miss the goodies I share ONLY with my subscribers!

Sign up to get recipes, wellness tips, and exclusive offers sent directly to your inbox each week.

Grilled Radicchio and Blue Cheese Salad

Grilled Radicchio & Blue Cheese Salad

GRILLING is a great way to jazz up vegetables.

Let’s face it… sometimes blanching, steaming, sautéing, roasting, or boiling can get a little, well, boring.

But GRILLING gives vegetables a whole new smoky flavor profile you just can’t get with any other method (well, maybe with broiling, since it involves open flame).

There are some vegetables that are grilling classics.

Think corn on the cob, grilled bell peppers for fajitas, grilled onions for burgers, or even grilled asparagus around the campfire.

But what about grilling leafy vegetables?

Grilled romaine hearts have been all the rage lately, drizzled with creamy caesar dressing and topped with rustic croutons.

But grilled radicchio is my favorite.

Its slightly bitter flavor profile pairs beautifully with the char from the grill, and when you toss it into a salad, it gives the whole thing a meaty/savory character.

For this salad, I used Castelfranco radicchio– a gorgeous variety with cream leaves flecked with magenta:

Castelfranco Radicchio White and Magenta

Isn’t it gorgeous??

This type of radicchio is slightly more mild than the traditional purple variety, but either will work in this recipe. Just use whatever you can find!

To offset the bitter flavors of the radicchio, I also grilled some onions for sweetness and threw in a succulent beefsteak tomato, fresh from the farmers market. Crunchy walnuts give the salad some texture, and the sharp blue cheese makes each bite sing.

This is a salad for salad-haters.

It’s really savory and hearty, filled with deep smoky flavors and rich ingredients. It goes great with a crisp white wine, some grilled shrimp on the barbie, and a hunk of crusty bread for an easy summer-inspired dinner.

Grilled Radicchio & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Grilled Radicchio and Blue Cheese Salad

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 medium head radicchio, quartered and cored
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (about 3 slices)
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned basil
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, halved and cut into wedges

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place a grill pan on the stove and warm over high heat (or, light a grill). Brush the quartered radicchio and sliced onions on all sides with olive oil and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • When the grill pan is hot, place the radicchio and onion on the surface and “grill” for about 3-5 minutes per side for the radicchio, and 5-7 minutes per side for the onions, or until the vegetables are charred and tender when pierced with a fork. [If you are cooking on a real grill, you should probably use a grilling basket to prevent the vegetables from falling through the cracks] 
  • Remove to a cutting board, let cool for a few minutes. Slice the radicchio crosswise into 1 1/2 inch slices, and cut each onion slice into thirds, separating the layers into individual pieces.
  • Meanwhile, place the baby spinach in a large salad bowl with the walnuts, blue cheese, parmesan, basil, and tomato. Add the warm grilled vegetables and toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, garlic, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper). Pour over the salad, toss to coat, and serve immediately. It goes great with crusty french bread and grilled shrimp as an easy summer supper.
Don't miss the goodies I share ONLY with my subscribers!

Sign up to get recipes, wellness tips, and exclusive offers sent directly to your inbox each week.

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

What do you get when you cross Mexican & vegan food?

Mexi-Vegan? Veg-exican?

Whatever you want to call it, it’s freaking delicious!

Introducing, my vegan Mexican spinach salad.

Paprika & cumin seasoned roasted carrots, lime seasoned black beans, crispy pan fried tofu, salty savory olives, spicy jalapeño, and creamy cilantro lime VEGAN dressing. YUM!

I was so tempted to make a greek yogurt dressing for this salad, but I really wanted to experiment and push myself to make a delicious creamy dressing WITHOUT using any dairy.

Creamy avocado and rich olive oil makes the dressing smooth and luscious, while nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavor.

I didn’t miss the dairy at ALL.

Mexican Vegan Spinach Salad

Also, have you seen the newest line of olives from Lindsay Olives??

They’re called “Lindsay Naturals“- no preservatives or dyes added, just olives, water, and sea salt.

AKA everything an olive should be.

I’ve really been digging the buttery green variety. They taste like black olives, but they’re a lovely green color. I know it’s weird, because they LOOK like the tart green olives you get in a jar, but they TASTE like the black olives you stuck on all your fingers as a kid (anyone??).

I didn’t even realize that most “regular” black olives are treated with a corn derived ingredient called ferrous gluconate to fix their black color. Without this treatment, black olives are naturally closer to dark brown. (Check out the Lindsay Naturals California Black Olives if you want to see the color of untreated black olives!).

I’m a huge fan of cutting out food additives and unnatural ingredients, so I highly suggest trying natural olives.

This is NOT a sponsored post, I just genuinely love these olives!

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced carrot (from about 4 to 6 large carrots), sliced on the bias, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
  • ~1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz firm sprouted tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut into 1/2 inch matchsticks
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 red jalapeño, deseeded and thinly sliced cross wise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 large leaves of fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp hearts
  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the sliced carrots out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat evenly, then re-spread the carrots out evenly on the baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
  • Put the rinsed black beans in a bowl. Toss with the garlic powder, red wine vinegar, zest of 1 lime, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Warm over medium-high heat, add the tofu, and cook for a few minutes per side until golden and crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate & season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cilantro, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, mint, juice of 1 lime, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, and 1/2 avocado in a mini food processor. Pulse until well blended and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the spinach into 4 serving bowls. Top with roasted carrots, black beans, crispy tofu, avocado slices, sliced olives, a sprinkle of jalapeño, and a liberal drizzle of dressing. Sprinkle with extra hemp hearts, if desired. Enjoy!
Don't miss the goodies I share ONLY with my subscribers!

Sign up to get recipes, wellness tips, and exclusive offers sent directly to your inbox each week.