Indian Summer Quinoa Salad

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Since the baby arrived a few months ago, a slice of silence has been rare. A moment for myself has been even rarer. From the second I open my eyes in the morning it’s go go go and will continue to go go go all day and into the nursing night. When a moment of “alone” time presents itself, I've gotten into the habit of immediately rushing off to try and accomplish as many tasks as I could with the fleeting time I had. But nowadays, thankfully things have changed. I have found a way to take MY much needed moment of pause in the only room in the house that I can - my closet. Of course.

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Yep, when my son is playing and baby is napping and the dogs who always lay down on my yoga mat every time I try and do some much needed stretching (!!) are out back - it is then that I make myself a hot cup of oolong tea, go upstairs, sit quietly on the floor of my closet and listen to the sound of my own breath - reconnecting to the fact that my body is actually my own. There is a beautiful budding tree outside my closet window, which I have become very fond of staring at too.

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There was a time in my life that I thought I was wasting it if I did such a thing like just stare at a tree. That I needed to use up every bit of the hours in my day with “doing” something. Learning something. Working on my art. Little did I know that life IS art and that these times of pause replenish and inspire. That this silent reflection of being is where the golden light of enlightenment lives. Yeah, I know. Deep thoughts with Aria but whatever - this is some profound shit!

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Indian Summer Quinoa Salad

This is such a refreshing salad on a hot summer day and comes together in a flash when you make a big pot of Quinoa the day before and have leftovers already cold in the fridge. This salad also works well with pretty much any leftover cooked grain: brown rice, farro or barley. Avocado is a great addition as well but didn't have any ripe ones around.

Quinoa

  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 ½ cup filtered water
  • nice pinch of sea salt

Rinse quinoa very well, swishing it around with water to get the bitter film off. In a small pot, over a medium-high flame, heat the TB coconut oil and add the quinoa. Toast quinoa, stirring constantly, for a few minutes then carefully add 1 1/2 cup water, a nice pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover pot with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit, undisturbed, for another 5 minutes. Take off lid and fluff quinoa and spread on baking sheet to cool.

Salad

  • 1 box cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium persian cucumber, halved and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 TB fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 TB feta cheese, garnish on top
  • In a large bowl add the cooled quinoa and everything above, except the feta.

 

Garam Marsala Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TB runny honey
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground garam marsala
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together everything except the oil. Then, while continuously whisking, slowly pour the oil into the bowl, whisking until incorporated.

Pour the dressing into the large bowl, mixing well with the quinoa/ vegetable mixture. Allow to marinate, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the feta on top of the salad.