Thursday, September 2, 2010

quinoa and roasted corn salad: a recipe

Tonight's dinner was off the hook if I do say so myself (and I do.) I snagged a recipe from a comment left on another friend's blog... My interest was initially piqued because of the health-factor, but I'll be making it again and again because of how ridiculously yummy and slap-yo-mama delicious it was! Andy said it was the perfect end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall meal.

The original came from (who else) Martha, and can be found here.
Of course, I like to slightly tweak things (heehee) and so here's what I did:

{Quinoa and Roasted Corn Salad with Chicken and Pumpkin Seeds}

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained (about 4 Cups cooked)
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 3 ears fresh roasted corn, kernels cut from cob
  • Earth Balance spread for "buttering" corn
  • 1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Seasoning for chicken: Juice of 1 fresh lime, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. chili powder, Kosher salt, Fresh ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

  • I started by roasting the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pull back husks of corn, but don't remove. DO remove the silks. Coat each cob with a nice spread of Earth Balance or butter, replace the husks, roll tightly in aluminum foil, place on baking sheet and cook for 35 mins. When done, allow it to cool slightly and then slice kernels from cobs.

    To toast pumpkin seeds, place in a hot, dry skillet. Constantly stirring and flipping so they don't burn. When they begin to pop and smell "toasty" remove them to a pan to cool.

    In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oil, and salt to taste; set aside. Cook quinoa according to package directions, substituting the 2 cups veggie stock for the water.

    For chicken: Rinse it, and pat dry. Cut it into chunks, and completely coat it in seasoning mixture. Heat a large non-stick pan over high heat and add chicken. Cook until browned and done.

    In a large bowl add roasted corn, cooked quinoa, diced red bell pepper, diced and seeded jalapeno, sliced scallions and reserved lemon juice/spice dre
    ssing. Mix well.

    To assemble:
    First arrange a big pile of quinoa, topped with chicken and sliced avocados. Sprinkle on a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, and chopped cilantro.

    ...And you're in bidness.

    Pair it with one of these naughty buggers...
    and you're in big time bidness! (You know I had to sabotage that "health-factor" somehow.)

    (And yes, I will admit, this recipe was a little more labor-intensive than I normally dig but it was WELL worth it! It was absolutely bursting with flavors and very guiltless! A new favorite!)

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