Caprese Grain Salad with Spelt

Caprese Grain Salad with Spelt

Caprese salad is one of my summertime favorites. I love how the fresh flavors somehow make red, white and green seem not at all Christmas-y!

I usually make a layered version, with big slices of vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella sprinkled with sliced basil leaves, salt and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil. But I also have a soft spot for mini things (I think this is hard-wired into females of all species?), and little baby balls of mozzarella are no exception. So this time I decided to make a mini caprese, focusing on the awesome textures.

Caprese Grain Salad with Spelt… 

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Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

Hello, beautiful.

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

You should know that I’ve been wanting to post about this salad for a looong time. Ever since I started this blog, in fact. It’s a copycat of my favorite salad at (probably) my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake, Caffe Niche. But every time I’ve made it, it hasn’t quite lived up to the restaurant version, and I had to get it juuust right. But I think I finally did!

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon DressingWarm red quinoa, roasted tomatoes and onions, and lemon dressing served over a bed of arugula. It is just as good as it sounds – the nutty flavor of the quinoa, the sweetness of the roasted vegetables, and the bite of the lemon and arugula all combine to make my perfect salad.

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Spelt Berry Sushi Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower

Spelt Berry Sushi Bowl

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

I wouldn’t be so chipper (I feel morning chipperness is generally uncalled-for), but just look at all these colors. Food like this makes me happy to be alive.

(If you’re still half asleep and don’t feel like eating sushi yet… I apologize. I kind of have a thing for colorful food.)

Spelt Berry Sushi Bowl

In case you missed it, this is Pantry Week here at Coffee & Quinoa: a week of me attempting to simultaneously clean out my cabinets and teach myself to put a meal together without a trip to the store.

This dish is a random weeknight creation that truly belongs in my pantry series. Pawing through the fridge after work one night, I found some leftover veggies and cooked spelt, plus some cauliflower with only a few more days of life left in it. For some reason my sweet potato sushi bowl came to mind. I decided to go for it, but was pretty doubtful as I whipped up the dressing… an Asian dish with cauliflower and spelt, really?

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Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Thank you for all your sweet birthday wishes yesterday! It means so much. I had a great birthday, and I even got to eat one of the cupcakes leftover from yesterday’s blog post. I love it when the leftovers stick around that long!

Sometimes, like yesterday, I like to eat a cupcake… or two. And sometimes, especially after two weeks of experimenting with cupcake recipes, I like to eat a salad.

Then, because I ate a salad, I can totally justify a cupcake. I love the way that works.

So here is this week’s salad, which might be one of my all-time favorites. And that’s a good thing, because I have a lot of cupcakes to make up for earn!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad

This salad is a combination of all my favorite salad-y things. Red cabbage, which is randomly (but truly) one of my favorite foods. Quinoa and spelt, which are not only some more of my favorite foods, but make this salad much heartier than it would otherwise be. And then edamame, carrots, green onions, and pepitas for more protein, sweetness, flavor and crunch. Not to mention the the light and lemony dressing, which adds the perfect zing.

What could be better than all your favorite healthy foods stacked together in a cute and portable jar?

Not much, I’ll tell you that. In fact, when you taste it, you just might start yelling, OH MY GOD, DOUBLE RAINBOW!

Sorry for that reference. I know it’s so 2010. I just couldn’t resist.

This salad makes the absolute best leftovers (as long as you keep the dressing separate), which is key in my life. I’ve been eating it for lunch all week!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

All the ingredients are very sturdy, which also means the salad is super crunchy. (Spelt and red cabbage will do that.) So I may have even liked it best on day 3 or 4, when it was a bit easier on the jaw. (To make it less crunchy, you can put the red cabbage in a strainer and pour a pot of boiling water over it. This will soften it up a bit, but I didn’t bother.)

Enjoy this salad and have a fantastic weekend!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

5.0 from 1 reviews
Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 5-6 servings
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 cup uncooked spelt berries
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
  • 2 cups shelled cooked edamame, defrosted if frozen
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup pepitas
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • heaping Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In separate small pots, bring spelt berries and quinoa to a boil with 1 1/2 cups water each. Simmer until tender but still chewy, 50-60 minutes for the spelt berries and about 15 minutes for the quinoa. Drain excess water and set aside to cool. This can be done ahead of time.
  2. While grains cook, prepare the salad dressing. Blend all ingredients together with an immersion blend (or regular blender).
  3. To assemble salad, layer ingredients in single-serving jars or clear bowls. You can also layer the entire salad in a large clear bowl, or just toss all ingredients together. Serve alongside dressing. Will keep for up to a week in the fridge (with dressing separate).
Notes
Inspired by Oh She Glows.

 

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Kale

farro risotto with butternut squash & kale from coffee & quinoa

Happy Friday! Do you need the weekend as much as I do?

Last weekend, I had a whole list of things to cook and bake. I woke up early on Saturday morning energized to get started, and just kept going all weekend. As much fun as it was to try out a bunch of new dishes, I don’t think this weekend will be like that. I just want to sleep! And ski. Oh yeah… and bake some pies for a Thanksgiving dinner party I’m going to on Saturday night. OK, so maybe it will be a liiiiittle bit like last weekend.

With any luck, I’ll have some pie recipes to share with you next week. For today, I have this risotto, which was part of last weekend’s craziness. Nate says it’s a keeper, and I have to agree with him, seeing as I ate about two servings worth of samples as I stood over the stove.

farro risotto with butternut squash & kale from coffee & quinoa

I was pretty scared of risotto after my last attempt, on Valentine’s Day, left me a hot sweaty mess after stirring the stuff for about an hour longer than the recipe called for. Not very romantic, especially since I was pretty grumpy by the time it was done. It was also a farro risotto… the stuff just would not cook! Nate’s mom pointed out to me that I should use pearled farro, which cooks a lot more quickly. Make sure you use that here to reduce the time you spend stirring! I found a package of it in Whole Foods near the rice (although they didn’t have it in bulk).

farro risotto with butternut squash & kale from coffee & quinoa

I am all about easy cooking (very little patience over here). So if I can make risotto and not be be swearing by the end… trust me, you can, too!

For this risotto, the squash and kale are cooked separately (this could even be done ahead of time) and then added at the end. The farro, onion, and garlic are simmered with white wine and vegetable broth. I tend to favor a “stir once or twice and then just stay in the vicinity” technique rather than constant stirring. That way I don’t go crazy, and I even get some dishes washed while I cook.

There is a fair amount of olive oil and vegan butter going on here. So it’s definitely a treat, but a tasty one worth having once in a while!

farro risotto with butternut squash & kale from coffee & quinoa

5.0 from 1 reviews
Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Kale
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 4 as an entree
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter, divided (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • large bunch of kale (I used curly), stems removed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro (can use regular farro but cooking time will double)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 large or 4 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, warmed (you may use slightly more or less depending on cooking time)
Instructions
  1. First, roast the squash. (You can do this step ahead of time and keep roasted squash in the fridge.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast about 35 minutes, until squash is tender, stirring 2-3 times in the process to cook evenly.
  2. Next, toast the farro. Heat remaining olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add farro and toss to coat. Toast the farro about 1-2 minutes in the pan (you will hear it start to sizzle), then transfer to the oven (still at 375) to finish toasting for about 6 more minutes. Stir once after 3 minutes. The farro won't look toasted, but it will start to smell a bit toasted and will be sizzling. Remove the farro to a bowl and wipe out your skillet.
  3. Now we’ll actually cook the risotto. In the same skillet, melt 2 Tbsp vegan butter over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about 2 minutes more. Now add 1/2 cup of the wine and increase heat to high to deglaze the pan. Stir once or twice, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer until the wine is almost evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add farro and about 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to the skillet. Stir and let simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed. Continue doing this, alternating veg stock with the rest of the white wine, until your farro is tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook your kale by sauteing with a small amount of water, tossing continuously, until bright green, about 30 seconds. Run under cold water until cool, then set aside.
  6. Once farro is tender, stir in remaining Tbsp vegan butter, squash, and kale. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot!
Notes
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine via http://iheartyum.com/main-course/farro-risotto-with-butternut-squash-and-kale/

 

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