Quinoa Arancini with Easy Aioli

Quinoa Rice Balls

Think arancini, only with quinoa.

This easy, nutrient-dense dish was inspired by leftovers. Looking at a simple dish of leftover quinoa, I suddenly remembered how easy it was to use leftover rice to make arancini. Lo, a dish was born: Quinoa Arancini. Or should it be Arancinoa? Quinoacini?

Regardless, it works equally well as a side dish, as an appetizer, or as a food to stand in the kitchen eating straight out of the baking dish whilst you ponder which dip is your favorite. (Ask me how I know.)I made it with grain-free flours, and I love the resulting nuttiness of the flavors, but you could easily adapt it to use any flour you like. Oh, and note that I’ve written this with quinoa from scratch just in case you don’t happen to have any ready to go, but if you do, then just use about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the quinoa.

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Hazelnut Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

We ate a lot of tacky food in the 70’s, and stuffed bell peppers are in the Tacky Foods Hall of Fame. Ground beef, Velveeta cheese, Worchestershire sauce. We’re talking serious tackiness. But, hey!, what can you expect from people who wore leisure suits and platform shoes?

I decided to remake this classic from my early married life in the late 70’s. Healthier. And yummier. Cooked with love in every bite.

I cooked my weight in stuffed peppers as a newlywed, thinking my sweet groom loved them. He ate them, smiled and hugged me every single time I dished them up. Then one day my culinary prowess was ripped like a rug from under me.

“So what do you cook for Jim?” my mother-in-law questioned.
“I make stuffed bell peppers a lot,” I proudly proclaimed.
“And he eats them?” her stunned reply.
“Oh yes, every bite!” I came back.
“But Jim HATES bell peppers,” she said, stumping me completely.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Turns out, I am the luckiest woman on the planet. I am married to Jim Kelly, who is a person who commutes from celestial worlds each morning to make my life an earthly bliss. Not just because he wakes me every single morning of my life with silly songs he sings in my ears. And not just because I have never once done laundry in 34 years (as of last week!). Mostly because he eats every single bite of every single dish I have ever made, some of them nasty or weird beyond words. And yet he raves about every single bite. What would I have done for these 34 years without him? Jim loves me deeply, completely. He loves me more than food. Imagine!

I dedicate these delish-i-fied stuffed peppers to YOU, Jim, my eternal sweetheart. Here’s to our eternal honeymoon!

Jim even smaller

Jim Kelly – Greatest Husband on Earth

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Celebrate the Fourth! Red, White and Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette


Sure, we love those pretty flag cakes with the white frosting, red strawberries lined up like stripes and blueberry stars in the corner. But I wanted to make something different yet festive – a patriotic salad. What to make that has those All-American colors? How about protein powerhouse white(ish) quinoa, red strawberries and blueberries. I know, I know. Quinoa is usually eaten savory style but I think it is a perfect mild canvas for sweet flavors.

This dish is  a perfect Fourth of July recipe: a mayo-free refreshing fruity salad that can even go along on your next picnic. And the sweet tangy grapefruit vinaigrette is sublime! And, if you leave off the yogurt drizzle this is a great vegan dish.

So, cut yourself some watermelon triangles and place them in a star shape around the edges of your platter with the quinoa salad heaped in the middle. Drizzle on some Greek yogurt for a stripe-like flag effect. Then, just stand back and salute!

Happy Fourth, Everyone!

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