Wednesday, May 25, 2011

warm quinoa, spinach and shiitake salad

I always try and celebrate the long weekends with something a little special like a cocktail and dessert. This long weekend I made a Sangria. As soon as summer hits we can't resist an excuse to make our favourite red sangria.
To make this I use a bottle of dry red wine, 1/4 cup of cointreau or triple sec, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 lemon thinly sliced & 2 limes thinly sliced. I let this steep refrigerated for at least half a day. To serve, top with lots of fizzy water & ice!

I've blogged about this before, it's Easy Tiramisu from the first Everyday Food book, Great Food Fast.  It's a real standby in this house because it can stand up to variations like Cool Whip instead of whipped cream. I know... to cancel out the inautenticity of Cool Whip I used freshly brewed espresso, an addition of marsala wine and Dutch process cocoa on top. So take that food snobs!

I also tried a brand new recipe over the long weekend. Again, from the first Everyday Food book, Great Food Fast (see a pattern developing?) this Warm Quinoa, Spinach & Shiitake Salad. So, I guess you’re probably thinking this isn’t the most appetizing dinner choice and you wouldn’t be alone. Nuno actually told me he was going to eat Tiramisu for dinner instead. Well, I pushed forward and hammered out this dinner in 20 minutes. It was the most rewarding lack of effort and ingredients I’ve ever mustered. 
This dinner is beyond delicious! It was one of those nice surprises when you don’t know what to expect from a recipe but then it turns around to be something better than you ever could have imagined. It is so balanced in flavours – each ingredient sets off the other. The mushrooms are roasted in the oven with a marinade making them taste almost bacon-y in flavour. And you know how spinach can have ‘that’ flavour – you know the one, that sometimes make it taste like high-iron dirt? This salad mutes that flavour and brings out the nice flavour spinach can have. I imagine this Warm Quinoa, Spinach & Shiitake Salad is relatively healthy so if you’re on a diet, you must try it (hand cut half the olive oil – it doesn’t need it!) If your vegetarian please try this... if you aren’t, try it anyways! Does that cover everyone?

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