Try saying that title 10 times fast! September is one of my favorite months of the year. Not only is it my birthday month (today, actually!), but it’s the time of the year when everyone gets back into the rhythm of life, the air cools and time seems to slow down, if only just a little. Here is San Diego, September isn’t exactly cool… it’s actually one of the warmest, sunniest times of the year, but the beaches are less crowded so you can take a sunset walk without dealing with lots of extra people.
Out in our garden, our veggies are just starting to really take off. We have plenty of fresh herbs, some limes, jalapenos, red and yellow bell peppers, green onions and a few blueberries. While we can’t really make much of a meal out of these things, it has been nice being able to eat things that I’ve grown myself. My garden had a rough start, so I’m really happy to see veggies not just growing but SURVIVING! It’s been a bit of a battle. 🙂
This is one of those great recipes that you really could throw anything into. I call it the farmer’s market skillet because pretty much all of the veggies could probably be picked up at your local farmer’s market. The combo of corn, lemon, basil, zucchini and feta is just perfect for a light summer meal or side. And the quinoa has the protein to hold you over so you don’t need to add any meat to this vegetarian dish. I have made a huge variety of recipes with quinoa, but this light and lemony dish has quickly become a favorite lunch go-to. I like to make a good size batch so that I can eat it several days in a row. All you standard process cleansers out there — this would be a great post-cleanse meal!
1 C quinoa
1.5-2 C chicken or veggie broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive or grape seed oil
1 zucchini, sliced then cut into quarters
1 C cooked corn (fresh is best, but frozen or canned works too)
3 green onions, chopped
handful of crumbled feta
a couple of basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
zest from one lemon
2 T lemon juice
1.5 T local honey
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp white honey balsamic (optional/if you have it)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring your broth to a boil and add your quinoa, allowing it to simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
2. While your quinoa is cooking, mix up your vinaigrette. The easiest thing to do is to combine all of your ingredients (lemon zest, juice, honey, garlic, salt and pepper) in a sealed jar or tupperware bowl and shake to mix. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add your oil and your garlic. Heat the garlic for about a minute, then add in your zucchini and corn and cook until the zucchini is soft and has small areas that are golden, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the green onions.
3. Stir in half of your vinaigrette to your pan of cooked veggies. Add in your cooked quinoa and crumbled feta, stir, then drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Top with your chopped basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Easy. 20 minutes to prepare. Serves 3-4 as a lunch dish or side.
Adapted from iowagirleats.com