Quinoa Snap Pea Salad

You may have heard that we had an earthquake in D.C. on Tuesday. No, that doesn't really have anything to do with this recipe other than that it's what we had for dinner later that night (after evaluating the damage to our apartment and having several drinks to settle our nerves) (okay, the drinking was just me). Due to all the excitement and commotion, I forgot to take a picture of it that night -- so you all will have to settle with a cellphone pic snapped of my lunch leftovers the next day. They were still delicious, by the way.

Quinoa Snap Pea Salad
From Food & Wine
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 cup minced chives

In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, simmer the peas until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain and spread out on a large plate to cool, then pat dry. Cut the peas on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until all of the water has evaporated and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff the quinoa, then transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, combine the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the peas to the quinoa with the tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, chives and dressing; stir. Season with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.

Mexican Pasta Salad

Wow, it's been forever. This is what happens in DC during August -- everyone goes on vacation, even food bloggers. The beau and I enjoyed a delightful week hiking in the Pacific northwest earlier this month, and I've just stayed in that vacation mentality with regards to posting new recipes and photos.

But I'm going to whip myself back into shape, starting with this delightful Mexican pasta salad. I feel like I've been making a lot of pasta salads this summer, but what's not to like about them? When you balance out a moderate amount of pasta (i.e.: carbs) with lots of fresh veggies and a light but flavorful dressing, you end up with a surprisingly healthy meal. Perfect for end-of-summer produce, too!

Mexican Pasta Salad
From Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
  • 8 oz short pasta (such as rotini, elbows, penne, or a mix)

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

  • 3 scallions, sliced

  • Bell pepper (any color), chopped

  • 14-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • Medium tomato, chopped

  • 1/4 cup olives (Spanish, or whichever variety you prefer), chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro (more or less, to taste)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • Salt and pepper

  • Cheddar cheese, grated (optional--vegans can omit)

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add the corn kernels to the pot during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine scallions, bell pepper, black beans, tomato, olives, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and pepper. Add the pasta and corn, and salt to taste. Serve with grated cheddar (if using) and extra cilantro.