Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Salad

This summer has turned out to be a lot better than I expected it to be. I didn't make very many plans in advanced because I wasn't sure I would have time, yet fun activities keep popping up a long the way. I recently had a spontaneous afternoon visit from a friend to catch up. We had plans to make dinner, but I wasn't really sure what dinner would be. I didn't think too much about it until dinner time actually rolled around. I threw this salad together and it turned out surprisingly well. The dressing was based off of memory from Oh She Glows and I forgot to add the mustard (and intentionally left out the maple syrup). I suggest you do the same, as it worked really well with this salad.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Salad
Serves 4-6

1 very large sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
1 can chickpeas
double this dressing from Oh She Glows (minus the mustard and syrup)
sunflower seeds

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Toss sweet potato in olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Spread out evenly in a large roasting pan and roast in oven for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want the potatoes to be cooked well and browned on the outside.
3. Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover, for 20 minutes.
4. Make the dressing and allow to sit at room temperature until the sweet potatoes and quinoa are cooked and have cooled a bit.
5. Combine sweet potatoes, quinoa, swiss chard, chickpeas, and dressing all together and stir to combine. Serve topped with sunflower seeds, warm or cold.

eating leftovers at my desk the next day
This salad was the result of throwing together what I had on hand, and it turned out great. A nice quick dinner which would make a great picnic or potluck dish. I hope you are all having as good of a summer as I am, spending quality time with good friends.

Monday, July 2, 2012

White Bean and Pesto Hash

The other day I picked up my favourite fresh pesto from Goodness Me. I first tried this pesto a few years ago when living in Waterloo, and ever since I cannot bring myself to buy a jarred variety. It is kind of pricey so I don't buy it often, maybe a couple times a year. I have expressed my love for the corn and basil combination before, and I will do it again. I love basil with corn. This recipe is again inspired by Heather's Quinoa on 101 Cookbooks, which I make just about every time I have pesto on hand. The recipe is really meant to be an inspiration and not something you follow to the tee. It is about combining a grain with whatever veggies you have on hand, and bringing it all together with a good quality pesto. I opted to not use a grain this time and instead used roasted potatoes. I also left out the tofu and instead added white beans which make the dish feel hearty and a little creamy. I think I might just make this version again one day.

White Bean and Pesto Hash
Serves 4

5 potatoes, chopped into cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, died
1 cup corn
2-3 cups cooked white beans (I didn't actually measure this)
2 garlic cloves, grated
6 bok choy, chopped and whites separated from greens
pesto to taste (lightly coat the mixture)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Roast covered for 30 minutes. Stir and roast uncovered for 15-20 min stirring halfway through.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium low. Add onions and the white part of bok choy. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add corn, white beans, and garlic and cook until heated through.
  6. Add bok choy and continue to stir into the mixture until leaves have begun to wilt.
  7. Add pesto and stir to combine.
  8. Mix with roasted potatoes until fully combined. Serve warm.
As I was eating this I thought this would make a great savoury breakfast utilizing some leftovers. It all went so well together and was a nice surprise for putting it all together so quickly. This dish is only as good as the pesto so make sure you use a good one, fresh if possible. You will be glad that you did.