Everything jalapeño ALL ZE TIME.
Let’s just state the obvious right now: I’m cooking from the basement. It’s weird. Last night I made pasta in a rice cooker that tasted like medium-icky mush with jarred pesto (hoorah!) and cherry tomatoes on top. And there are spiderwebs. I just ignore them and then put a nice little lamp on the table, because covering up problems with accessories is one of my awesome ways of doing things.
So the good thing about cooking from the basement is that it means STUFF IS GOING DOWN. I mean walls = coming down to the ground. Can you even believe it? I can’t. What was once a little space where all the pinch of yums were created is all of a sudden this huuuuuge (to us) room without a wall in the middle. I feel like there should be more stress involved. Maybe that’s to come? Or maybe slamming a duct-taped rusty old axe into a wall relieves stress on the spot?
Check it –> (and since I don’t want to be annoying and plunk two videos in one post, I’ll put the demo intro video here and just tell you to go watch the full knock-down-the-wall video because you probably want to be amazed at my superstrength, right?)
So because of this whole basement/displaced kitchen situation, I had a majorly last minute cooking cram session the night before we hauled our range out to the garage and tore the whole place down.
I never procrastinate though NEVVVER.
It was like all of a sudden I remembered that I was about to live for a month without a stove slash that my job now requires things like stoves and so I went crazy stashing up recipes in my queue, which is something I’ve always been horrible at because I seem to do best in real time (but see above about never procrasting NEVVVER) — I guess it all works in real time anyways because guess what I’m making again for dinner tonight? Yeah. This yummy, spicy, cold or hot salad-ish dip which happens to be totally doable without the stove. Three cheers for me and the basement appliances! Quinoa in the rice cooker has saved my dip loving soul.
And now, a quick note to the person who is currently in possession of our old range: a) HEY! there was no free sign on that, b) middle of the night? did you just conveniently happen to be patrolling the area at 1am looking for take-able things? *pout* and c) thank you, because we were sort of trying to forget that it was sitting out there. And sorry for the enchilada sauce completely burnt onto the bottom rack. Do you want some jalapeño quinoa corn dip?
Okay good, cause I’m ready for a snack.
This jalapeño quinoa corn dip can go lots of different ways (whatcha wanna add? getting food-crazy is welcomed!) but for me it went like this: roasted corn, jalapeños, and onions for that warm, semi-sweet, spicy mouth hug // nutty, nummy quinoa for protein and texture // chopped baby spinach for fresh color and crunch // homemade jalapeño ranch for tangy fresh-herb creaminess. Toss that all together and dip into it with some crackers, chips, or for real just eat it with a fork. I fully intent to make this and keep it in the fridge for a little lunching throughout the next few days, because I could actually eat the dipping foods for all my meals fuhrehverrr.
Also, we can still be friends even though the jalapeño ranch is making a reappearance (think rainbow veggie bowls), right? It’s so creamy, spicy, refreshing, and mouth-kicking all at the same time that I just couldn’t not bring it back into my food life.
And can we still be friends if I tell you that after I used that tangy homemade dressing to toss this whole salady dip together, maybe I did put an XL handful of shredded cheese in there? Sometimes that moment just happens.
Okay foodiest friends, it’s Friday. We’re remodeling and eating out of the basement and you’re DIPPIN IT UP. I’m liking where this is going.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob (almost 2 cups)
- ½ red onion, minced (about ½ cup)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup 2% milk
- 1 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh herbs of choice - I like parsley, basil, cilantro, or chives
- 1 jalapeño pepper (the ribs and seeds are the HOT part, so remove those if you want a milder dressing)
- Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Cook according to package directions. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. Fluff with a fork.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sweet corn and red onion, sauteing until the corn is cooked (it will turn bright yellow). Add the taco seasoning and toss to combine. You can let it keep roasting in the pan until it gets little more browned if you have time to wait for the delicious roasty-corn effect.
- Pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. Toss the quinoa, corn, spinach, and as much dressing as you'd like together in a large bowl. Serve warm or cold with chips or cracker or any other dipper!