It’s been too damn hot. I’ve been trying to not complain, but as I started to draft this post, it was 87 degrees in our house. At 11 p.m. The cool down these past few days has been a blessing! If you’re native to the Northwest, you’re likely in the same AC-free boat.
If your preference is to leave the oven off for awhile and enjoy something more-or-less straight from the fridge, I’ve got some great recommendations for you!
Our star-spangled quinoa salad. Several people tried this and it received rave reviews! I think you should give it a try too…
Farro Greek Salad. It’s a favorite of ours and is in our semi-regular rotation. It should be in yours too.
My new favorite salad dressing. It’s so good on just about everything. We often have it on spinach salad (with fresh blueberries, candied pecans and goat cheese!) and just last week we had it on a green bean, quinoa, chicken salad. It was delicious on both! (This recipe was derived from FitSugar.)
- A couple of tablespoons of honey
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup lemon juice (from the lemon or from the bottle. Both work!)
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Salt and pepper
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Pour into jar with lid and refrigerate. Makes about 1 cup of dressing. It for sure keeps over night, but it doesn’t last much longer in our household.
Finally, my go-to party/potluck salad is one I discovered more than five years ago, at my friend Kelsey’s bachelorette party. This salad is so good and all of the ingredients can be picked up with a quick trip to Trader Joe’s.
Here is Aunt Nancy’s quinoa salad with smoked gouda:
- 1 box red quinoa from Trader Joe’s (~ 2 cups of uncooked normal quinoa works too)
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound smoked gouda cut into tiny cubes (Sometimes more makes it even better…)
- ½ cup toasted chopped pecans (toast pecans in oven)
- Dried cranberries
- Fix quinoa according to directions on the box.
- Once the quinoa is done, mix in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and let quinoa cool in refrigerator.
- While quinoa is cooling, prepare red onion, garlic paste, green onion and celery.
- When quinoa is cool, mix in everything including the gouda and pecans.
- Salad is best made one day ahead so that the smoked gouda can infuse the salad with flavor. Cover and
- Bring salad to room temperature before serving.
I hope these recipes help make the hot weather more bearable. At least we’re breaking sustained heat records, right? We’re a part of something bigger than just lots and lots of sweat.