Category Archives: Food

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

My husband is an eater.  He prefers things featuring high spice levels, meat, cheese and basically anything wrapped in a tortilla, but I’m pretty lucky in that my husband will eat basically anything put in front of him.  Last night we compromised by having sausage burgers on homemade cheese buns, grilled potatoes (oh my goodness, so good!), and this delicious quinoa salad.  I thought it was delicious, and apparently so did he because he also had it for breakfast and a post-run snack today.  Which is all well and good, except for the fact that there’s no more left for me!  So I’ll be making this again, and you should try it too!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette 

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water or broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (equivalent to 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed (optional)

1. Bring water/broth to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover.  Quinoa usually takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook.  It should be soft and water should be absorbed.  Let quinoa cool slightly.
2.  Add beans and corn to medium sized bowl.  Mix together.
3. Add slightly cooled quinoa and vinaigrette (see below for recipe), mix together.
4. Fold in tomatoes and pepper, if using.
5. Eat!  Can be served cold or room temperature.

Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would be fine)
1- 1.5 tbsp lime juice, to taste (I used 1.5 because I like the zing!)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper, to taste
hot sauce, to taste (optional, I used chipotle Tabasco)

1. Whisk/shake together all ingredients.  Taste and season accordingly to your preference. 
(I like to make my dressings in mason jars, so they can be quickly shaken together)




Black Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo.

Sooo…I said I missed blogging, but then I haven’t posted.  Good thing this is just a hobby. 🙂  To be honest, I never intended to share this recipe anyways, but there was some interest after I posted a picture on Facebook, so here I am with IPhone pictures and a rambling recipe.

I haven’t “introduced” you yet, but my man-friend is awesome.  Awesome for a lot of reasons, but specifically for this post, awesome at giving gifts.  For Christmas, he got me a Kitchenaid mixer.  A bright red, shiny, glorious Kitchenaid mixer which is obviously my favorite kitchen appliance.  To make it even better, for my birthday last month (25 – where is my life going?!) he bought me the pasta maker attachment.  Now, I can have FRESH PASTA ANY TIME I WANT. Yeah, it is as awesome as it sounds.

This black pepper pasta was the third pasta I made, after a basic egg pasta and a basil pasta.  I go with the fettuccini cutter, because fettuccini is the best pasta shape (after wagon wheels, obviously).  For this recipe I used a semolina pasta dough, as an experiment, but this dough is easily adaptable to all purpose flour as well.


Black Pepper Pasta
(Makes 1.25 lbs dough)
3 1/3 cups semolina flour (or all purpose – I use King Arthur)
4 eggs
2 tbsp water (reduce to 1 tbsp for all purpose flour)
2 tbsp oil (omit if using all purpose flour)
2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp salt

1. In Kitchenaid mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix all ingredients 30 seconds.  Change to dough hook, mix 2 minutes. (or do it all by hand!)
2.  Knead by hand 1-2 minutes.  Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
3.  Divide dough into 8 pieces (4 pieces if using all purpose flour)
4.  Run dough through pasta roller on setting 1, folding in half after each roll.  Repeat roll and fold 5-6 times until dough is uniform with no holes and as wide as the roller. (Or, roll by hand as thin as possible)
5.  Progress to setting 5, running dough through each setting once.
6.  Divide the (very) long sheets in half or thirds, dust with flour and continue until all of the dough is rolled.
7. Run each dough sheet through pasta cutter of your choice. (Or, cut into shapes of your choice – a pizza cutter works well!)

After the dough is cut, I like to portion some of it into fettuccini bird’s nests by placing one sheet worth of noodles lightly into a muffin cup and freeze them.  Since I am cooking for two, I don’t need to cook a whole pound+ of pasta at once.  For this batch, I made 8 bird’s nests and hung the rest on a coat hanger while I prepped the sauce/waited for the water to boil.


Of course, fresh pasta is awesome, but if you don’t have a pasta maker, or are feeling lazy (I’m not judging, I eat cereal for dinner sometimes too!) – just use dry pasta and make the sauce!  And no, I am not afraid of recipes that use excessive amounts of butter and/or cream, but I’ve been hearing a lot about cauliflower based sauces and pizza crusts and I thought I’d try it out.  Now, this doesn’t perfectly mimic either the texture or taste of traditional Alfredo, but it is delicious, and that is coming from someone who doesn’t actually like cauliflower and loves Alfredo.

Caulifower “Alfredo” Sauce
5 cups vegetable broth
6 cups frozen (or use fresh!) cauliflower florets
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 (or milk or cream)
2 tbsp minced garlic (6-8 cloves)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil.
2.  Cook cauliflower until tender.  Reserve 1 cup of broth.
3.  In a blender (or if you are using an immersion blender, just use the pot), combine all ingredients including cup of broth and blend until smooth.
4.  Serve hot over pasta or rice.IMG_0192