Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quinoa and Fresh Vegetable Salad

Last night I dreamed I was on a reality cooking show.

Gordon Ramsay was my judge. It wasn't pretty. I don't remember the details, but I think I pushed them out of my mind pretty quickly when I woke up.

I know there was some sort of a challenge, and it involved cooking meat. And I knew I was supposed to taste everything, but I just couldn't bring myself to, even though I knew it meant failure.

Gordon was not impressed. He didn't seem to see a place for vegetarians in his cooking show. Initially I assumed I was making up his disdain for vegetarians, but a quick google search revealed otherwise. Google "Gordon Ramsay and Vegetarians" and the first headings that come up read like they're from the tabloids.

Macca slams 'stupid' TV chef Gordon Ramsay for anti-vegetarian rant

Why is Gordon Ramsay so vile to vegetarians?

Ramsay's pizza joke outrages vegetarians

Gordon Ramsay's anti-vegetarian pranks

 Within that parade of articles, I was encouraged to see one titled Gordon Ramsay Finally Empathizes with Vegetarians.

And I've got to say, it's about time.

I've been a vegetarian since freshman year of college, and I've played around with being a pescetarian since then. It just so happened that I gave up meat for a trial period, and a few months later I realized I hadn't missed it at all. It might have helped that I was eating three meals a day in my college cafeteria, which also served food in all the New Jersey prisons.

Most recently, I've been playing around with cutting out dairy in my savory cooking.

Here's one incredibly easy recipe I've stumbled across. I love quinoa in everything, and the addition of fresh vegetables from the farmers' market kept me coming back for more. My salad was loaded with corn, zucchini, tomatoes and black beans.

A sneak peek into my new kitchen!
I'm not sure what I would make for Gordon Ramsay if he came over for dinner or if I ever find myself on his reality show again, but I've found plenty of recipes to make for myself. 

Quinoa and Fresh Vegetable Salad
recipe inspired by the farmers' market and all the incredible fresh produce there

one pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
two ears corn, husks removed and raw corn cut from the cob
1 tablespoon basil, chopped (add it if you have it, but don't go out of your way for it!)
one 15-ounce can black beans, drained
two zucchinis (I used a combination of green and yellow), diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, separated into single tablespoons
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth 

Prepare quinoa according to package directios: Heat 3 cups vegetable broth in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa. Return the mixture to a boil, bring the heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the quinoa reaches your desired consistency. 

In a medium saucepan, saute diced zucchini with one tablespoon olive oil and two teaspoons soy sauce. Saute until the zucchini just begins to brown and still has a bit of crunch to it. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the prepared ingredients. Stir.

Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.


  1. Kate! This sounds and looks tasty! Also I am amazed at how exponentially larger your kitchen is then the one I visited! I'm excited to see what comes of everything produced here :)

    1. Thanks Kate! It's such a treat to have so much space to cook in. I need to get a smaller cookie sheet before I do much baking, but there's a lot of potential here!

  2. Your salad sounds fantastic - what a perfect summer meal! I'm so happy for you that you have a larger kitchen. Such a wonderful feeling isn't it. (And I would never have to worry about what to make Mr. Ramsay since he would never be invited in! Can you tell I'm not a fan?)

    1. It is a wonderful feeling--thank you! I can understand about Mr. Ramsay, though I did eat in his NYC restaurant, which was quite delicious!

  3. There are a few cooking shows I've considered applying for but haven't because I know how poorly some of the judges perceive vegetarian food...and so I'd have to prove myself doubly as much. If only they realized how well we really eat! I'm loving this quinoa salad. Sounds majorly delicious.

    1. I haven't ever considered applying (I've got too many techniques to learn first), but I have noticed the trend toward putting down vegetarian food. Imagine if I told them I was cutting dairy out too! The horrors!

  4. LOL about the Gordon Ramsay dream. Ha. Mhmm I love quinoa, but I'm not quite sure how to eat it besides just straight out of the cooking pot. This looks delicious and filling.

  5. Congratulation to your new kitchen!

    I have not try cooking quinoa and love to try it one day...

    Funny that you are thinking of cooking and Gordon Ramsay in your dreams... I love to be a vegetarian too but have to live and cook for 2 meat eaters... *sign*

    Nice to know you through blogging and now following you at blogger and Pinterest.


    1. Hi Zoe! One benefit of living alone is certainly being able to cook and eat what I want. I'm also lovely to have some very flexible friends. Thanks for following at blogger and Pinterest. I'm following you too!