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They’re everything you can imagine about an 80’s or 90’s era block party! Short shorts, hot dogs on the grill, neighbors milling around with wonderful plates of food. I was so delighted, when after about 5-6 years of roaming around after college, we finally settled down in Northampton, and got invited to our first block party within only a few months! It was as good as I remember block parties being – and I was happy this tradition was living on in my adulthood. It has a certain something.
Now that summer is coming, or is even here for many, the block party is BACK! It’s a time of year for summer cookouts and block parties – which are great times to be with friends, family, and neighbors – while sharing incredible meals.
Des and I went before the holiday weekend, to be covered for many parties to come. We picked up Swanson Broth and truRoots Quinoa to make one of my favorite “pasta” salads, that uses quinoa instead of pasta, and your choice of fill-ins.
One fun trick I’ve learned with quinoa is to cook it in chicken broth instead of water. Why? The number one reason is infused and intense FLAVOR. I love the versatility of Swanson Chicken Broth, and how you can buy a six-pack from Sam’s Club.
And then I set to work. In the true spirit of block parties, my neighbor brought me olive oil, which I used to lightly toast the quinoa, before cooking it in the chicken broth. The whole process takes about 20 – 25 minutes. You can fluff it with a fork.
Why do I choose Swanson Broth? I always have. With it’s unique blend of flavors, and being trusted by chefs (and I’m not one but maybe it would be cool to learn to be one), it’s always my first choice for cooking. It smells delicious on the stove.
This is like a perfect summer pasta salad, but it's made with quinoa instead of noodles, and you can play around with the meats, cheeses and vegetables any way you want. The quinoa is cooked in chicken broth instead of water, infusing it with a lot more flavor.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup rinsed truRoots quinoa
- 2 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 10 grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Red pepper to taste
- Bacon pieces
- Shredded or cooked carrots
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Cook your chicken or buy it, and set it aside.
- Cook bacon using your desired method, chop it into bits, and set it aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the truRoots quinoa and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and boil for five minutes.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Let quinoa cool for a bit.
- Then mix in your desired meats, cheeses, vegetables and spices.
- Drizzle with the 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir.
With chicken, bacon, Parmesan cheese, and a nice taste of real garlic and lemon, you might be going for seconds. Feel free to take on your own spin. You can use Feta cheese instead of Parmesan, and maybe add olives, to make it a Greek Quinoa Salad. You can also add Italian dressing and some great meats. You can make it rainbow colored with summer vegetables! Anything goes, but the unique flavors of the Swanson Broth and the truRoots will always be in my recipes. Just LOOK: