My local Natural Food Coop has been making a fiesta quinoa salad for years (10+). I ate it like crazy when it first showed up in the deli and would also pick some up for potlucks or for dinner. A few years ago I started making it myself. I remember it was a blistering hot summer, and for weeks it was over 100 degrees and I refused to turn on my oven for most of it. Like most summers, we live off of cool meals such as avocado mint soup, salads galore, raw treats and homemade ice cream. This quinoa salad is super refreshing and it’s a favorite among my family and friends. Maybe this dish will make an appearance at your next party…or for dinner one hot summer night. xo, –Amber Continue reading
Category Archives: summer cuisine
Last year I finally bought myself a mini muffin pan…and I love it! I try to keep snack time creative and healthy for the kiddos and mini muffins were a perfect new addition. I love using almond flour for the muffins, as they are packed with protein. Any flavor combo is possible and I adore that they are easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to eat. Today I am sharing blueberry, as blueberries are in season and such a delightful little berry. I also use cherry, strawberry, or raspberry or any combo of each. The kids also love banana chocolate chip, which I will share soon. Have you ever made mini muffins? I am addicted! Continue reading
It’s warming up here in these parts. A heat wave is moving through right now and pushing temps into the 90s. Therefore cool, refreshing dishes are in demand. It will drop back down to cooler temps next week, and let’s hope May is nice and mild. May is usually our last month of decent weather before the searing summer heat blankets our region. But it’s all good. I love the summer and I’m no stranger to hot, dry heat. As a child I grew up in the desert near Death Valley (in Southern California) – so bring it on. I was at Costco the other day and found organic, fair-trade mini seedless watermelons. Awesome-sauce! They are super delicious and so sweet. I’m thinking this would be a great dish for any summer gathering.
About a month after I started blogging I posted a recipe for baked spring rolls and they were my favorite food for months. I made them over and over again…until like most things I make over and over again…I became satiated (and over it). I haven’t really made spring rolls in a while. Last month (in December) I was looking for a recipe to bring to a holiday party. I thought, “What would everyone like, carnivores and vegetarians alike?” So I made some raw spring rolls and wowza they are fun to make and super yummy. I forgot how much I enjoy stuffing those little rice wrappers. And the sauce, oh the sauce! The sunbutter honey dipping sauce that accompanies these little rolls has such a delightfully complex flavor. Sunbutter is a great sub for peanut butter in traditional peanut-based sauces. Definitely give it a try.
Zughetti with Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Chicken Topped with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce
-1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups filtered water
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
-2 teaspoons garlic granules (or 1 fresh clove)
-1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apple
-1 cup chopped cucumber
-2/3 cup diced red onion
-2/3 cup chopped sweet orange pepper (I like the gypsy variety)
-1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
-Fresh herbs for garnish (I used parsley and tarragon)
-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
-3 tablespoons local honey (vegans sub with 3 tablespoons coconut nectar and maybe a drop or two of stevia to your sweet preference, perhaps maple syrup would work as a sub too)
-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 teaspoons salt
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon onion granules
-1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1. To a blender, add in the vinegar, honey, salt, garlic grans, and onion grans. Blend on low for 10 seconds.
2. Keep the blender running on low and drizzle in the oil very slowly.
3. Then add in the mustard. Blend on medium-high for 10 seconds.
4. Adjust salt and other flavors to taste.
*I’ve included two links above to the products I use. I buy them in town, but I wanted to give you an example of what I am using.
-2 cups shredded chicken*
-1/2 cup dill pickle, small chop
-1/2 cup celery, chopped
-1/2 cup peeled apple, small chop
-1/3 cup diced red onion
-1/3 cup mayo ~ here or here , vegan or homemade vegan
-1 teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard (optional)
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
-1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
-1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1. To a bowl add in the above ingredients and mix.
2. Best if made 4 – 6 hours before serving.
*The best way to “shred” chicken is in a food processor. Simply add in the two cups of chicken and give it a whirl. Personally, I like to cook chicken in the crock-pot, this makes it shred naturally. So I use leftover crock-pot chicken for my chicken salad. You could also used cubed chicken, it’s really up to you.
*There are endless possibilities with chicken salad. Here are some of my other favorite add-ins: sliced grapes, sweet yellow or red peppers, cucumber, hard boiled egg, radish, green onions, fresh dill, cashews, mango, slivered almonds, walnuts, kalamata olives, bacon, curry spice, or dried cranberries. Go crazy folks.