2015 and a Quinoa Salad

Hi Hello!  I’m back!  Sorry for the 3 month hiatus.  In between moving across the country (lol yea I live in California now) and the holidays, this kind of fell to the wayside.  BUT it’s a new year and life has sort of normalized now so I’m back in the game.

I thought about doing a quick life update here, but the longer I waited, the more intimidating that post became.  So I’m not going to do that and instead I’m going to point you in the direction of my boyfriend’s blog because he HAS been keeping up with updates!  So if you want to know what moving to California was like, check out seahuston.blogspot.com.

AND NOW: THE POST.  And a little background because obviously.

With Collin’s new job at Apple, he travels a lot and by a lot I mean minimum 10 trips per year to China for a week and a half at a time.  That’s a lot of Katherine time especially since we don’t really know anyone out here yet.  So!  I’ve been cooking!  One, so I don’t starve and two, because it’s fun to find a recipe and take the time to make it good!

Without further ado, this is what I made myself for dinner two nights ago!

Quinoa with zuchinni, mint, cranberries, and walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ¼” rounds
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • mint to taste
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions in the white wine and water mixture.
  2. Once the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
  3. In a heavy pan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini rounds and cook until browned on each side and tender, about 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt to taste, and remove from heat and set aside

    Cooking the zucchini!

    Cooking the zucchini!

  4. In a small bowl combine the shallots, vinegar and olive oil and whisk together.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa and the olive oil mixture, tossing to coat the quinoa. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
  6. Gently fold in the zucchini, walnuts, dried cranberries and fresh mint. Transfer to a serving platter.

    My quinoa bowl!

    My quinoa bowl!

I was really pleased with how this recipe turned out!  It accomplished that great vegan balance of being satisfying but not heavy and over filling.  Also, I think I might add craisins to everything from now on because yum.

This recipe was adapted from the recipe on Heather Christo’s blog.  She’s not exclusively vegan, but I’ve found some really great options there!  Check out her Spicy Thai Noodle Soup!

Until next time, blog-sphere!

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Making Bagels

Is there a more satisfying breakfast food than a good bagel?  I believe there is not.  Where I grew up, there was this little, hole-in-the-wall bagel shop right up the street.  The kind that are only open until noon and that have fresh made bagels every day.  When I moved up to Newmarket last year, I couldn’t find a bagel shop like this anywhere!  Say what you will, but grocery store bagels don’t even come close.  So I learned how to make my own!  I got this recipe from googling online and I’ve been loyal to it ever since.

Ingredients:

For the bagels:

4 cups Bread Flour

2 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp yeast

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 warm water

For the wash:

4 cups water

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp white sugar

Process:

Measure out the water and add the yeast and brown sugar.  Stir together until the mixture gets frothy and let sit.  Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Add the water and knead/use the dough hook for your stand mixer for 10-15 minutes until the dough has formed a ball.

Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has risen (it should double in size) punch it down and turn it out onto a flat, floured surface.  Cut it into 8 equal pieces and form the pieces into balls.  Cover these and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

While the bagels are rising, pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees and prepare the water bath.  Measure out the water and pour it into a deep skillet.  Dissolve in the sugars and cover until the water boils.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with Pam.  Each of the dough balls will have doubled in size again.  Use your thumb to punch a hole through the middle of each dough ball and then swing it around your finger to widen it slightly.  Place the ring into the boiling water and repeat 3 more times.  Let the bagels boil 2 minutes on the first side and then flip and boil for 1 more minute.  Remove with a slatted spatula and place on the baking sheet.  Repeat this process with the remaining 4 bagels.

Bake at 475 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the outside.

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

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Forming the pre-bagel dough balls

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The twirl the dough around your finger hole making method in action

Boiling bagels!

Boiling bagels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: all of these pictures are from our old place in Newmarket as the lighting in our current kitchen is quite poor.  Wasn’t our little ship stove cute!?

I’ve made these bagels an uncountable number of times over the last year or so and I can say that the smell of baking bagels is probably one of my top 10 favorites.  Don’t be daunted by the process.  Go for it and enjoy!

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Bagel recipe originally found here!