Curried Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini and Curry Lime Pepitas

Our family just returned home from spending a beautiful four days at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.  We are exhausted, but have full hearts.  We made new friends, went on peaceful walks, relaxed by campfires, and our kids were able to experience music and art in new and inspiring ways.  It was a refreshing break from tv, computers, and the internet.  Camp food was… well, camp food, and after four days, I was ready to get back to whole grains and fresh produce.  I told Ryan that as soon as we were home again I was going to make a big quinoa salad, and I think he thought I was joking, but no, this was the first thing I made after we returned home.  It was just what I needed and hit the spot.  This dish is healthfully seasoned with curry, cumin, turmeric, and smoked paprika, has plenty of green from the grilled zucchini, grilled scallions, and parsley,  and is generously garnished with crunchy toasted curry lime pepitas. Toasting the pepitas on the stove with some curry and lime zest only takes a few extra minutes and it makes all the difference. This can be served warm or at room temperature, but if making ahead of time, keep the pepitas stored separately until ready to serve so they don’t lose their crunch.

Curried Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini and Curry Lime Pepitas

Curried Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini and Toasted Curry Lime Pepitas
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
Curried Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ pound zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini), trimmed and quarter lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 6 scallions)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Toasted Curry Lime Pepitas
  • 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon muscovado sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon curry
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest from 1 lime
Instructions
Curried Quinoa
  1. In a small sauce pan, combine quinoa, salt, ¾ teaspoon curry, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon paprika, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15-17 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place zucchini and scallions on a large plate or tray. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoons of curry, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Use hands to evenly coat vegetables.
  3. Grill zucchini 5-6 minutes, rotating after a few minutes, until tender and browned. Grill scallions 2-4 minutes, until slightly wilted and browned. Chop zucchini crosswise into small chunks and thinly slice the scallions.
  4. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, zucchini, scallions, and parsley. Gently toss together and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with a generous sprinkle of toasted curry lime pepitas.
Toasted Curry Lime Pepitas
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the muscovado sugar, curry, lime zest, and salt.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the pepitass with olive oil until they start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle the curry lime mixture over the seeds and stir constantly until seeds are evenly coated and sugar is melted, about 1-2 additional minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Season to taste with additional salt if needed.
Notes
inspired by Bon Appetit
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Roasted Vegetable Turkey Meatloaf with Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Retro tv dinners come to mind when I think of meatloaf, probably because I didn’t grow up eating it and my preconceptions primarily come from passing through the frozen food aisle at the store.  It took me some time to come around on meatloaf, but after I saw this recipe,  it suddenly became appealing and worth giving a try.  In the updated version here, classic meatloaf gets a lightened up summer spin with turkey and an abundance of  colorful roasted summer vegetables and fresh basil.  This does require turning on the oven, but it’s great when you need a make-ahead meal since everything can be assembled earlier and then simply baked in the oven before serving.  Grilling is great in the summer, but it also requires someone actively being at the grill right before the meal is served.  Sometimes it’s nice to be able to work ahead of time, put on the oven timer, and forget about it until the timer goes off.  If I’m having guests over, meals like these make mingling so much easier.  This recipe makes more roasted vegetables than needed for the meatloaf.  I like having the extra veggies to serve alongside the meatloaf, but cut the vegetables in half if you only want enough for the meatloaf.  Mustard mashed potatoes make a wonderful accompaniment as well.

Roasted Vegetable Turkey Meatloaf with Mustard Mashed Potatoes

 

Roasted Vegetable Turkey Meatloaf
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2 pounds ground turkey thigh
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1½ cups whole wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¾ cup ketchup, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, toss together the zucchini, peppers, and onions with olive oil and 1 tablespoon of rosemary. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 375. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together turkey, mozzarella, panko, basil, thyme, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed red pepper, remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 1 cup roasted vegetables.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup ketchup, eggs, and wine. Add to turkey mixture and mix again to incorporate. (It may be easier to use hands to mix together.)
  4. Transfer mixture to a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Use the back of a rubber spatula to smooth and form a rounded top. Spread remaining ¼ cup ketchup evenly over the top of loaf.
  5. Bake until cooked through and top is lightly browned, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow meatloaf to rest 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with warmed roasted vegetables and mustard mashed potatoes.
Notes
adapted from Bon Appetit

Mustard Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6 side portions
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (or more) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes in lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer potatoes for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft when a knife pierces through. Drain potatoes and return them to the pot.
  2. Roughly mash the potatoes with a potato masher or pastry blender. (I leave the skins on for a more rustic feel, but peel potatoes if desired.) Add ¾ cup milk, butter, mustard, salt, and pepper and continue to mash until you reach desired consistency. Add more milk a couple tablespoons at a time if necessary.
Notes
slightly adapted from Bon Appetit



 

 

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Grilled Spring Vegetables with Parsnip Potato Puree

With CSA season well underway, it’s sort of a game for me to see how well I can use up the week’s share before it’s time to pick up the next one.  There was a time when trying to figure out a way to use up my share was stressful, but these days I’m much more relaxed about cooking and now I find it rather a fun challenge.  When it approaches time for the next share pick-up, I’ve been doing a clean sweep of the fridge and whatever is left from that week becomes our dinner.  Considering this meal was the result of some serious cleaning out the fridge, I had not planned on posting this, but we enjoyed it so much that I quickly snapped a shot of some leftovers just so I could share it.  One of the big cooking lessons I’ve learned is that a recipe does not need to be elaborate or complicated in order for it to be delicious.  This meal is the perfect example- only a few ingredients, yet because of its simplicity, the goodness of the fresh spring produce is really able to shine.   Here we have asparagus, garlic scapes, and scallions, grilled to perfection and accompanied with a creamy parsnip potato puree.  Parsnips turn velvety smooth when pureed and the contrast of flavors and textures with the grilled vegetables is wonderful.   I think this makes such a light and refreshing early summer meal and I hope you think so too.

Grilled Spring Vegetables with Parsnip Potato Puree
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds parsnips, peeled
  • ½ pound potatoes, peeled
  • ½ cup whole milk or buttermilk, optional
  • any combination of Asparagus, Garlic Scapes, Spring Onions, and/or Scallions
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop the parsnips into 1-inch pieces and place into a saucepan. Chop the potatoes into ¾-inch pieces and add to the parsnips. Cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20-35 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Puree the parsnips and potatoes using an immersion blender or by hand using a potato masher. Add enough milk, buttermilk, or reserved cooking liquid to make the mixture velvety smooth. If using an immersion blender, be careful not to over blend/process in order to avoid the mixture turning gummy. You could also pass the parsnips and potatoes through a food mill if you have one.
  2. Lightly coat vegetables with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Grill over medium heat for 2-4 minutes, turning and rotating halfway through the cooking time. Vegetables should be tender and charred, but not overly soft.
  3. To serve, mound a generous portion of the parsnip potato puree onto a plate. Top with grilled vegetables, drizzle with olive oil, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Notes
parsnip potato puree from Deborah Madison's The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
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