Today was another hot summer day here in Arizona. That didn’t stop me from going out there in the blasting heat and enjoy my day. It started out by going to the gym with Ilse, one of my BFFs. Lifted some weights, chatted a little bit, lifted some more and chatted some more lol! When I was done with the gym, drove across town to join two other BFFs, Stef & Cecy for the Zumba class.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper
1 small italian eggplant (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1 small zucchini (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1/2 small red onion (1/4 of a large red onion)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
basil quinoa salad
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup basil leaves loosely packed, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
any seafood seasoner to taste. I used Essence from Emeril Lagasse found here
1/2 cup pearlini mozzarella balls tossed in a little salt and pepper
Whisk together all the balsamic dressing ingredients and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, boil water for the quinoa salad. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered, till all the water has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, cut the eggplant and zucchini into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the red onion into rings. Place cubed eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes and thyme leaves in a bowl. Pour half the balsamic dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
Brush grill grates with olive oil or non-stick spray (I used a grill basket so that they don’t fall thru or you can use a stove top cast iron grill instead). Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the vegetables about 3 minutes on one side or till grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and grill other side till vegetables are tender but still a bit firm. Tomatoes will cook quicker, remove them from the grill as soon as they start to blister.
While vegetables are cooking, grill shrimp until they’re pink and no longer transparent. About 5 minutes for each side.
When the quinoa finishes cooking, toss it with the second half of the balsamic dressing. Stir in chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Spread quinoa on a platter or bowl. Arrange the grilled shrimp, vegetables and mozzarella around the quinoa. Serve warm.