Gluten-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

Whenever we’re hanging out with a crowd, be it a weekend at the farm or a stay at a beach house, we always bring a big batch of some sort of cold salad. It’s great to have an extra lunch or dinner side pre-made and also good for nibbling on throughout the day. One of my go-to favorites is a twist on tabbouleh.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh by somethingwewhippedup.com

Gluten-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh by somethingwewhippedup.com

The use of quinoa (instead of the usual bulgur) and chickpeas makes this filling side a protein-rich, gluten-free dish. Fresh herbs, lemon juice—and my secret ingredient, lemon zest—all add a nice refreshing pop of flavor.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (follow package directions)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

2. Add the quinoa, chickpeas, scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber and tomatoes. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning (including olive oil and vinegar) if desired. Serve at room temperature or chill.

SWWU Tip: Want some extra flavor? Cook your quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock instead of water.

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Sugar Rush

My morning coffee—and many other treats—will never be the same, thanks to the vanilla sugar we recently made. Recycling the beans used for our delicious homemade vanilla extract, we made two batches of the sweetener. One was made with standard granulated sugar and the other was made with raw sugar. I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other, but I expect each one to carve out its own place in our kitchen. So far, the raw version has worked well to top muffins and french toast, while the granulated sugar works best when incorporated into baking recipes (like these brownies). Both give coffee and iced coffee a nice hint of flavor and I can’t wait to jazz up my summertime sweet tea (stay tuned) with a few spoonfuls.

Vanilla Sugar by somethingwewhippedup.com

Vanilla Sugar by somethingwewhippedup.com

Vanilla Sugar

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup sugar (granulated or raw)
  • glass jar
  • 3 vanilla beans (used is fine), split down the middle

1. Pour sugar into the glass jar. Trim the vanilla beans down to 2- to 3-inch segments so they’ll be completely covered by sugar once placed in the jar. Add to the jar, secure the lid tightly and shake until well combined. Set aside and shake the jar every few days. The flavor should develop within a week and will get stronger and stronger every day. I was happiest with ours after two weeks.

SWWU Tip 1: If you’ll be using previously used beans for this, be sure to let them sit out on the counter for a few hours to dry out. They shouldn’t be wet when placed in the sugar.

SWWU Tip 2: Using fresh pods for this? Split each down the middle, remove the seeds and add everything to the jar. Mix to combine. 

SWWU Tip 3: This can be a never-ending jar of sweetener. As the level gets lower, just add more sugar to the jar. If you notice the flavor isn’t as strong, swap in some new vanilla beans.

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A Snack Worth Going Bananas For

I’m a big fan of bananas. Typically they’ll end up as a base for a sundae or sliced up and added to a piece of toast topped with Nutella. Of course, I always mange to let a few from every bunch I get over-ripen so they can be used to make the perfect banana bread. This past weekend I decided to try something new and baked up some lightly sweetened slices and ended up with a delightful afternoon snack. With crispy edges and a slightly soft middle, these tasty rounds can quickly become an addiction. See for yourself.

Baked Banana Chips

Baked Banana Chips by somethingwewhippedup.com

Baked Banana Chips

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 bananas, sliced into thin coins
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, butter, salt and brown sugar. Toss to coat. Spread banana slices in an even layer on the wire rack over the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and crisp on the edges (cooking times may vary based on how thick your slices are). Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Baking the Baked Banana Chips by somethingwewhippedup.com

Baking the Baked Banana Chips by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip 1: These chips will crisp up a bit more as they cool. Be sure they are room temperature before storing to prevent them from becoming soggy. They’re best if eaten within a day or two of baking and taste especially good within a few hours of coming out of the oven.

SWWU Tip 2: These taste great on top of ice cream, yogurt or on their own. Enjoy!

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More Peas, Please!

Peas don’t get enough respect. The simple little spears can offer a pop of color and fresh flavor to any meal, especially this time of year. What’s not to love? Brian and I recently whipped up this simple side for a recent dinner party and have been craving more of it for the last few weeks. Make some and see for yourself!

Pea Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing and Crispy Bacon by somethingwewhippedup.com

Pea Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing and Crispy Bacon by somethingwewhippedup.com

Pea Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing and Crispy Bacon

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1/2 pound snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the snow peas and snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer all three to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and set aside to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, mayonnaise and lemon juice until well combined. Add the lemon zest, parsley and salt. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly.

4. Toss peas in dressing and top with cooked bacon.

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Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Our new stand mixer arrived late last week and we needed a recipe to christen it with. Would it be a simple whipped cream, perhaps some homemade butter or even a creamy meringue? We couldn’t decide what to let our new kitchen workhorse tackle first. Then I got a craving for some oatmeal cookies…

Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

We ended up whipping of a batch of crunchy on the outside, but chewy on the inside oatmeal cookies. Instead of raisins, these are flavored with bourbon-soaked apple pieces. What could be wrong with that? Let me tell you: Absolutely nothing!

Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 3.5 dozen

  • 3/4 cup diced dried apple (from about 10 rings)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups rolled oats

1. In a small bowl, combine the dried apple and bourbon. Toss to coat and set aside. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed.

2. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Mix in the vanilla extract and maple syrup and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the oats and bourbon-soaked apples. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in 1 1/2 teaspoonful scoops. Space cookies at least 2.5-inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until almost set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (the cookies will be soft, but will harden as they cool). Store in an airtight container.

SWWU Tip 1: Craving a more traditional mix-in? You can also use 3/4 cup bourbon-soaked raisins in place of the apples for this recipe. 

SWWU Tip 2: If you’d like to omit the bourbon, sub in an equal amount of apple cider.

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