Tag Archives: Cucumber

Zucchini, Grape and Cucumber Quinoa

10 Apr

When I think Spring, I think fresh fruits and veggies.  Without realizing it, I simplify all of my recipes to feature the food, instead of covering it in breading and spices.  This Zucchini, Grape and Cucumber Quinoa is the perfect fresh Spring meal.  It’s a light simple side for dinner, that would pair nicely with grilled chicken or seafood.  I also take it in for lunch; it’s perfect served at room temperature or chilled right from the fridge.

Zucchini, Grape and Cucumber Quinoa (2 servings)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 a small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 of a large cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tbs feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 red grapes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper

Bring your chicken stock and quinoa to a boil in a medium pot.  Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover to continue cooking for 12-15 minutes.  You want to make sure your stock is absorbed.  If you’ve never worked with quinoa, it will be cooked when the center is almost translucent and there’s a ring around the grain.  It’s delightfully chewy, and you can use it a million ways.  It’s also filled with protein and very filling.

While your quinoa is cooking, chop up your zucchini, cucumber and grapes.  Once your quinoa is finished, stir in salt and pepper, and add your grapes and veggies.  Then stir in feta cheese and serve.  Simple, huh?  I think the raw veggies give this dish a nice fresh taste.  The grapes add a bit of sweetness, and the feta is salty, and provides a nice balance.  If you need to turn up the flavor, try adding some lemon or fresh herbs.  I think parsley or dill would be delicious in this dish. 

Quick Tzatziki Dip

19 Sep

A few days ago I made a light fig cake.  Those of you who know me, know I’m unable to sit still while waiting for anything.  So, I decided I would throw together a Quick Tzatziki Dip to distract me from staring down the timer or perching in front of the oven window.

Quick Tzatziki Dip

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (greek or whole milk)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • half a medium-sized cucumber, diced into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • sprinkle of salt, pepper and oregano to taste

In a bowl add your yogurt, chopped cucumber, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.  Stir to make sure you have the right consistency, and add salt, pepper and oregano.  Taste to adjust the flavors and serve cool from the fridge with fresh raw veggies or warm toasted pita.  Most traditional tzatziki dips include fresh chopped dill instead of oregano. I leave this part up to you. I also think it’s delicious with grilled chicken, lamb or even salmon.

 This dip is neither complicated nor photogenic.  It IS flavorful, fast and a real crowd-pleaser.  Try making this for your next gathering.

Thai X-ing Review

5 Sep

Hi friends!  We’re friends right?  I’m asking because friends can keep a secret, and I am about to write about one of the best kept secrets in DC.

I first heard about Thai X-ing from my much cooler, more adventurous, younger sister K-mac.  She told me that 20 of her friends were having her birthday dinner in this guy’s house in Shaw, it was seven plus courses of Thai food, byob, and cash only.  Let’s just say I did not have high hopes.

As usual (and I may never live this down), she was right about this place.  It’s legit.  I went for a second time on Friday for a friend’s going-away party.  The food was so good, I thought we might have changed the guest of honor’s mind!

Here’s a look at our meal to the best of my recollection.  I’m not 100% sure on the names of all of these courses, as the chef changes his menu frequently for the group dining option.

Course #1  Stuffed Cucumber and Ground Pork Soup.

Course #2 Spicy Ginger Ground Chicken with Parsley. This dish is so hot it gets your adrenaline going like a roller coaster.  While the carnivores sweated our way through this dish, the chef served my veg sister a spicy cabbage noodle dish (not pictured).

Course #3 Pumpkin CurryThis dish is a house specialty and I heard the chef serves it regularly with the group menu.  Frankly, I would have been happy just having this dish for dinner! 

Course # 4 Steamed Whole Fish with Garlic Pepper Sauce.

Course #5 included a Tofu and Bean dish (above) and a Beef and Eggplant Stir Fry (not pictured).

Course # 6 Chicken Drumsticks in Cinnamon CurryAgain, I’m not sure what else was in this rich curry, but there was definitely a note of cinnamon in the background.

Course # 7 Red Mussels (above) and Drunken Noodles (below).

Course # 8 Sliced Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice.  I’m not really a mango-lover, but still ate a piece.  The sticky rice was just awesome and I could probably eat it everyday.

I’m giving the food an A for authenticity and overall amazingness.  Since I really only care about the food…my Overall Rating is an A for Thai-XingThis place has no ambiance (and no shoes permitted), so bring excellent company and wear comfortable clothes.  

As my friends, I invite you to check this place out.  But shhhhhhh!  Let’s keep this place on the down-low, and to quote the great Adam Sandler, “no-one gots to know about it!”