As the mother of TWO beautiful baby girls, I'm discovering how to make "Ashley's kitchen" into "Mama's kitchen." You know, like the kind in old movies and nostalgic country songs. Mama's kitchen - where everyone gathers to enjoy good food, weekend brunches, family dinners, and make lasting memories. That is my destination, and this is my journey.
Here's a great salad recipe we had for dinner the other night. As the weather gets warmer, I love cooking with fresh veggies! This salad can be served warm or cold (I served it at room temp immediately after preparing it. I ate it cold the next day as leftovers, but Michael heated it up... so do what feels right to ya). It makes a great side dish, but can be a meal in itself (I added some shredded chicken and a glass of wine and called it a day!). Here's how Mama makes it:
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 T. dried dill weed
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 1 medium cucumber, chopped (or half of a large English cucumber)
- 3 green onions, chopped (white & green parts)
- 4 ounces feta cheese (about a half cup)
- 1 c. shredded chicken, optional (again, rotisserie chicken works well here)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, dill, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
3. To the dressing, add the sliced tomatoes, olives, cucumber, and green onion. Add spinach, cilantro, and quinoa and mix well.
4. Sprinkle with feta cheese and add shredded chicken, if using. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.