Monday, December 26, 2011

Winter Quinoa Salad

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, everyone! This was my first vegetarian Christmas, so I decided to make a dish to complement the festive spread. Initially I made it as a replacement for myself for the turkey, but everyone ended up trying it as a side dish and it turned out to be a hit! I thought I'd share the recipe; let me know if you try it and if you use any variations on ingredients!

Winter Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (approximately 1/2 a cup)
Goat cheese
Firm tofu, cubed
Pomegranate seeds
Chopped walnuts
1 orange
Dark maple syrup
olive oil

Boil water, stir in the quinoa, then turn heat to a low setting and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff it with a fork and let it cool. Set it aside. Crack open a pomegranate and release the seeds (I used 1/2 Martha Stewart's method, 1/2 the underwater method -- YouTube search it -- and grab your apron!). Set those aside as well. Cube the tofu (I used 1/2 a block) and marinate it in dark maple syrup, olive oil and juice from 1/2 an orange. Remove tofu from the marinade after about 20 minutes and blot dry to prepare it for the frying pan. Fry the tofu cubes in an olive-oiled pan until they are brown and crispy on at least two sides. This will cook faster than you think, and the maple syrup may burn in the pan, so work quickly! Spoon the quinoa into a large bowl, and stir in arugula. If the quinoa is still a bit warm it will wilt the greens, it depends if you like them leafy or wilted. Top with tofu, goat cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice from the other half of the orange. Serve with a smile!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vegetarian Persuasion

Hey People! Wow, it's been a while! Yes, I've been a bit delinquent when it comes to posting, but sometimes life gets in the way, right? Also, I've been super pumped about this new writing blog my Mom and I are co-creating called Dialogue365. Check it out if you like!

If you've been reading After the Harvest for a while you may pretty much already guessed this, but I am proud to announce that I am officially a vegetarian now! There are a few caveats to this, as per any major announcement, I suppose...

Depending on your definition of a vegetarian, I may not actually be one in your eyes because I still eat some fish, some dairy and eggs. Also, I realize that making an announcement like this on my food blog officially makes me come off as some sort of food snob who actually thinks everyone really cares what she chooses to eat and not eat, but I guess I'm kinda screwed if I want to try to erase that reputation, now, right? ;)

My decision was something I had been considering long before I even started After the Harvest, and it has come to fruition for a variety of reasons, some environmental, some health-related, others more personal. The jury's out on whether or not I'll go full-fledged vegan someday, but for now I feel good about my choices, even though this year's holiday meals are going to be interesting!

What about you? Are you considering vegetarianism? Are you already vegetarian or vegan? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments!

P.S.: Even though the ever-amazing Michael Pollan still eats meat, I don't love him any less.