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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple spring party dishes

Quinoa with radishes, orange peppers, cucumbers and feta

Quinoa with radishes, orange peppers, cucumbers and feta cheese is an easy do-ahead party salad. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

SPRINGTIME QUINOA WITH FETA, BELL PEPPER AND RADISHES

1 1⁄2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed

3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided

2 Persian cucumbers, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 orange bell pepper, cut in 1⁄2-inch dice

2 ribs celery, chopped

3 large radishes, chopped

1⁄3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

2 scallions, green part only, chopped

1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

1. Cook the quinoa with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt according to package directions; transfer to a large bowl and let cool 15 minutes.

2. Stir the cucumbers, bell pepper, celery, radishes, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, basil, cheese, lemon juice, oil, remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and black pepper into the couscous; mix well. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 283 calories, 9 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 439 mg sodium

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PASTA KALE CAESAR SALAD

16 ounces bow tie pasta

1⁄4 cup canola mayonnaise

1⁄4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 large bunch kale, (about 1 pound), stem removed and leaves chopped

8 medium radishes, sliced

 

1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

2. Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl; whisk thoroughly. Toss in the pasta, kale and radishes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 308 calories, 11 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 278 mg sodium

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PANZANELLA WITH CUCUMBER, FRESH MOZZARELLA AND TOMATOES

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

1 (12-ounce) baguette, cut in 1-inch cubes

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 large seedless cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut across in 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons drained capers

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut in 1⁄4-inch dice (about 1 cup)

1⁄2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

 

Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and marjoram in a large bowl until smooth. Add the bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, capers, mozzarella and basil and toss well. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 281 calories, 10 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 528 mg sodium

TIP: These dishes may be prepared a day ahead and dressed up to an hour before serving.

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