Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad

Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad

For someone that hates to be late to anything It seems I am always last to jump on the bandwagon when trying new ingredients in the kitchen. For the first time ever I have tried Quinoa!  I tried it in this layered Mason jar salad and now I am a huge fan!

Quinoa, pronounced (keen-wah), is considered to be a whole grain but it actually is not. It’s a seed and it’s gluten-free, cholesterol-free, high in protein, and provides 9 essential amino acids. It is thought to help stave off a number of diseases, reduces the frequency of migraines and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.

I love to keep these layered jar salads in the fridge for quick and easy lunches or those dinners when you have no time to cook. They generally start with the dressing in the bottom of the jar, followed by the hardier ingredients, keeping the lettuce near the top of the jar to keep the salad crisp. This salad will last 3 to 4 days stored in the refrigerator.

 

Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 quart Mason jars, with lids
  • 1 c. Quinoa
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
  • ¼ c. diced red onion
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ c kalamata olives, seeds removed and cut in half
  • 5 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
Instructions
  1. Combine rinsed Quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or until Quinoa has absorbed all of the broth.
  2. Turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. Let Quinoa steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in chopped dill and red onion. Let cool.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and Dijon until mixed well. Divide evenly between the 4 quart jars. Layer the veggies in the jar starting with the tomatoes, the bell pepper and cucumber.
  4. Divide the Quinoa among the jars, spooning it in. Top with feta and olives. At this point you can press down the ingredients slightly in the jar.
  5. Top off each salad with a handful of chopped lettuce. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Pour the contents into a bowl when you are ready to eat!

 

Share Button

Amye’s Top Recipes from 2016

Amye's-Top-Recipes-from-2016

 

 

One of my favorite post each year is my top picks. I’m running a little late this year, but I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to share my favorite recipes from 2016 with you!

It’s obvious at first glance that I enjoy cheese, chipotle peppers, sugar, and food with a Mexican flair. Because I am trying new recipes much of the time, I often prepare a recipe only once. However, my top picks for 2016 are recipes that I make over and over again! These are all dishes that my family and I enjoy. These are the foods that I crave.

I think it would be fun to sit down one day and figure out my ALL-TIME favorite NJSD recipes!! Maybe that will be an upcoming post!

In the meantime, visit or revisit these fabulous recipes from 2016. Simply click on the recipe title below to be redirected to the original post.

 

Amye's-Top-Recipes-from-2016-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Varsity has nothing on these delicious Crispy Onion Rings!  They are fast and easy to prepare and worth the effort!

 

My cousin’s recipe for this Garden Dill Veggie Sandwich is simply the best!

 

Maybe it’s a little cold outside for these fabulous Peaches and Coconut Cream Popsicles, but they will be on the menu here soon!

 

The Cilantro Sauce takes these Fajita Kabobs over the top!  This is a must try recipe!

 

Sweet Potato bread is amazingly moist!  I seldom make the pineapple butter but for special occasions it’s a wonderful addition!

 

Not only does this Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake look beautiful, it also tastes great!

 

This homemade enchilada sauce is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t been making it all along!  Make these tasty Chicken Enchiladas for an easy weeknight dinner!

 

Customize this recipe with as many chipotle peppers as you like.  I love the wonderful smoky flavor of chipotle peppers in Amye’s Smoky Cheese Dip!

 

My aunt’s recipe for Heirloom Carrot Cake is THE best carrot cake I’ve ever had.  I love this frosting!

 

Here’s another super easy recipe, Fried Chicken Tacos with Buttermilk Jalapeno Sauce.  I simply pick up chicken tenders at Zaxby’s then make the sauce for a delicious and simple meal for the family!

 

This smoky, spicy barbecue sauce adds tons of flavor to this yummy Smoky Barbecue Chicken Sandwich!  I keep this sauce in the fridge all of the time!

 

These wonderful Peanut Butter Fingers are the first recipe I ever cooked on my own as a teenager.  They are a great treat to this day…many years later!

 

I love the taste of pickles and olives.  This Olive Bruschetta is a sure winner for your next party!

 

Notice this is the third family recipe that I picked for a 2016 favorite.  Make my aunt’s Tea Cake recipe and you may never make another cookie!  They are just that good!

 

You will not find many casserole recipes on NJSD but this one is a keeper!  This ooey, gooey Cheesy Onion Casserole is high on the list of comfort foods in our house!

 

Now I am craving all my favorites!   I always enjoy your comments and I would enjoy hearing from you now.  Do you have a favorite recipe from NJSD that you have tried and you make it over and over again?  Leave a comment on NJSD or email me at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com.  My goal for 2017 is to have more reader involvement.  So please, if you enjoy NJSD or you have a favorite recipe, or you just want to say “hi”, let me hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

Layered Salad in a Jar

Layered-Salad-in-a-Jar-1

 

Memories of Easter make me homesick. Not only for home but everybody and everything familiar with home. Growing up in a little North Georgia town where everybody married and settled down in the same town I had the great opportunity of actually having a relationship with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I grew up on a little dirt road where I could walk to my grandparent’s house. My best friends (my cousins) lived just next door.

Families are smaller and more scatter these days. Even my kids don’t know their cousins and extended family the way I did. I have enjoyed moving and living in different cities as an adult, but did I cheat my children of the great family memories like I have?

If you are lucky enough to be gathering with family this Easter, here is a salad that everyone will love. You can assemble it the day before, and it will hold up great. This recipe comes from Pastry Queen Parties by Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman. It is one of my favorite things to make up and have for lunch on weekdays. These salad jars would be perfect for picnics too.

Just a quick update on my recovery. Other than pain from the staples in my heel I am doing great. I will be in a cast by the time you read this. I still can’t stand or walk on my surgery foot, but if all goes well hopefully that will come in two weeks! I do have a touch of cabin fever, or maybe it’s farm fever. I would just love to hop in the old Suburban and drive! That will not come for a while but at this point the simple act of walking will be great!

Wishing each of you a blessed and happy Easter!

Layered Salad in a Jar
 
Author:
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
  • ½ c. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. milk honey
  • ⅔ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lb. orzo pasta
  • 1 (16-oz.) bag baby greens, spinach, arugula, or romaine
  • 5 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ c. pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, coarsely chopped (with peel)
  • ½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano, or 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE DRESSING: In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the feta. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. TO MAKE THE SALAD: In a large pot, cook the orzo in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking. Put the orzo in a large bowl and toss with ½ cup of the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together the green oinions, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber. In a separate small bowl, stir together the ½ c. feta and the oregano.
  3. TO ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS: Have 12 (1-pint_ wide mouth canning jars with lids ready. Spoon ⅓ c. of the orzo into the bottom of each jar, and follow with 1 layer each of the following; ¼ c. green onion-tomato-olive-cucumber mix, 2 tsp. feta-oregano mix, and ½ c. packed greens. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the dressing on top of each salad. (You will have some dressing left over for another use.) Top with lids and refrigerate until needed. To serve, shake the jar to distribute the dressing.
  4. DO IT EARLY; The dressing and orzo can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Assemble the salad in jars up to 6 hours before it is to be served. Keep it cold until serving time.

 

 

 

 

Share Button

Greek Chickpea Salad

Greek Chickpea Salad

In Georgia we are lucky enough to enjoy all four seasons.  I love the holidays that come with winter and the occasional snow, the beautiful flowers of spring and the perfect temperatures, the barefoot and beach days of summer along with the fresh garden produce, and the crisp air, apples, and beauty of fall.  It never fails, when a new season starts to come around I’m more than ready for the change.  In my lifetime, I have lived several places throughout Georgia and even in Florida for a few years.  I love the south and there is no place I would rather be!

The warm days that we had recently have me longing for summer!  I’m ready to pack up the sweaters and boots and pull out the shorts and flip-flops.  Along with the clothing changes I’m also ready for the menu changes.  Salad weather is just around the corner, but I couldn’t wait!  I made this wonderful Greek Chickpea Salad for my family to enjoy over the weekend.  It’s easy and versatile and full of wonderful flavor!  This recipe is really just a guide because you can use the ingredients that you and your family enjoy.  I like cucumbers in my salad but my mother-in-law prefers artichokes, so mix it up and have fun with it.  This is best made a few hours before serving.

Greek Chickpea Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or mint
  • ¾ c. chopped bell pepper
  • ½ pint halved grape tomatoes
  • ¼ c. red onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. halved kalamata olives
  • ½ cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • ½ c. feta, cubed or crumbled
  • 15-oz. can artichokes, drained
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine chickpeas, parsley, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, onion, olives, cucumber, feta and artichokes in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and sugar together with a whisk. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well incorporated.
  3. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Store in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Share Button

Greek Salad Dressing

IMG_2451

 

Sometimes the greatest treasures lie at the bottom of your purse!  That’s exactly where I found this recipe, scribbled on a tiny piece of paper, floating among lost coins, numerous pens, about 6 tubes of lipstick, cough drops, and a wadded up twenty-dollar bill.  The twenty was exciting but the recipe is a treasure.  Typically I would have assumed the piece of paper was an old grocery list but this time I decided to take a look.  It had no title and was sloppily scribbled with no instructions, but it was obviously a salad dressing recipe.  Most likely I jotted this recipe down while waiting in a dentist or doctors office.

All of the sudden the meal that I was thinking of taking my cousin and her husband was set in stone.  The doctor had my cousin, Nancy, off her feet so I wanted to help her out and take a meal.  I had already considered Spanakopita with my layered Greek salad and this new recipe would be great.  It was delicious!  Don’t be intimidated by the amount of garlic.  I was a little concerned that it would overpower the dressing but it doesn’t.

Greek Salad Dressing
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • ½ extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c. kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a quart jar and shake to combine.
  2. For a Greek salad layer lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, purple onion, black olives, and feta cheese. Toss with dressing just before serving.

 

Share Button