- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, from one small onion
- 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
- 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
- 1-1/4 cups fresh cut cooked corn, from 2 cobs
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
- 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add quinoa to onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly with lid, turn heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer cooked quinoa to mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator.
- When quinoa is cool, add remaining tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes, corn, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter avocado chunks over top.
Shandy’s Summer Rice Salad
Ingredients (quantities are approximate–I eyeball it every time): 5-6 good sized ripe tomatoes, handful of fresh basil, 1 large clove garlic, 1 rounded tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. decent balsamic vinegar (I like Costco’s Kirkland brand, actually), 3 tbsp. olive oil.
Directions: dice tomatoes, chop basil (stems can go in too as long as they’re not too “stalky,”) press garlic and throw everything together in a bowl. Mix and let sit for a few hours if possible. That’s it, baby!
Serve on sliced pieces of french baguette. If you’re feeling super fancy, you can broil the pieces of bread with a drizzle of olive oil for a couple of minutes each side so they get toasty and won’t get soggy with the bruschetta on top. If you’re not fancy today (and it’s OK, I won’t judge you); slice the bread and there you go.
Tips: Tomatoes need to be ripe and pretty much any kind will do. Basil can be droopy or even at that “just before it goes off” stage and still work just fine. Even if you’re a garlic lover like me, use only one clove per 6 tomatoes as I suggest above. The vinegar and tomato juice will amplify the garlic as it sits.
Michelle’s De-lish Cole Slaw
Ingredients: 1/2 head cabbage, chopped; 2 carrots, shredded; few slender pieces red onion (don’t need to much); 1/4 cup cider vinegar; 1/4 cup olive oil; 2 tbsp sugar; few dashes salt; dash pepper
Directions: While you are prepping the veggies, bring the vinegar, olive oil and seasonings to a boil on the stove top. With the sugar in there this will happen in about 2 minutes, maybe less. Mix your now kinda-syrupy and warm vinaigrette and pour it over the top of your naked veggies. Toss all this yummy stuff together and let it sit for a few hours before serving. That’s it!
Michelle’s Carrot Slaw
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound grated carrots, or 1-1/3 pounds carrots, peeled and grated (if you wash them well, don’t have to peel)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from one lemon
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from one orange (or a splash of orange juice)
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- a little bundle of green onion, white and green parts, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
Bake walnuts at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. Set aside. Throw remaining ingredients into a bowl and toss it up a bit. This salad will keep well in the fridge for a few days, but don’t add the walnuts until you’re ready to eat.
Michelle’s Citrus Couscous Salad
Ingredients: 1 cup couscous, veg or chicken stock, several fresh mint leaves, 2 fresh oranges, fresh pomegranate seeds (about a 1/2 cup if you can swing it), 1-2 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Directions: Prepare couscous according to package directions. You don’t have to use stock, but I like it better than water. When done, add diced mint (start with a little), pomegranate seeds, vinegar and olive oil. Squeeze your oranges and get some ‘a that juice in there (can use regular OJ too.) The original recipe called for one orange, and maybe mine were a little bland but I needed two to get that sweet zing that I was wantin’. Also add the vinegar and oil carefully. You’d be surprised how much vinegars can vary so it’s better to hit with just one tbsp. and then add more if you need it. There’s no going back if you add too much. Serve chilled/room temp.
Michelle’s Cumin Quinoa Salad
Ingredients: 2 cups quinoa, 3 1/2 cups chicken or veg. broth, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 can drained black beans, 1 cup of corn, 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, 1-3 tbsp. cumin, juice of 1-2 fresh limes, 4 or so tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Directions: Cook onion with a little olive oil until onions turn translucent (5 mins or so.) Then toss in quinoa and stir with onions for a few minutes before adding broth. Then follow package instructions but modify the liquid quantity (they always call for 2 parts water per 1 part quinoa but this will be mushy.) After quinoa chills add the other ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips if you like. Oh! We sometimes add fresh avocado too… delish!
Josie’s Caprese Heaven
Ingredients: 1 cup Ciliegine whole milk fresh mozzarella balls, 1 cup sugar plum tomatoes sliced in half, 2 tbsp. refrigerated Genova Pesto (contains walnuts), a few sliced olives (we like kalamata), pinch ‘a salt, black pepper to taste.
Directions: Mix and serve!