Garlic Gold: Tri-Color Quinoa Grain Vegetable Medley Salad that can be Baked too #MeatlessMonday #recipe

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This recipe is a 2-in-1, where you can make a salad or go for a a little protein kick by adding an egg and baking. Bakes in less than 15 minutes! ¬†A Great Spring dish and perfect for our latest California’s weather where it is hot in the day but cold at night.

Let’s begin….

1/4 cup of Tri-Color Quinoa (measure dry and pre-cook with water, with a little salt and pepper)
1/2 cup of Kale (roughly chopped)
1/3 of a cup of Broccoli
1/8 of a cup of Green Bell Pepper
1/2 a Zucchini
1 Slice of Red Onion
1 Slice of White Onion
1 tablespoon of Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (reserved for cooking phase)

Garlic Gold Nuggets to taste and you can also add a Goat Cheese crumble

Optional (if Baking)-
1 egg
Fat of your choice (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, ect.) to oil the dish
Honey Goat Cheese crumbled on top
Garlic Gold Nuggets and an Arugula toss (raw arugula with a drizzle of the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette)

I start by cooking the Quinoa and it takes about 10 minutes. If any water is left, drain and just set aside in a bowl.

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I then start chopping all the vegetables and this is roughly done because I am aiming for bite size.

Heat up a skillet and add the 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil or any fat of your choice (or even none). Start sauteing the onions and bell pepper until you get a nice golden color but keep in mind you want crunch left.

I add the saute onions and bell peppers to the bowl with the Quinoa. Using the same pan, I saute the zucchini for a little over 1 minute because again I aiming for a par-cooked texture and I want the vegetable to get color but preserve some firmness.

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The zucchini gets added to the bowl. I then add the broccoli and kale and again saute for under a minute.

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The cooking intensifies the flavors and takes the bore out of eating your vegetables ūüôā Once everything is in the bowl, I add the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette.

The Garlic Gold adds flavor and this is why we used little to no seasonings beforehand. Toss and then you can enjoy as-is, add the goat cheese and/or move on to baking.

If Baking-
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I used an oven-safe au gratin dish that fits the above contents nicely and allows the egg to have room. It’s approximately 2-cups in size. I used a Coconut Oil and a Butter blend to oil my dish and prevent the egg from sticking.

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I then add the vegetables and Quinoa mix, make sure everything is evenly spread and leveled.

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I cracked 1 egg an it’s up to you if you wish to add a little milk when whisking. Once the egg is whisked, I then simply pour it over the vegetables and add the crumbled goat cheese.

I bake the dish for 15 minutes, with the first half covered (tented with foil so it does not come in contact with the cheese) and the other half uncovered. The vegetables remain with a nice crunch and full of flavor.

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I opted to top my bake with an Arugula toss (arugula and a little dash of the Garlic Gold vinaigrette) and a dash of the Garlic Gold Nuggets. This adds flavor and you get a nice warm and cold contrast.

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This dish can be made ahead and just add the egg and bake when you are ready. You can have the salad on top of romaine lettuce with a toasted pita on the side, but it’s filling, low in calories and fat but most importantly……Garlic Gold delicious! Enjoy!’

 

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You can also make this easy dish by getting your own Garlic Gold Products at:

On-line–¬†http://garlicgold.com/

Visit Garlic Gold on Facebook–¬†https://www.facebook.com/GarlicGold

Twitter–¬†https://twitter.com/garlicgold

See the pretty Garlic Gold products and the other dishes you can create on Pinterest–¬†http://www.pinterest.com/garlicgold/

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I received the above product free of charge from Garlic Gold.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Buttermilk Cake

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Everyone loves pineapple upside down cake. If someone doesn’t, then they haven’t had it made right. Little things make the biggest differences. Like, I always just used canned Pineapple. One day I had a fresh pineapple on the counter and decided to try my recipe with it. Best ever, and I have never gone back! One of my easier cakes to make and perfect during the warmer months. Bakes quickly and you can serve it warm, room temperature or even cold. The buttermilk keeps the cake moist and gives it a unique flavor that is not typically associated with cakes. So, I hope this breaks up the usual and you enjoy it as much as we do.

Let’s begin….

Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons of Butter
  • 3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar

Fruit:

  • 1 whole fresh Pineapple (canned may be used if needed)
  • 6 Maraschino cherries

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup of Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup of Buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 a Vanilla Bean
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) of Cinnamon and Nutmeg

First you start by cutting your pineapple slices and coring the rounds. Set those aside and begin making your glaze.

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Add your butter, brown sugar and maple syrup to a nonstick pan.

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Over medium-low heat, you begin to dissolve the sugar.  I usually use a silicone spatula to make sure undissolved sugar crystals do not get stuck to the sides of the (non-stick) pan. Keep stirring and increase the heat slightly. You will reach a gentle boil as you stir and then continue cooking for about 45 seconds, and then remove the glaze from the stove.

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I take a large lasagna pan (sprayed with cooking spray)

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Pour the glaze carefully over and evenly.  Then place your pineapple slices carefully over the glaze.

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Next comes the cherries.

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Start your cake batter by first blending the unsalted butter with the sugar, until nice and fluffy.

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Add one egg and blend until it is incorporated into the mixture.

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Then add the second the egg and fully incorporate into the mixture.

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Follow with the buttermilk, maple syrup and vanilla. I tend to mix all three and pour them at the same time.  Pour only half of the mixture in.

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Follow by adding the 1/2 Vanilla Bean.

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Then comes the dry ingredients. I mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.

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You then take half of the dry ingredients and add it to the mixer. Mix well until everything is wet, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl.

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I slowly then add the second half of my buttermilk mixture intermediately with the left over half of the dry mixture. I do this so I do not over whip the batter, since this tends to produce a dryer cake if you over beat it. You will end up with a nice smooth mixture by halving the wet and dry, and not over beating.

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Once everything is incorporated, I take the batter and drop spoonfuls into the pan with the glaze and pineapple. I do six large spoonfuls so I can get a nice even layer without disrupting the fruit’s placement.

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Place in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch. You can use a toothpick to check if the cake is done too.

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The sides will be bubbling!

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Allow the cake to cool down for 15 minutes before flipping. I usually place a glass cutting board on top of the cake pan.

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Flip.

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Remove pan.

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I allow for it to cool a bit more and then start cutting, usually 10 minutes.

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Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired!

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You can store the cooled cut cake slices in the fridge (just wrap in plastic) and it holds very well. Enjoy!

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Strawberries~N~Cream Squares

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Strawberries~N~Cream Squares

Being that Easter is approaching and we are embracing Spring, I wanted something light that would showcase the fruit.  I also wanted something that was quick because I again purchased strawberries and picked for the perfect case, to then just forget them in fridge for 3 days!

My crust is identical to the one I made for the Key Lemon bars and since it was a hit, not changing it! ¬†It’s a shortbread crust and please view that¬†recipe¬†here¬†https://samplesandfreebiesgallery.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/welcome-the-first-day-of-spring-with-key-lemon-cream-bars/ for details on¬†preparation¬†but I will note the ingredients needed.
Crust: 
1 stick of Salted Butter (softened)
1 stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
110 grams of Powder Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
3 drops of Almond Extract
300 grams of All-Purpose Flour
Vanilla Bean Cream Filling:
3 5/8 ounces of Mascarpone cheese (softened)
8 ounces of Cream Cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of White Sugar
3/4 ounces of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/4 Vanilla Bean
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
You soften both cheeses by leaving out until soft or like me, I use the microwave in the defrost setting.
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With a mixer or by hand with a whisk, you blend until combined.  You add the white sugar and sweetened condensed milk and again whip, making sure you are mostly lump free.  Then you add both the vanilla extract, and 1/4 of the scrapings from a Vanilla Bean.
Again, whisk until combined.  Last comes the flour and I usually do one tablespoon at a time in order to keep everything nice and smooth.
Fruit Filling:
5 1/2 ounces of Strawberry preserves
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I made my own using the strawberries I purchased before they went bad.  I just cook them down on the stove with some water, a teaspoon of sugar (more or less depending how sweet the berries are), and a teaspoon of fruit pectin.  I add a used Vanilla Bean and cook about 15 minutes or when the product reached the thickness I desire.
Topping:
2/3 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon of ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon
A couple gratings of fresh Nutmeg
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of White Sugar
3 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
To make topping, you combine all the dry ingredients and when incorporated, you then start to add the cold butter until you get crumbles. ¬†Very easy to do by hand or even with a fork….whatever works best for you. ¬†You can also add less or more of the spices to fit your taste.
Once you have pre-baked the crust, you allow for it to cool down just a bit (10 minutes).
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You add the Vanilla Bean cream filling and just spread out evenly.
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I then add the Strawberry Filling and make swirls so everyone gets a good helping of fruit and cream filling, it also looks pretty. ¬†Short on time….you can stop here and bake and still have a great final product!
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If you have a little time, you then make your topping and sprinkle over before baking.
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Once everything is assembled, you simply put it in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Test for doneness by simply measuring the jiggle but keep in mind like brownies, you do not want to wait until firm.  This is sort of like a cheesecake and will continue to cook when you take it out.  I cooled it down 2 hours outside and 2 hours in the fridge.
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I then cut different sized squares because sometimes we want to eat more or less.
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You can serve as-is or with vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy!
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Triple Berry Lattice & Crumble bars

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I made these bars after making preserves, since I figured it would showcase the berries perfectly…..let’s begin.

You start with your crust recipe and double it, as you would when making a double crust pie. I use a William’s Sonoma one that has both butter and shortening. I know there is a debate on which one makes a better crust over the other, so I figure both make a phenomenal crust then :). Use whatever recipe you commonly use, I have no rules!

Once your crust has rested in the fridge for an hour or so, it’s time to get you to work. I used a lasagna pan because I was making squares. I sprayed the pan with PAM (with flour), then placed two “lifters” made of foil. This makes removing your masterpiece easier when it has cooled in the fridge. I then spray a little more PAM and add a layer of parchment, cut and shaped like the pan. In case you are wondering, I do make sure the parchment sticks up a little on the sides, because I want nothing sticking or oozing where it shouldn’t. The PAM helps keep things in place while you assemble and also serves for the purpose of helping things release when needed. It’s my little insurance for my projects. After I complete my craft project above, I roll out the pie dough that will serve as the bottom of my squares. I then make the cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
Plus, 1 tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour (to be added before filling)

Before adding the Cream Cheese filling, take a tablespoon of flour and just sprinkle it on the pie dough.

To make the Cream Cheese Filling, you just combine ingredients until they are smooth and then spread evenly, as this is the first layer. After comes the fruit!

Triple Berry Fruit Filling:
1/4 cup of Blackberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Strawberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Blueberry Preserves

I wanted each bite to have all three berries, so I plopped spoonfuls of each in segments. It was my way to not lose track and to make sure I spread everything evenly without disturbing the cream cheese bottom. I then lightly smoothed out the filling with a spoon.

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Before Baking (all assembled)

As you see the picture shows a crumble and lattice top, I figure like the pie dough debate, I nip this one by making both. I added my lattice top and this I just used a dough cutter to make strips. As you can see, it is not perfect but has that “made at home” appeal. After I did the lattice top, then comes the crumb topping.

Crumble Topping:
2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
2/3 cup of All-Purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of Sugar

I whisk the flour and sugar until incorporated and then used a fork to add the butter. I literally just start pushing down on the butter until everything mixes and sometimes I even use my hands when the butter starts giving me an attitude! You want about pea-sized crumbles, since you add them to the “open squares” in your lattice top. If a crumble rebels and gets on the lattice, no worries as you will be fine.

I then place the pan in the oven, at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. If your top starts browning too quickly, just cover lightly with foil.  From my experience, I only covered for the last 15 minutes in case I got distracted.

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Right out of the oven (after baking)

Once done, I then left the pan out for about 2 hours and then placed it in the fridge for about 2 more hours, while I fixed dinner. Once cooled nicely, I use the foil lifters to lift the entire thing out and begin to cut into squares. You may sprinkle with powder sugar if you desire and these go great with ice cream! Enjoy!

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