My buddy, Laura, is possibly the most gracious hostess I have ever known. Being invited into her home pretty much guarantees you’ll have wonderful company, terrific conversation and really, really yummy food!
Laura is also a belly dance instructor and one of my dance mates. She is also the very same Laura who gifted me with curtains, bedding, accesories and an area rug for my guest room! Feel free to check out her site at Fat Cat Belly Dance.
Today, Laura has been gracious enough to share a recipe with us and keep me from keyboarding! I’m very fortunate in my friends, aren’t I?
HEALTHY SUMMER SALAD
by Laura Savard
Don’t be put off by the “healthy” title; this easy salad so delicious, even my gorilla sized meat-and-potato loving husband will scarf down bowlfuls of the stuff as a side dish. Once you have the basic receipe mixed, feel free to add in extras, like bacon bits, crumbled feta cheese, pine nuts, raisins, or even croutons…depending on who likes what. Also, you may wish to add extra veggies, like grated carrot, diced zucchini, corn, or snap peas.
1 cup quinoa (prounounced Keen-wah). It’s a dried grain, available at nearly all grocery stores nowdays
2 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
2 green onions
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
Handful of parsley leaves, rinsed
1/2 cup of salad dressing – You may wish to make your own, using vinegar and oil, but I’m lazy, so I substitute bottled dressing…my favourite is Metro’s Selection brand Five-Herb, or Italian
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
Rinse the quinoa grain with cold water in a small strainer under the tap for one minute, then transfer to medium sized saucepan, stir in the two cups of cold water and salt. Bring quinoa to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn burner down to low, place lid tightly on saucepan, and simmer for 15 minutes…no peeking! Remove from heat, remove lid and fluff with fork to ensure all the water has been absorbed. Replace lid and let sit for five minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl, and refrigerate uncovered for 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, chop green onions, bell pepper, cucumber and parsley into small pieces. Cut grape tomatoes into halves. Once the bowl of quinoa has cooled to room temperature or slightly chilled, add veggies and salad dressing and gently mix everything together. Note: If you decide to include the optional feta cheese and pine nuts, they help give the salad a unique yummy taste and texture. Add more small amounts of dressing if needed, to lightly moisten all the ingredients…but don’t soak your salad! Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!
NOTE: You may substitute Bulger Wheat for the quinoa. Use the same directions for preparation, and expect a slightly heavier texture
Laura has been kind enough to share this salad with me. I have to say that I was a tad uncertain at first, but the first mouthful completely hooked me. It’s a wonderful side for almost any meal. On very hot days, it’s even a meal in itself! Be sure to try it – you most certainly will be glad you did!
I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have. I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).
Thanks for stopping by.