Two weeks ago I was taken back in time. My eldest granddaughter was in her first play and she was amazing! No wonder, she has the genes, her mother’s genes that is. My daughter Rachele was a wonderful actress in high school. I remember being in awe as I read lines with her. She had captured a lead in the play Arsenic and Old Lace. Her lines were numerous and she was on stage for the entire play! Watching my granddaughter brought a rush of pride for her and for her Mom as I thought of that wonderful time watching her on stage. So many of my teaching colleagues had been to the play and their praise for my daughter’s performance flooded my heart and mind as I watched my granddaughter’s performance.
So on to lunch; a delicious salad of quinoa, chicken, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, basil and strawberries if I remember correctly. Thoughtfully prepared by Grand Hon, shared with Nana along with a lovely Rose’ wine. Now I must admit I’m not a quinoa fan but this salad won me over. So when I came home I rummaged through my pantry to find the quinoa that had worked its way to the very back. Next, to my fridge to see what I had to replicate this salad as closely as possible. What I came up with was some fresh veggies bought at the Collingswood Farmer’s market as well as a chicken breast I had poached with the plan to make chicken salad. The results were awesome and I hope you will give this heathy salad a try.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a saute pan inside
1 cup quinoa rinsed well (this is important as quinoa has a coating that will make it bitter when cooked. I think that’s why I wasn’t a fan, sadly I don’t think I rinsed it enough)
Place the rinsed quinoa in the hot pan and toast for 20 minutes (stir after the first 10) The quinoa will be brown and have a nutty flavor which I love. You can skip this step and just cook the quinoa after it is well rinsed. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock or water to the quinoa. Bring to a slight boil on the stove top, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes. Cool
1/4 pound sugar snap peas blanched 2 minutes and cooled in ice water
1 large ear of fresh corn remove the kernels and set aside
2 scallions finely chopped
1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cooked chicken breasts chopped (a rotisserie chicken will work well)
4-5 fresh basil leaves (you could use mint leaves or parsley) finely chopped
Cut the sugar snap peas in half and put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Fold in the cooked cooled quinoa.
For the dressing take one ripe avocado and mash with 1/2 of a lime juiced, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. When all the ingredients are mashed well and smooth fold into the quinoa veggie mix. Refrigerate for a few hours or over night. Enjoy with a nice Rose’ as we did that lovely Saturday.