Baltimore - The Greatest City in America

After our meatless Monday meal, Dan and I took the pups for a long walk. Along the way we stumbled across one of these benches that someone must've ran into with their car and totally destroyed. Fortunately for us, the board with Baltimore on it was still intact, so guess what came home with us? I think tonight we should go see if the board with "Greatest City in America" is still there and claim it too.  I absolutely love Baltimore and think Bruce Goldfarb's words describe it well "The humble bench is an apt metaphor for Baltimore itself — modest and unpretentious, simple by design yet utterly functional, a dependable source of comfort, sometimes gritty and in need of repair, often strikingly beautiful, and always showing a resilient elegance."

Enough about Charm City, you probably want to hear more about my meatless Monday dish. Good news, no disasters occurred during the making of this dish! I'm thinking my disaster curse has been lifted. Knock on wood? Baltimore bench wood?

When trying to decide what to make for dinner last night using some of our CSA veggies (now the story of my life...it's a good story!) I was thinking of going in a totally different direction aka meatful Monday. Then I ran across this recipe from K & K Test Kitchen and it spoke to me, so without further ado.

Quinoa Salad With Toasted Almonds adapted from K & K Test Kitchen
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 cup quinoa
5 teaspoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds discarded, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 jumbo yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick (CSA)
3 plum tomatoes (more would have been good, but that's all I had) (CSA)

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 lime, halved

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds until crisp, lightly browned, and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.

2) Stir quinoa, thyme, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes.

3) In a medium frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add green pepper, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; cook until the pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Add yellow squash and sauté 5 to 8 minutes. Add in tomatoes and saute another 1-2 minutes.


4) Add the cooked quinoa and vegetables to a large bowl.  Stir in almonds, white wine vinegar and remaining 3 teaspoons oil, season with salt, and fluff with a fork. Before serving squeeze lime over salad. 

I served mine with some oven heated naan bread. I honestly was skeptical about whether or not this would fill me up, but it did the trick. What I love about this recipe is that with my cooking of it, it's on it's 3rd variation, and you can see that through the blog chain. I actually just looked at Whole Living's original recipe for the dish and it had celery and was intended to be served cold! I'm learning how to put my own spin on things and go with the flow and even though I'm starting out with baby steps...adding tomatoes...I'm getting better at it. I'm still not ready to tackle spices though!


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