This deliciously light but satisfying vegetarian meal relies on some of my favorite Mediterranean and Thai flavors. Cannellini beans are creamy and substantial. A medley of tender-crisp bell peppers and zucchini provides contrasting tastes and textures. Sun dried tomatoes and corn lend their subtle sweetness. A fiery green chili pepper wakes up the palate. Quinoa adds additional protein. A flurry of fresh Thai basil and lemon finishes everything off with unexpected brightness and sparkle. This is the kind of vegetarian eating that will leave you feeling nourished and satiated.
Warm Quinoa Salad Recipe
Some Notes: You can swap out the green bell pepper for a red bell pepper. If you cannot find oil packed sun dried tomatoes, use the dry ones. The dry kind must be reconstituted in water. Any white bean will do. Chickpeas will work too. Serve with quinoa or pasta. Use this recipe as a guide and make it your own creation.
Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon cubes can be found online and at Whole Foods. They make the best, clean tasting vegetable broth. When I don't have the energy or will to make my own, I turn to this brand. I love this product. I keep an endless supply of it and use it as the base for many of my soups and stews. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Rapunzel-Vegetable-Bouillon-2-4-Ounce-Packages/dp/B001E5DZJS
My Lebanese grandmother always had pita bread on the table at dinnertime. I like serving bread with meals too. It makes me happy and content. Warm whole wheat or regular pita bread rounds out this meal. Good fruity olive oil, lemon wedges and quality crumbled feta cheese for serving is a good idea too.
Serves 4-6 as a main course with pita and crumbled feta or Parmesan cheese.
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 medium zucchini, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced. I use a microplane grater to grate the garlic.
- 1 small green chili pepper, minced (optional) I used a Thai chili pepper.
- A handful of freshly chopped basil. I used Thai basil.
- 1/2 cup of diced sun dried tomatoes. I used Trader Joe's oil packed brand.
- 1 cup of frozen corn, defrosted (optional but good)
- 1-2 lemons, zest one and reserve the zest
- 1 15-16 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups quinoa rinsed and cooked with 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt and 4 Rapunzel Vegan No Salt Bouillon cubes (see notes) You can also cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth of your choice.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauteing the vegetables and for drizzling. I used unfiltered.
- Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
- Some toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta (or grated Parmesan), fresh warm pita, good fruity olive oil and/or lemon wedges for serving.
Rinse 2 cups of quinoa. Cook it with 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt and 4 Rapunzel No Salt Bouillon Cubes. Stir to combine the bouillon with the water once it starts to boil. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions until tender. Reserve.
Saute the green, red and chili pepper until somewhat soft in a large skillet with a pinch of salt and some olive oil. Add the zucchini and a pinch more salt. Saute the zucchini until tender-crisp. The vegetables should not be cooked down too much. They should still have some bite and vibrancy. Add the minced garlic, lemon zest, cannellini beans, corn, sun dried tomatoes and another pinch of salt. Warm everything through.
Toss the vegetable and bean mixture with the cooked quinoa or serve over the quinoa. Finish with freshly chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, a generous drizzle of good fruity olive oil and/or a squeeze of lemon. You can also put some fresh lemon wedges on the table with the bottle of olive oil and some feta or Parmesan cheese for each diner to add to their dish. Warm pita bread makes a nice addition to this meal.