Recipe: Spinach Quinoa Tomato Soup Bowl

This recipe is super simple and makes me really happy. It’s comfort food, but healthy and clean and light. Just the thing to warm you up as we leave winter behind (or try to! what’s up with the weather, DC?).

The quinoa leaves you feeling satisfied and full, the spinach adds some good nutrients, and the soup is a perfect base/soup/sauce combo that adds a punch of flavor. You can customize this dish by adding some grated parmesan cheese, using a different soup or broth of your choice, or mixing it up with a different grain or vegetable. It’s also really easy to make small servings of this dish if you’re feeding one or two people at a time — the quinoa/spinach mixture keeps in the fridge for a few days and so does the soup, so you can heat yourself a fresh bowl whenever you feel like it.

Arlington Darling | Spinach Quinoa Tomato Soup

4 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1 c. quinoa (2.5 cups cooked quinoa)
1 16oz. carton of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

To Make:
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2. While quinoa is cooking, roughly chop the spinach. Add the spinach to the quinoa when it is almost done cooking, in order to slightly wilt the spinach (you can chop it and leave it raw, but I prefer the texture slightly wilted for this dish).
3. Heat the soup in a medium saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
4. Combine the soup and the quinoa/spinach mixture. If you are attempting a “pretty” presentation, heat soup separately in a bowl and add the quinoa/spinach to the bowl once heated. If you are not trying for “pretty points” here, combine all of the quinoa/spinach and soup together in the saucepan on the stove and serve from that. Tastes the same either way :).

Makes 4 servings.



Go Teddy Go

As any local baseball fan knows, last year Teddy Roosevelt broke his losing streak in the presidential races at Nationals Park. It was the first time he had won one of the races in over 500 races, which is pretty impressive. Definitely not his #1 achievement as a U.S. President, but pretty close :). I can’t wait to see the Nationals play again this year, and hopefully I get to see Teddy win again, too.

Sharing in the Teddy spirit, I wanted to post a quote from one of his memorial tablets on Roosevelt Island (which is a gorgeous little spit of land on the Potomac between Rosslyn, the Kennedy Center, and Georgetown). I was there the other day and thoroughly enjoyed the Teddy Roosevelt memorial. As part of the memorial there are four tablets (you can see two in the image below) expressing Teddy’s philosophy on manhood, youth, nature, and the nation. I particularly enjoyed the quotes on the “youth” tablet and wanted to share them with you.

YOUTH Memorial Tablet

I want to see you game, boys, I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender.

Be practical as well are generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground. 

Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life.

Alike for the nation and the individual, the one indispensable requisite is character.

Original Source for Quotes: Address at Friends School, Washington, DC, May 24, 1907; Speech at Prize Day Exercises at Groton School, Groton, MA, May 24, 1904; America and the World War, 1915; American Ideals, 1897.

Teddy, here’s to more victories at Nationals park in 2013! Go Teddy go!

Recipe: Spinach Quinoa Feta Cakes

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! But to be fair, it’s been a busy month. The weather is starting to warm up, and so is everyone’s social calendar. In the past few weeks alone, I’ve skied, attended a housing seminar, played hostess to my cousin and my parents, gone to countless happy hours, visited the Kreeger Museum and the Old Post Office Tower, and watched a rehearsal of the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Wallenstein. Whew! No wonder I haven’t had time to post.

And despite having a tiny kitchen all to myself, last night was one of the first nights I’d actually cooked anything beyond heating up some frozen dumplings. I’m really happy I christened my kitchen with these little spinach quinoa feta cakes – they were easy and quick. The hardest part (for me) was chopping the onion and resisting eating the feta cheese before it went into the mix :). Here’s how you make ’em:

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
5 oz. chopped fresh baby spinach
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c. cooked quinoa
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. bread crumbs
olive oil

Arlington Darling | Spinach Quinoa Feta cakes

To Make:
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add the eggs, quinoa, feta, lemon zest, and black pepper and mix well. Mix in the bread crumbs and let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the bread crumbs to absorb some of the moisture.
5. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet.
6. Form quinoa patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the patties on the skillet in batches. Cook the patties, flipping once, until they’re cooked through and browned on the outside, about 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Panini Happy. Enjoy!

Nordic Cool 2013 at the Kennedy Center

Next week I’m going to check out Nordic Cool, a festival at the Kennedy Center celebrating Nordic countries. It’s a hodge podge of exhibits, dance, theater, food, and art – and some of the events are free! The festival runs from now until March 17th.

Here’s what I hope to check out:

  • The Exhibitions, through March 17th, especially the one on Nordic design. Info here.
  • The Millenium Stage performances, especially the ones about food! Info here.
  • Sweden’s GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, March 15-16th, a showcase of three pieces of contemporary ballet and dance. Info here.