Monday 30 April 2012

Quinoa Salad- Flat Iron Grill style!!

It's back to health Monday!! I'm all about changing things up and keeping meals exciting... It's DEFINITELY the best way to help you stay on track when it comes to smart eating.

To start, get yourself an insulated lunch bag. There are many manly ones, as well as super cute ones out there! And store a couple of cold packs in your freezer to add to your bag and keep your food cool.

I have several viewers that have been waiting for this one. Chef Cody Reaves shared his Quinoa salad recipe. I go to the Flat Iron Grill, in Issaquah, Washington, have this delightful salad, then order another to take home for lunch the next day. Imagine my delight, he shared his recipe...yum yum!! He is not long on words, but, this is his exact recipe, as he wrote it. I have made it two times since ...........I tweeked it, as usual, but, have noted that.

Amy, Holly and I love this salad and are making it to take on our hike week. Just put the salad dressing in a separate little container and dress the salad, just before you eat it!! *Note, I have used the plain white quinoa, but, the Trader Joe's has the "Fancy Smancy" three color kind.

Flat Iron Grill Quinoa Salad
Recipe By Chef Cody Reaves
Serves 10

1 pound of Quinoa cooked (you can cook in rice cooker; you can store in the freezer or refrigerator, per April 23 blog, "What's all the Ta Do about Quinoa")
1 diced Poblano Pepper
1pound of crumbled Feta Cheese
1 diced English Cucumber
8 Green Onions, Sliced Thin
1pound of wild Baby Arugula
½ pound of Currants
1 ½ cups of Walnut Vinaigrette (below)

Rinse the Quinoa, before cooking it!! Per blog "Whats all the Ta Do about Quinoa".

Ingredients for the vinaigrette.

Walnut Vinaigrette
Yield = 4Cups (I made the full recipe and store in refirgerator)

½ Cup of toasted walnuts ground and chopped fine
1Tablespoon of minced shallots
1Tablespoon of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of Stone Ground mustard (I used Dijon)
½ Cup of Champagne Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Honey
½ Tablespoon of lemon juice
½ Cup of water
1 Tablespoon of fresh chopped Oregano
1 Tablespoon of chopped Parsley
2 Cups of Olive Oil  (I used 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 walnut oil)
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
Making the Dressing:
In a food processor combine all ingredients except walnuts and oil. While mixing on low slowly drizzle oil to make an emulsion. Add walnuts and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Store cold.

Use your food processor to make the dressing,(you can make in a blender as well).

Add all the ingredients except the oil.

Slowly, very slowly pour the oil into the bowl through the feeding tube, while the processor is running. You will see it thicken a bit,  you can actually hear that it is changing into the beautiful emulsified dressing............liquid GOLD!!! I love this dressing and use it on other salads. I make the whole recipe and keep it in the refrigerator.

Rehydrating The Currants:
In a large sauce pan bring 2 cups of red wine vinegar (I used 1 cup red wine vinegar and 1 cup water) and 2 cups of granulated sugar to a boil. Add the dried currants and simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes until the currants are plump. Strain the liquid and allow the currants to cool before adding them to the salad. The poaching liquid can be reserved cold for another use.

What you need for rehydrating the currents.
Weigh the currents on your kitchen scale.

In a large bowl mix all ingredients together, making sure that the walnut vinaigrette is well distributed.

 Using tongs arrange some of the dressed arugula on the base of the salad plates and then cascade the rest of the ingredients over the top. This salad is my favorite!!

 I love my herbs fresh and have all my favorites in pots on my patio, here in Arizona. I have drip hoses attached to my sprinkler system, so that they are cared for automatically everyday. I just love to pick and smell the beautiful fragrance of my herbs.

And, yes that would be a Jack Russell tail ...

Smoothie of the week


 Blend 2 bananas, 1/2 cup each vanilla yogurt and milk, 2 tsp. honey or agave, a pinch of cinnamon and 1 cup of ice! Yummy to the tummy!!


What do you want that BUM to look like? 

Hike week June 16-21!

My Favorite! Just beautiful! And, more buds to bloom!


  1. Sounds like a delicious salad. Nice job getting the recipe straight from the chef. I love any vinaigrette, so I've got to try the walnut. Love the pics of your blooming cacti's. So beautiful!

  2. The salad is so good!! We will make while you are here! So glad you extended your trip! The cactus's are blooming everyday!!

  3. That cactus flower is like nothing I've seen before! Just so gorgeous!!

    1. It is so beautiful! Both the white and coral have many more buds, maybe they will wait to bloom until you get here!!

  4. Excellent! I made this, and everyone loved it! Thanks! Missy


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