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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland's Sunshine Tavern

Sunshine Tavern
3111 SE Division Street
Portland Oregon 97202

Seeing that we live just a few blocks away, occasionally we will head out to Sunshine Tavern for pizza and burgers (and of course cocktails and maybe even some candied hazelnuts to start). This is just what happened last Tuesday when we ended up splitting the Garnet yam and quinoa cakes w fennel and almond as a snacky beginning to our meal. And wow – they were so good.

I’m always on the hunt for new quinoa/interesting whole grains recipes and this one definitely got my attention with the warm spices, creamy yam, and a fennel shallot salad on the side. I really wanted to try and reverse-engineer it at home but then I thought maybe I could try and get the actual recipe. It only took asking one contact and I got an email for Jenn Louis, Chef/Co-Owner of Sunshine Tavern. So I sent her a message, asked her for the recipe, and if I could post it here. She got back to me an hour or so later with the recipe. So cool!

This dish will work with either cooked, mashed garnet yam* . . . → Read More: Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Oregon Albacore Tuna with Zucchini Relish and Cumin-Toasted Quinoa

Oregon Albacore Tuna with Zucchini Relish and Cumin-Toasted Quinoa

The other night, jwa and I were just hanging out, minding our own business and watching The Daily Show, when he got a text asking if we wanted some tuna. At first, I was a little jealous because I’m usually the one who gets contacted about receiving free food.

But, I got over that pretty quickly because less than a half hour later, jwa’s co-worker Kevin (who has gifted us with seafood before – thanks, Kevin!) stopped by with a cooler full of tuna loin pieces from a fish he had caught near Newport, just the day before. And just like that, we were the lucky recipients of two beautiful pieces of albacore loin. I froze one for eating next week and the other one became this meal.

I tweaked the relish recipe from one in The Sonoma Diet, a cookbook I think I picked up at a garage sale a number of years ago. I hadn’t made anything from it before, but this turned out really well so I’m sure I’ll reach for it again.

Notes: For this, I really like using the Northwods Seasoning Mix from Penzeys . . . → Read More: Oregon Albacore Tuna with Zucchini Relish and Cumin-Toasted Quinoa

Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Quinoa Polenta with Sauteed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Oh my god, I love polenta. Creamy polenta, sautéed polenta — doesn’t matter. I just wish corn was healthier than it is, especially when I could probably eat polenta multiple times per week. I think I have found a solution! Polenta that is half traditional polenta and half quinoa! Because quinoa is good for you, it all works out.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I actually saw it at the store. You know those little tubes of pre-made polenta you can buy? Well, that polenta isn’t that great compared to homemade, but they also now make a quinoa polenta version. I saw it the other day and I couldn’t believe what a great idea it was. So, I made my own at home.

I had also recently just made some apricot vinegar and although we had been using it in wonderful salad dressings all week, this dish seemed like a great use for it as well. I love making polenta with sautéed greens, so I just stuck to that theme here. I used some rainbow chard and used the same cooking technique as I did . . . → Read More: Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Perfect for Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I can’t remember when I first tried it — I think maybe a couple of years ago? But ever since that first experience, I’m always looking for new ways to use it. I’m not quite sure what it is but I really like the texture and flavor — soft but still a bit toothsome, but with a slightly nutty flavor.

Tossed with spicy, roasted carrots, pecans, cranberries and peppery arugula, this is a great way to incorporate quinoa. There’s also a good chance that all the spices needed for the spice mix are already in your cabinet so you really don’t have an excuse to not give this a try. It may seem like a lot of work, but after you combine the spices together, you’re basically just using it as a seasoning for roasting the carrots, flavoring the dressing, and mixing in with the final salad.

After I photographed this meal, I got the lightbulb-worthy idea to crumble some feta on top of the salad — you should definitely do that.

Also, we don’t really stick to a Meatless Monday schedule, as we have a lot of . . . → Read More: Perfect for Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Sockeye Salmon with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit Quinoa Salad

Recently, I was very lucky and received another shipment of Copper River Salmon! This time, it was Sockeye from Prince William Sound. Although there was a slight Fed ex mishap with its delivery (my salmon took a brief field-trip to Memphis, it seems…perhaps visiting Graceland?), I received it just fine a day late. It was packed so well it was still nice and cold.

This is a recipe that I came across and have been wanting to try for awhile now. It was a great light & healthy meal. I wanted the grapefruit & ginger oil to be a bit more flavorful, but the quinoa and grapefruit salad was so good! And with great salmon, all you really need is salt and pepper anyway, right?

Note: This would be really pretty with ruby grapefruit. Which is what I thought I had. The bag aid ruby grapefruit, but as I’ve opened them, they have all been regular, white grapefruit. Not cool, Trader Joe’s, not cool. (But still good!)

Sockeye Salmon with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Elie Krieger, serves about 2
1 medium grapefruit (have another grapefruit available for juicing)
8 thin slices . . . → Read More: Sockeye Salmon with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad