You know its fall when recipes call for cranberries…the thoughts of Thanksgiving and warm, comforting food comes to mind when the leaves begin to turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. Well, there are no trees here in Manhattan (aside from Central Park), however, when I take my yearly pumpkin picking trip, I admire the true beauty of the foliage. Cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, o my! Fall is such an exciting time of the year and my favorite season. This fall I will be sharing with you many harvest recipes that you can easily create with local, seasonal foods.
This is the best time of the year to check out your local farmers market where you will discover pumpkin, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and gourds, which can all be incorporated into a delicious dish. So, set aside the pumpkin pie recipe because I’m going to take you on a fall foliage feast! Let’s start off with cranberries, which are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, giving them superfruit status. I recently purchased some fresh cranberries at the Union Square Market here in Manhattan and used them to create this deliciously healthy meal.
Fresh cranberries will start to peak in just a few weeks as we enter October…therefore I thought it would be a great idea to post a delicious quinoa n’ cranberry dish that I made last week.
I decided to throw in some fresh green beans that I picked up at the farmers market- the beans were the perfect addition to this hearty meal- they added a perfect crunch. I often blanch my green beans instead of steaming them. Blanching vegetables gives them a crisp, fresh taste that adds a nice bite to any dish. Once again, I found myself browsing the pantry and fridge for ingredients to create this quinoa masterpiece; lemon juice- a staple in my fridge, crushed red pepper flakes- another staple, fresh mint from the farmers market-not a staple but definitely a fun market splurge, a dash of balsamic vinegar- which adds the perfect tang for my taste buds and a sprinkling of crushed macadamia nuts as a topping for a dose of protein and healthy monounsaturated fat.
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 lb. fresh green beans
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, crushed
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- Dash of balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa per directions on package.
- Cook cranberries in a pot of water for 10 minutes over medium heat just until they pop. Be sure not to over-cook the cranberries, as this will make them bitter.
- While the cranberries are cooking, blanch green beans by boiling a pot of water and pouring it over the beans in a colander.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cranberries and green beans; toss with macadamia nuts, balsamic, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, sea salt and pepper.