Friday, May 11, 2012

Snapshots of Spring and a Quinoa Salad

It's Spring. It's Friday. The sun is out. I couldn't be happier.

The last few weekends have been filled with brunching, shopping and lounging in the sunshine.

Plus some spring cleaning... but I won't share pictures of that. 

(Brunch at Cafe Medina in Vancouver)

(Waffle with white chocolate pistachio rosewater dipping sauce. Oh. Em. Gee. was this ever good)

This weekend to come should hold more of the same... plus a quick trip to the states AND our first BBQ Picnic of the season. Yay!

I hope I'm not boring you with the salads... I have been making a quinoa salad of some sort almost weekly this spring, and I am still loving them! Quinoa is just so good. and easy. and versatile. 

This one features in-season asparagus, the first of the plump, juicy grape tomatoes (they aren't quite there yet, but not long now!), and creamy dreamy goat cheese. Douse with balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy for lunches or as a side with grilled chicken or fish throughout the week.

Me? I can't wait to grab this salad and a bottle of chilled white wine and head to the park for the afternoon. 



Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Chickpeas and Goat Cheese



1 Cup Quinoa
1 Bunch Asparagus, blanched and cooled
1 Pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 Cup marinated artichoke hearts, coursely chopped
1 Can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 Bunch (3-4 stems) green onions, thinly sliced
6 Oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled


1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Garlic clove, crushed or minced
Pinch each salt & pepper
3/4 Cup olive oil

1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. I personally like to use just a little less water than directions usually say, it makes for a slightly drier end result. Once quiona is cooked (about 15 minutes), fluff with a fork and refrigerate to cool while you chop the vegetables and prepare the rest of the salad.

2. To make dressing, combine first 5 ingredients (excluding oil) and whisk together. Slowly add oil while whisking quickly, the dressing should thicken slightly.

3. Once quinoa is cooled, combine with the vegetables in a bowl, crumble in goat cheese, drizzle with dressing, and toss to combine.

Delicious served on a bed of baby arugula or spinach.

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