I stuck my nose up at my Dad’s lentils for a long time. When we were traveling through France, the smell of lentils cooking (along with his fishy bouillabaisse) would send us little kiddies running upstairs. But of course, now that I’m grown up (at least a little bit), it’s one of my favourite dishes. So healthy, so easy to make, so fresh, and the perfect simple dish to eat on your sunny balcony when things just seem so crazy in this world. Maybe it sounds silly, but making this salad made me feel close to home, and in the wake of the tragic news in America this week, it was comforting. Dad’s Du Puy Lentil Salad
I have my wonderful roommate to thank for this gem: “This salad is perfect for Valentine’s Day! It’s pink, but it’s light and healthy so you’re able to have a great time in bed after.” (Thanks, Shamora!)
So, if you were worried about a too heavy meal when you celebrate this day of love, Shamora and I give you this quinoa dish. Bright pink with a crunch from the beets, creamy goat cheese, a touch of nuttiness, and a kick from the Dijon vinaigrette, I hope you fall in love with this salad, too!
(Sexy) Pink Quinoa Salad
(Whine alert!) It’s been a week of being sick, and I am not amused! In the winter time, I expect to get a cold at some point — it always happens, so I’m ready to bundle up and slog through school and enjoy my tea. But this summertime sickness is weird and just won’t go away. It started with a headache which led to a fever, which came back for a night or two, then seemingly disappeared only to make a brief encore appearance and leave me in peace with this lingering headache and stuffy nose. I know it’s really nothing serious, so I’ll stop whining. But you guyyyyys, I don’t like it!
I’ve missed out on my tennis, volleyball, yoga, and painting the town red; I might actually be turning into a sloth. In fact, Dunlop has taken over my yoga mat while I’ve been out of commission…
So hopefully my lack of activity/gain of nap time is kicking this little bug out of my body! There are some things that I crave when I’m not feeling well (tea, pho, smoothies, Say Yes To The Dress…) and although my appetite seems to take a dive when I’m sick, I like to try and make sure I still have some light, healthy meals. This is how this salad was born, but it is definitely something I’m going to keep making even in times of 110% health (which will be most of the time for all of us, I hope!). “That’s just a bowl of green.”, you might say, “Nothing exciting!”… BUT IT IS! And so easy to make! I was tired after chopping this minor amount of food, but that is not normal so don’t you fret.
I’ll include the “recipe” of course, but this is one of those dishes where you don’t need one. Simply make it to your taste. Just make sure you have the avocados (I called it an avocado salad after all!) because they create the lovely creaminess for the rest of the veg. Then add your favourite green vegetables (or fruits! and they don’t HAVE to be green, we’re not discriminatory), some cilantro or basil, some lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper and you’re done. That’s it! Delicious and easy, my favourite combination. (OK, please don’t take that one out of context…)
Is it crazy that I already feel the summer flying by? Between a summer job and trying to have as much fun as possible, I’m finding (as usual!) that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I just want to gallivant around town, read through the stack of novels that gets totally neglected during the school year, and play in the kitchen… meanwhile, my parents are quite concerned about my messy room (this may be a con to living at home when you’re twenty, but I love my parents.).
Ottawa has been getting some glorious weather lately, and to take advantage of this beautiful, fleeting sprummer (calendar says spring, feels like summer = sprummer. I didn’t invent this word, but I love it!) I’m a big fan of throwing together easy, fresh salads with seasonal produce.
With the farmers markets that are popping up around the city, fresh produce is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. The Locavore Artisan Food Fair that I talked about a couple weeks ago was a big hit!
With The Great Glebe Garage Sale, a potluck dinner, karaoke, more tennis, and sunshine on the horizon it looks like this weekend is shaping up to be another fun one. I’m such a lucky gal. Maybe I’ll even get to cleaning that messy room…
What are you up to this weekend?? Have fun!
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
While talking about the weather can get old pretty fast and is usually relegated to small talk, Ottawa is buzzing about this glorious weather. It’s officially the first day of spring but it feels like midsummer here. What big piles of snow were left are melting fast and except for the leafless trees, all signs of winter seem to have disappeared. This early summer seems a little weird but no one’s complaining! I got on my bike for the first time this year and went to my yoga class with sandals on yesterday, it felt amazing. The tennis courts are open, people are talking about heading to the beach…it sure doesn’t feel like March!
I needed a sunny lunch to go with my sunny day, and was inspired (on Pinterest, where else?) by this fresh take on an avocado salad.
I didn’t have all their ingredients on hand, but I tossed mine together with a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and threw some chopped Kalamata olives on top…bright, fresh and super tasty.
I’m typing outside in the sun, but I think I’d better get to the library if I’m going to get any work done… this beautiful weather isn’t conducive to school work!
Hope the sun is shining wherever you are!
Dwight Schrute would approve of this salad. Actually, it’s probably a little too high maintenance for him (but it’s really easy, I promise!). This winter salad features beets, citrus, fennel and onions — might not sound like a winning combination, but let yourself be surprised. The contrast in textures, flavours and colours make this something special.