Bejeweled Quinoa, Grilled Kale & Cashew Creme

Beguiled by the 100 degree weather problem in Portland, I did what any girl with sense would do -- I made an alfresco dinner and I bought an air conditioner. Now, instead of complaining about the rain and staying indoors, I complain and stay indoors with my beloved cooling machine. It is positioned about 1 ft from the hammock, so I can read (with a blanket on!) with the freezing air blowing by my face. It's fantastic . . . anyway, the farmer's market was brimming with kale, radishes and fresh herbs. These ingredients had been on my mind all day, along with the red quinoa (so pretty) I picked up a few weeks ago. I was thinking of an inverted doma and creme sauce combination and set to work.

Grilled Kale:
Brush a bunch of kale with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on medium-flame bbq and cook, turning once for 5 minutes. The greens will wilt a little, but still retain a nice crunch and toasted edges.

Careful not to grill the kale too long. If in doubt, go shorter in time than longer.

Bejeweled Quinoa
serves 4 as main course

1 c quinoa
2 c water or vegetable stock
pinch salt
1 c sweet corn (frozen and defrosted is fine)
1 scallion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
3 tbsps toasted pine nuts
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsps water
salt and pepper to taste
1 radish, chopped (optional garnish)
more scallions, chopped (optional garnish)

Bring quinoa to boil in pot, then cover and turn heat to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. When finished, set aside in bowl in the fridge for use later.

In large serving bowl mix corn, scallion, herbs and pine nuts. In small mixing bowl, pour in olive oil, tahini, mustard, vinegar, and water. Whisk this dressing until fully emulsified (it will be a smooth thickness). Add quinoa and dressing to serving bowl and stir to combine. You can eat this now (delish!) or let the flavors meld a little (also delish!) on the counter while sipping a lemonade. Garnish quiona with radishes, more herbs and scallions, if desired. Plate with cashew creme and kale.

Cashew Creme
serves 4
Perfect accompaniment to this grain dish and veggies, but equally good as a sandwich spread, crudites dip or a decadent pasta dish.
1 c cashews (salted are fine, just don't add any other salt)
1 c water (may need to add a bit more depending on your blender or food processor)
2 tbsps canola oil
pinch salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blitz until a creamy sauce is created (about 1 or 2 minutes pulsing). Add salt (if using) and pepper at end to taste.


  1. You are too cool! Thanks for brunch on Sunday, i'm making the Quinoa dish tomorrow for Dinner/lunch for the next day. Hope to hang sooN!