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Friday Night Summer Dish

July 15, 2011

The heat wave has begun.  It’s as hot and sticky as my grandma’s cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. 

Oooh cinnamon rolls.  Those sound great.  Wait… I can’t dare turn the oven on, I doubt I’m far from the melting stage.  Same with this hydrangea.

Forever & Ever wilting hydrangea

The melons on the other hand seem to be loving this stuff.

muskmelon growing

Eating sometimes can be a challenge when its super duper hot out.  I don’t know about you but my appetite kind of shifts. Fortunately it makes me want to eat stuff that’s more healthy…nothing heavy and fried.  And I definitely don’t crave meat.  Sushi, sure…but making sushi is not a talent I possess.

It’s my first Friday night home since I have no idea when, so I told myself I needed to whip up something good.  I’ve been seeing quinoa recipes left and right the past couple weeks so I ran to the store at lunch and grabbed some. 

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is the bomb.  I had it for the first time earlier this year and fell head over heels for it.  It’s a nutty, kind of chewy but fluffy little grain that is both light & filling and packs a nutritional punch.  It’s gluten-free, full of protein and a good source of magnesium (good for headache sufferers like me).  It’s one of those superfoods, so you’ll have to look in the health foods section if you’re not sure where to find it.


Not too long ago, I made Eat Live Run’s Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.  It was soooo delicious.  And I wanted to make it again, but I decided I better be taking advantage of my garden produce in the fridge and came up with a simple summer quinoa salad with zucchini and corn to pair with my meatless grilled portobello mushroom.

This quinoa salad was killer as a filling on top of a marinated grilled portobello mushroom.

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Herb Marinated Portobello Mushroom

For the mushrooms:

2 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T white wine

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Ingredients for grilled portobello mushrooms

Mix all ingredients together except mushrooms.  Pour marinade over mushrooms in large dish and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Cook on grill for about 5 minutes each side.  (Like cooking a burger).

For salad:

1 C dry quinoa

2 C water

3 ears fresh corn, cut from cob

2 small zucchini, sliced & quartered

1/4 C red onion, chopped

1/2 C feta, crumbled or cubed

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T fresh basil, chopped

1 T fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Summer Quinoa Salad

In saucepan bring quinoa to a boil in water.  Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.  Set aside to cool.

Over medium heat, saute onion for 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and zucchini and cook for around 5 minutes until cooked but still tender.  

In large bowl add cooked veggies to quinoa.  Stir in feta, fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Chill or serve.

Ready to mix summer quinoa salad

If you did the grilled portobello mushroom, spoon on top & serve.  Makes enough to fill 4 portobellos.

Light, summery and delish!

Summer Quinoa Salad

You  might need to be careful…it’s possible large spoonfuls may be eaten directly out of the serving bowl.  So I’ve heard. 😉

Summer Quinoa Salad & Grilled Portobello

Are you a fan of quinoa?


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