Sunday, December 23

Oh, hey there!

I’m back! After a long hiatus and something of a move (to the Pacific Northwest), I’ve decided it’s time to start cooking again. Granted Portland, my new home, is BEAUTIFUL but it can begin to feel a little depressing when winter settles in. After a few weeks of feeling trapped beneath the grey sky I decided not to succumb to what is widely known up here as S.A.D. but rather to use the colors in my kitchen to brighten my mood. The first recipe that I decided to try out is an absolutely delicious Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad. The recipe I played with is easy, straight forward and completely customizable. Feel free to add (or omit) whatever you feel like, just make sure you use as many bright colors as possible so the finished product not only assaults your taste buds but is easy on the eyes as well.

¾ c. quinoa (any kind will do)
1 ½ c. vegetable broth (or water)
a large handful of cherry or grape tomatoes (whichever is ripest)
½ red bell pepper
½ cucumber
a bunch of curly parsley (finely chopped)
10 mint leaves (finely chopped)
½ medium red onion
5 cloves garlic
juice of 1 super juicy lemon
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ c. really good olive oil (or as much as you’d like to add)
salt and pepper to taste

I make my quinoa using vegetable broth, just to give it a little more flavor. Pour the quinoa in a saucepan and add the broth (or water) over high heat. Once it starts to boil cover with the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. You’re going to let this simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid.

In the meantime get your knives out because you are going to spend the next 20 minutes chopping. Chop all of your veggies and throw them into a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, salt and pepper them, and once the quinoa has finished cooking add the quinoa directly over the top. Combine everything and pour your olive oil over top. You can eat this beautiful medley of flavors right away or you can let your concoction sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors have a chance to soak into each other. I added avocado over the top just to add a little somethin extra. I’d say this recipe definitely worked to pull me out of my rainy day funk. Did it work for you?  

I wish my pictures were as bright and sunny as my ones from LA! But here is a better look at some of those beautiful colors during the day. 

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