Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Today we are heading to the lake where we’ll bask in the sun on the dock and enjoy a lazy summer day. I’m in the shoot to bring snacks for my girlfriend and I so, of course, quinoa is on the menu!

When it’s hot like this, our bodies crave refreshment. Food that is light and fresh is best – and, when you have a hint of citrus or a little sweetness, all the better. At the same time, we do need substance to keep us charged up and energized for long-haul, right?

Well, that’s where this salad comes in:

Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Dockside Quinoa Superfood Salad

Isn’t it beautiful??

Here’s the scoop…

In a large bowl, I layered:

1 1/2 cups pre-cooked quinoa out of my fridge

3 handfuls of the superfood salad I buy at Costco (NOTE: If you don’t have the greens blend, you can use dark kale, red cabbage, green cabbage, and brussels sprouts, and just chop each of them coleslaw-thin)

1 can of organic kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

1 fresh jalapeno, finely diced

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, rough chopped

DSC07110

I sprinkled some ground cumin, sea salt, and ground black pepper over the top; and, I freshly grated about 1 TBSP of lime zest and 1 TBSP of lemon zest…

A Microplane is an essential tool for every kitchen... do you have one?

A Microplane is an essential tool for every kitchen… do you have one?

Gorgeous.

DSC07109

Next I drizzled about 1/4 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), 2- 3 TBSPs of sesame oil, and the juice of 1 medium lemon over the bowl; I sprinkled some of my favorite Furikake, and tossed until everything was mixed well.

YUM.

Now, I’m one that likes to mix sweet and savory – and, while the flavor was delicious at this point, it definitely needed some sweet. I considered fresh mango (because, if you know me at all, mango goes into pretty much everything I eat), but since this salad will be sitting in a cooler for a few hours, I didn’t want to take the chance it would brown and get not-so-enjoyable-to-eat gooey. So… I did this:

DSC07111

I rough-chopped 1/4 cup of dried mangos and threw them into the mix… and it was PERFECT.

There’s crunch, sweetness, bursts of heat from the jalapeno, depth of flavor from the sesame oil and the Furikake – and, man, I can’t wait to dig this afternoon.

DSC07125

Our Afternoon Treats: Dockside Salad, Fresh Cherry Tomatos and Carrots, and Hardboiled Eggs

And, ta-da! Quinoa saves my day…

7/3/13

UPDATE: I added FRESH mango and grilled chicken to my leftover salad and OHMYGOSH!!! Fresh mango made it soooo much better!!!

Power Up: A Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Whew!

Yesterday we celebrated my big girl’s 12th birthday.

Twelve. She is TWELVE. Oh, how this girl has captured my heart! I look at her today and she is a mini-me. Dark skin; dark, curly hair; deep emerald green eyes. I am in awe at God’s hand – how He weaves to create such uniqueness from the inside out.

My little girl is the same today as she was on the day she was born:

  • She’s got her own agenda. (Her due date was January 1st – she arrived on January 15th.)
  • She’s strong. (She fought hard to stay in the warmth of my belly and made me work for over 18 hours before she finally made her appearance.)
  • She’s opinionated. (She cried for three days straight in the hospital, just to be sure we knew she was tired of people messing with her.)
  • She loves her mama. (The only thing that could quiet her in the hospital was laying skin to skin against my chest.)

Anyway, this year she wanted nothing more than a room makeover. She’s been talking about it for months, and for months we’ve been saying, “yeah, right”. What she didn’t know, however, is that for months I’ve been ‘collecting’. I’ve been buying little things here and there as I found them on sale so that we could do what’s she’s been dreaming about in one fell swoop. (I mean, a pre-teen girl has real tastes!)

The result?

Before...

Before…

After...

After…

She is beyond thrilled.

Let me tell you, though: it was work for 8 straight hours! I left to take the kids to school at 7:30am and my man got straight to work. Painting, vacuuming, dusting; she has a pig collection of dozens of tiny little pieces and that alone took 30 minutes to clean and organize. In the midst of the work, however, I made something that was so yummy – so filling – so perfect to power us for our mission, I just have to share it:

A quinoa tuna lettuce wrap:

Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Here’s what you do:

For the salad: Using a large bowl, add 1 cup of quinoa, 1 can of tuna, a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped into quarters), 2 diced green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and a small drizzle of olive oil. Stir it all together and then squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon over the mixture. (NOTE: Lemon is the KEY.)

To make the wrap: use large, washed green or red leaf lettuce. Spoon enough of the tuna salad into the leaf so that you can roll it up. If you like it spicy, top the salad with some crushed chili peppers – and enjoy! (You can also just eat this out of a bowl if you don’t have the lettuce.)

 

Gorgeous salad!

Gorgeous salad!

Light. Tart. Savory. The perfect meal to keep you running through your day.

Thanks for being here with me…

Rebel on,
Elisha