When Wendy of Celiacs in the House approached me about developing a recipe for Lindsay olives I was intrigued. Baby Yum and I both love olives and I thought it sounded fun. I looked through the extensive recipes on their site and found one for Roasted Vegetable Couscous. I was initially looking for a recipe using quinoa because, as Karina the Gluten-free Goddess demonstrates in this recipe olives complement quinoa beautifully. Since I didn’t find any in the Lindsay recipe index, I thought it was high time to make one!
The Lindsay people kindly sent me two jars of their kalamata olives for my recipe development and a jar of their mellow onion-stuffed Green Queen Olives and pimiento-stuffed Green Queen olives just for fun. I haven’t tried the pimiento ones yet, but the onion-stuffed ones are buttery and tasty.
Then it was time to work on my recipe! The first thing I changed was swapping quinoa for couscous. I cooked the quinoa in a rice cooker rather than on the stove to approximate the speed and ease of cooking couscous. Quinoa takes a little longer to cook than couscous, but it is gluten-free and so easy to make in the rice cooker (or even on the stove) it ends up being very little effort to make up a batch. In this case, I added green onions and used no-chicken vegetarian broth and water as the liquid in the rice cooker and let it cook. While the rice cooker was steaming, I put my sweet potato cubes and onions in a roasting dish, drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned them with smoked paprika, cumin, marjoram and rosemary in addition to salt and pepper. I used the same seasoning on my pattypan squash, which I used instead of the zucchini in the original recipe, but I grilled them instead of roasting because I like the flavor and attractive grill marks that this adds. Also, since squash cooks a lot faster than sweet potatoes, this allows you to keep the sweet potatoes in the oven for longer so that it achieves a nice, browned, slightly caramelized texture.
Chopping up the olives and parsley was a simple job. The only complication was Baby Yum, who kept stealing (and eating) my olives. That’s my girl! Her Daddy doesn’t like olives as much as I do, but I’ve been giving Baby Yum olive nibbles (especially of Kalamata olives, my favorite) since she was a wee one. I only had raw cashews, so I dry-toasted them on medium heat on the stove and lightly salted them for additional flavor. Then it was time to mix up the salad, drizzle with orange juice, and sprinkle with the toasted cashews. Baby Yum was a complication again, because she kept trying to steal the quinoa, or “rice” as she calls it. My girl does love quinoa.
We enjoyed this quinoa salad recipe with grilled asparagus and (non-veggie) kabobs out on our patio at twilight with the light of a little fire. My husband’s parents are visiting from Colorado and we had a great little meal. Afterwards we walked to a neighborhood park to watch fireworks.
This was a fun experiment and just goes to show how easy it is to adapt any recipe to be gluten-free and even vegetarian. This recipe is naturally vegan and a fresh and healthy addition to any picnic. Even Toddler Yum enjoyed this recipe, although she picked out her favorite parts… “More nuts, Mommy!” “More rice (quinoa), Mommy!” she begged. Due to her deep rooted suspicion of orange foods she wouldn’t eat the roasted sweet potato, but that just meant more for me. The DH enjoyed the recipe as well, and commented that while sometimes he doesn’t like kalamata olives because they are bitter, these particular olives were mild and not overpowering. And for me, well, I never met a kalamata I didn’t like. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go nibble on some onion-stuffed Queen olives.
*Lindsay Olives compensated me for creating this recipe, so consider this the first step on my career as a gluten-free recipe developer. Woo hoo! I promise to only do yummy recipes, whether it is just for my family or for companies with tasty products.
Gluten-free Lindsay Olive Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Recipe
1 large yam or sweet potato (8 oz.) peeled and diced (1/2-inch)
1 medium red onion, peeled and diced (1/2-inch)
2 pattypan squash sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
smoked paprika or chipotle pepper
toasted cumin powder
dried rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup no-chicken or other vegetarian broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup or 12 oz. quinoa
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup halved Lindsay® Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives
3/4 cup cooked or canned garbanzo beans
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews, pan toasted and salted
1/4 cup chopped parsley or other herb (fresh dill, basil, arugula etc)
1/4 cup orange juice
Smoked paprika or Chipotle pepper to taste
Heat oven to 450°F. Place your yam, and onion on a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan or baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tblsp. of olive oil and season with your spices, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Bake at least 30 minutes until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring once.
I chose to grill my pattypan squash, drizzling the slices with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and the paprika, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper. You could also roast it in the oven until browned on both sides, turning once.
Meanwhile, rinse your quinoa and put it in your rice cooker. Add your broth, water, and green onions to the rice cooker and start it.* When quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork. Add olives, garbanzo beans, parsley or other herbs, and orange juice. Add additional paprika or chipotle pepper if desired. Top quinoa with roasted vegetables or stir them into the quinoa. Sprinkle your cashews on top. Enjoy!
*Otherwise, combine ingredients in a pot with a lid, bring it to a boil on medium-high, lowering the heat to low and then add the lid. Let simmer for 15 minutes and turn off heat, Fluff and reserve.