Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad

Last night was one of my favorite kind of nights....I look into the refrigerator, see what we have and came up with a new dish! This is like a fun game for me, I try to do this about once a week, if I can. Of course, I think about things ahead of time and ponder on various ideas, but it usually doesn't come together until I am standing in front of the open fridge door!

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |

This weekend, my friend Tom brought us some fresh green beans and squash (huge squash I might add) from his organic garden. Tom DEFINITELY has a green thumb! He makes his own fertilizer and grows from seeds.

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |

Since the veggies were straight from his garden, I wanted to use them right away. I had this huge bag of multicolored quinoa that was screaming my name and a few more romaine leaves. Hence, the following dish came together while Ryan was patiently waiting for me to start movie night! 

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad 

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes total

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
2/3 cup leeks, chopped and rinsed well
2 medium yellow squash, sliced into thick rounds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
bunch of green beans, steamed, cooled and chopped
whole romaine leaves (or whatever greens are on hand)
goat cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
4 eggs, over-easy (optional)

Start by making the quinoa. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce this to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes (or based on package instructions). I usually add a little dash of salt as well since I use low sodium broths.

Over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saute pan and throw in the chopped leeks. Saute into the oil until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sautéed leeks and set aside for later use. DON'T wash out the pan - we are going to use that yummy leek flavor!

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |

Melt the other tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and place the squash rounds flat into the pan. You might have to do this in batches, in which case, add oil with each batch. Salt and pepper the rounds and let cook, untouched about 3-4 minutes, or until they get a good sear. Flip the squash rounds and cook on the other side. Salt and pepper the cooked side. Remove the squash once they are evenly seared on both sides. Remove, set aside and keep warm (or do a second batch if they wouldn't all fit into the pan).

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |

Now assemble the salad. In a large pasta bowl, lay the romaine leaves on the bottom. Top with a big spoonful of the quinoa, then chopped green beans, squash rounds, goat cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top and if you are like me, top with a fried egg! I like to leave the yolk over-easy so it serves as my dressing.

Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |       Seared Squash and Quinoa Salad |

Healthy, filling and delightful!

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