Guest Post: Grilled Portabella Salad with Halloumi and Quinoa by Sweetsugarbean

We have a guest in the kitchen! Renee of Sweetsugarbean has returned with another mushroom-filled recipe. Highlighting the meaty portabella mushrooms, Renee shares a crowd-pleasing salad that will be on the dinner table in no time!!

Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and Sweetsugarbean is my food blog I’ve been writing for over five years. I live in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I happily whip up delicious creations in my little green kitchen. Being a professional pastry chef as well as a food blogger, I’m lucky to have turned my passion for all things food into a career I love. When not busy with the pots and pans, I can be found on my computer finishing my first cookbook, which will be published in 2017. Free time (remind me what that is again!) includes gardening, reading and eating too much chocolate.


I’m always excited when Mushrooms Canada asks me to write a guest post for their blog. Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen and it’s always a thrill to put them in new recipes. Summer is the time to get your grill on, and mushrooms are delicious when cooked this way especially the meatier portabella mushrooms, which I used for this salad. Mushrooms are great to use year round because they are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D. Bursting with antioxidants and cancer fighting compounds, not to mention being low in calories, mushrooms play an important and delicious part of my culinary adventures in the kitchen.

No one wants to spend too much time cooking in the summer, which is why big salads are a great option come dinnertime. This salad has a base of healthy, high protein quinoa, tossed in a citrus vinaigrette with plenty of herbs and arugula. If you grow your own, this is the time to use them up! I grilled two large and lovely portabella mushrooms, which have such a lovely flavour once the heat hits them. And their satisfying texture is a great alternative for those who don’t like to eat meat. I grilled some toothsome halloumi cheese as well, and it’s squeaky texture is a great counterpoint to the mushrooms and the quinoa. Thrown together in under 30 minutes, I know I’ll be eating this salad plenty of times over the summer, leaving me plenty of time to play in the sun.


Grilled Portabella Salad with Halloumi and Quinoa
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 cups arugula or other greens
2 scallions, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp honey
2 portabella mushrooms
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper
250 g halloumi cheese, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 12-15 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and spread it onto a baking sheet to cool. Once it has come to room temperature, place the quinoa into a large bowl and stir in the arugula, scallions, and herbs. In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey. Pour this over the quinoa and season well with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the portabella mushrooms with the olive, herbs and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well. Preheat the grill to high and lightly grease it. Grill the mushrooms for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, and let cool down for a few minutes. Grill the halloumi at the same time as the mushrooms, for about 5 minutes per side, until the slices are golden brown and soft. Arrange the quinoa salad on plates. Top with sliced portabella mushrooms and halloumi cheese. This serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a starter.


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Such perfect timing! With summer officially here, you can bet that this salad will make many appearances on our menu this season. Thanks Renee for sharing a wonderfully seasonal, beautiful recipe.

Be sure to follow along with Renee over on Sweetsugarbean, and on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

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