Saturday, August 29, 2009

Good bye to Summer!

Summer is by far my favorite season. Living in the mid-west, it is usually hot and dry. I am one of the few people who loves the feeling of getting into a piping hot car and just basking in the heat!I try to see how long I can go before turning on the air-conditioning because I like feeling warm. Weird I know. I always feel a little sad when these hot months are over. It means the end of vacations, the end of lazy, long summer nights, and a return to "normal" life. This week I started to feel the swing towards fall. Kids have started school this week and the stores are full of long sleeves and neutral colors.

Fortunately, some of my favorite summer flavors are still here. My little garden is full of fresh basil, mint, cherry tomatoes and peppers. Today the sun shining bright and warm,with no sign of fall or winter in sight! I decided to make one of my favorite summer salads. The base is quinoa- an ancient grain, once used by the Aztecs. It is a complete protein as well as a grain. One 1/2 cup has 7g of protein and 3g of fiber promising to keep your hunger satisfied for several hours! I am loading my salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, but you can add which ever vegetables you have on hand. You could also add a grilled chicken breast or tuna for some extra protein. Enjoy!

Summer Qunioa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 tomatoes diced or a handful of cherry tomatoes quartered or halved
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
handful of fresh basil, chopped
handful of fresh mint, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese

Start with the quinoa simmered in the chicken broth for 15 minutes or until tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, vegetables, and cheese. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm or chilled with pita bread, flat bread, whole grain chips or crackers, over a bed of greens, or by itself. Serves 4.


  1. Where would one find quinoa? Whole Foods only? Or do 'regular' grocers stock it?

  2. Regular grocery stores should have it. The best is when you can buy it in the bulk bins at a grocery store or natural foods store. Costco has also started selling it recently.


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