Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini


What would I do without 101cookbooks?  Her recipes are awesome!  This one is no exception.  My husband tasted it and referred to it as "good stuff."  Coming from someone who loves meat and probably only pretends to enjoy the food I cook because it's the only option, I take this as quite a compliment.  The dressing is amazing...and could easily be used for a number of other purposes.  I have an abundant amount of cilantro right now (from both my garden and the CSA), so I used a lot of cilantro in it.  I also got like 5 pounds of zucchini from the CSA this week...I don't know what to do with it all!
  • 1 large avocado, ripe
  • juice of 1 1/2 limes 
  • a large handful of cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small container of Greek yogurt (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • couple pinches of sea salt 
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

1.  Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (hand blender in preferred). Set aside.

Yummy freshly blended cilantro-avocado dressing
2.  Hard boil the eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.

3.  While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters.
Fresh zucchini tossed in olive oil with Himalayan pink sea salt
The zucchini that did not fall through the grill (I recommend skewering for sure!)
4. Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. 

Serves 4 to 6.

Health Benefits

Cilantro - I learned some random facts about cilantro from this months issue of Whole Living.
  • Prized throughout history for its ability to aid digestion, coriander was a common treatment for diabetes prior to the development of insulin in 1922.
  • Cilantro is one of 3,000 members of the carrot family.
  • Scientific studies have found similarities between the fat molecules in cilantro and those in soaps, lotions....and bedbugs.  The aversion that some people have to cilantro, in other words, may may triggered by their unconscious association of its aroma with inedible, even poisonous, substances.
Additionally, I found this list of health benefits here:
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
  • Protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products
  • Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
  • Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
  • Wards off urinary tract infections
  • Helps reduce feelings of nausea
  • Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation
  • Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping.
  • Adds fiber to the digestive tract
  • A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
  • Gives relief for diarrhea, especially if caused by microbial or fungal infections
  • Helps promote healthy liver function.
  • Reduces minor swelling
  • Strong general antioxidant properties
  • Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
  • Stimulates the endocrine glands
  • Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar
  • Acts as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema
  • Contains immune-boosting properties
  • Acts as an expectorant
  • Helps ease conjunctivitis, as well as eye-aging, macular degeneration, and other stressors on the eyes.

No comments:

Post a Comment