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Green Quinoa Dinner

Green Quinoa Dinner

I have a confession to make. For almost two years, I have been burnt out. That is why this blog has been unpopulated or atleast infrequently populated. 

Earlier, this year, actually as late as March, I finally accepted all this and myself. No, I am not the person, who wants to cook everyday. I am not the person who will therefore post here or on social on a dependable frequency. Yet, I am the person, who will enjoy the time I choose to spend in the kitchen. I am the person, who will henceforth acknowledge I don't feel like cooking and ask for help or order in. I am the person, who will have frozen food at home, so I can get to eat something quick.

I am the person who will continue to share with you, what I am enjoying, what I am inspired by and what makes my palate sing.... Like this simple green Spring filled bowl!

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Wholesome Seasonal Quinoa Salad for Whole Kids Foundation™ And a Giveaway

Wholesome Quinoa Salad with Fall Market Vegetables

A few days ago, I was approached by

Whole Foods

to help them create awareness about better eating in schools. Through their

Whole Kids Foundation

, they have been working to improve childhood nutrition by increasing the availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables, both at schools and at home. The foundation just kicked off its annual fundraiser to support school salad bar and garden grant programs and nutrition education classes for teachers.

Well, nothing is closer to my heart than changing dietary choices for a better life, and, I immediately agreed to enable the campaign! They asked me to create a healthy and nutritious salad that would tempt you to choose it over another meal. It also fit just right with my own health kick. So, in the spirit of the initiative as well as my personal goal, I chose to go completely vegetarian. I went nearly vegan but I could not say no to some Parmesan shavings. Well, what is life without cheese, eh?! ;-)

DSC_02Wholesome Seasonal Quinoa Salad for Whole Kids Foundation™84-2

While I really like salads, I am not a huge leaves fan. It makes me feel way too bovine. Besides, I feel like it just quite as satisfying as eating a whole meal. I think there are quite a few people who share my opinion and it is probably reflected in the choices of food we make everyday. So, I wanted to create a recipe that is not quite reminiscent of the stereotype of salads but is nevertheless light and healthy. Also, since the colder season has started, it HAD to be something warm.

So, my choice was a

warm quinoa salad with seasonal vegetables and green, parmesan shavings and pomegranates

. Everything local, organic and seasonal, courtesy of Whole Foods.

That's my part! Whole Foods is also making it easier for you to be healthy. I am partnering with them to bring you an

awesome giveaway - a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card

. To enter, please leave a comment with how you would make healthier food choices. Giveaway is open until October 6, 2013.

Wholesome Quinoa Salad with Fall Market Vegetables

More information on Whole Kids Foundation™

Through its annual fundraiser this September, the foundation hopes to raise $3 million to help schools across the country make healthier changes in the lunchroom and classroom through its three key programs: salad bars, gardens and nutrition education classes for teachers. The foundation has funded 2,600 salad bars and 1,600 school gardens giving more than 2.2 million kids access to healthier food since its inception in 2011. Whole Kids Foundation’s

School Garden Grant Program

, created in partnership with


, is accepting applications now through Oct. 31. and applications for the

Salad Bar Grant Program

are accepted on an ongoing basis at or

Wholesome Quinoa Salad with Fall Market Vegetables

Wholesome Seasonal Quinoa Salad for Whole Kids Foundation™

1-1/2 cups quinoa, mix red and regular

3 carrots, chopped, 1 inch lengths

1/2 lb green beans, chopped, 1 inch lengths

1/2 small onion, julienne + 1/4 raw for garnish

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 radishes, sliced

1 head of bok choy, leaves torn

juice of half a lime

wedge of parmesan to shave on top

fruity olive oil for tossing

pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)

salt and pepper for seasoning

Cook the quinoa according to instructions. While it cooks, saute all the vegetables, except the bok choy until just soft but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the torn bok choy leaves at the bottom of the salad bowl. When the quinoa is done, add the hot grain on top of the leaves. It will flash cook them, leaving them wilted but with structure. Also the stem will give the salad a good crunch. Add the cooked vegetables, lime juice, oil. Gently toss the salad and adjust seasoning.

Sprinkle the radish slices and raw onion on top and generously top with parmesan shavings. Sprinkle pomegranate arils if using and serve immediately!

Just another tart!

Quinoa Tart

Apologies for skipping my Silent post last week. I ended up traveling across the pond for a bit. More on that in a bit, in another post. For now, I just wanted to leave you with a quick, healthy everyday meal.

I love making tarts and letting my fancy fly into creative fillings. This one was really a leftover inspiration on an afternoon following a highly ambitious (on the appetite) quinoa dinner from the night before.

Quinoa Tart slice

Nothing fancy. Just cooked quinoa spiced with harissa topped with ripe tomatoes (I was lucky to find them!) and whipped potatoes. It makes a lovely hearty meal.

Quinoa Tart

1 (8 inch) tart crust
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 shallots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp harissa
3 T fresh peas
2 ripe vine tomatoes sliced
1 russet potato, cooked
2 T cream
salt, pepper and olive oil as needed

Roll out the tart dough and fit into a tart mould. Refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add salt, pepper, harissa and peas and cook for a minute. Fold in the quinoa, turn down the heat to low and cook covered for 5 minutes.

With a potato ricer or a masher, finely mash the potatoes. Fold in the cream. Season to taste. When ready to assemble, spread the quinoa into an even layer. Arrange the tomato slices over the quinoa. Top with the mashed potatoes.

Bake the tart for 40 minutes until the potatoes are fluffed and light golden brown and the tart crust is cooked.

Cool for 10 minutes and serve topped with sprouts, grated parmesan and a fresh salad.

Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK