Alameda Personal Chef Asks "What's For Dinner?"

As a Personal Chef, I hope to help busy families with healthy and simple meal ideas to get them through the busy work week.

So, what's for dinner?

On the menu today, I have a fantastic summer quinoa salad with toasted garlic chips, it's the perfect match for summer.

Summer Quinoa Salad with Toasted Garlic Chips

For 2 Servings


1 Cup Quinoa ( I used Trader Joe's Tricolor Quinoa)

1 Ear of Corn

1/2 Cucumber, Small Diced

Handful of Baby Heriloom Tomatoes, or any tomato you prefer, Small Diced

5-6 Basil Leaves, Finely Chopped

2 Sprigs of Green Onion, Finely Chopped

1/2 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbles

1/2 Cup of Pinenuts, Toasted

Juice of 1 Lemon

3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Sliced

Salt and Pepper

Cumin * Optional

1/3 Cup Cooking Oil


Cook quinoa according to package, let cool to room temp. Add a pinch of salt, and cumin (optional) during the cooking process.

If you have a gas range, gently blacken your ear of corn over the open flame, using tongs to turn. If you do not have a gas range, you can simply cook your corn in a pot of boiling water till softened. Let cool, and slice the corn kernels onto your cutting board. 

In a saute pan, add about 1/3 cup of cooking oil, or just enough to coat the bottom of your pan with enough oil to pan fry your garlic chips. Heat oil to medium high, do not let the oil get to smoking point. You can test the heat by dipping a garlic chip into the oil using your tongs. If it starts to sizzle your oil is hot enough. Add your garlic chips and let fry, about 2 minutes, until just lightly browned. Alternately, simply roast some garlic in the oven if you do not want a pan of hot oil going on in the kitchen. To roast your garlic, chop the top off a head of garlic, place on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly, and roast in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, cucumber, tomato, basil, green onion, pine nuts, feta, corn. Squeeze on some lemon juice, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Serve, and top with garlic chips. And dinner is served!

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hobnob August 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
What a wonderful dish! I love it! Of course I'd modify the recipe to my liking (i hate feta, so i'd switch with parmasean(sp) cheese instead). Thanks! I have most of these ingredients at home. Oh and i'm gonna try and substitute the Quinoa for Farro!
Jaan Carter August 02, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Thanks for a yummy recipe, Kristine! And to hobnob, et al., you could also use rice instead of quinoa, but quinoa is so good for you! If you're dairy-free, try substituting dried cranberries or raisins for the cheese. Also, when you want to cook anything in vegetable oil above medium heat, use coconut oil. Otherwise, olive oil is good, or walnut oil, or flax seed oil. And if you're gluten-free, you can make your own lentil chips. ^_^


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