It is 80 degrees!
A warm, summer day, and it’s still June. What a wonderful gift for the Pacific Northwest! It was so warm in fact, that I couldn’t stand to cook for long in the heat. We needed something good, fast and simple for a late lunch.
Then I wondered, “I wonder what my other mom friends are cooking today?”
A great person to ask for good recipes is another mom. Mom’s just know how things work with children, husbands, and time efficiency, so they know what is healthy, yummy and fast. I actually learned this recipe from a darling friend of mine who also has a 2 year old. Her daughter and mine are great friends, and they play a lot together. I’ve learned so much from her and her wonderful cooking ideas!
You see, being a mom, I want to cook healthy meals and keep my family as happy and strong as possible. We haven’t been able to eat out, so fortunately we aren’t exposed to all the GMO and preservatives that are out there. There are so many problems with all the toxic herbicides and pesticides, the GMOs and the preservatives. Since the toxicity level has been rising steadily upwards since WW2, the rate of diseases has also been rising steadily. Autism, cancer, even just “brain fog” has been steadily increasing in the past 60 years.
So eating out has been off-limits not only for our allergy-free diet, but also because of the high toxicity levels in the food out there. I remembered what eating out was like… you order food, someone else makes it for you, you don’t have to do dishes, and you get to try something new!
Well, we finally did it. We heard about a place that is organic, gluten-free, soy-free and can cater to our no-garlic, no-corn, no GMO diet. If you live in the Seattle area, you are in luck! It’s called Hugo’s and it’s in Redmond. We just didn’t know where in Redmond it was located. We had just left the local craft store and we were hungry, so we tried to find it via our GPS. No luck. We decided to just go home and we could try it another day, but as we pulled out from the parking lot where we’d stopped to search the GPS, we saw it. Right there next to us.
Now that’s some good manifesting.
It was meant to be.
It was so good that my daughter ate ALL the flax crackers they served, and she even ordered more. She loved them so much that we made an order to go. She loved the server, Ben, so much that she gave him a huge hug and a flower. The food was so good, and organic. And allergy-free. We are all big fans.
And now we can finally eat out again! (and I am dancing for joy!)
But, home cooking is still best, and even though I love a night off from cooking (this was the first time in a YEAR we’d eaten out!) I do prefer for meals to be cooked by Daddy and Mommy. Or Momma as my daughter is suddenly and inexplicably calling me.
So enjoy the easiness and freshness of this lovely salad that is perfect on a warm summer day.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, washed (can substitute lettuce or other green leafy veggie)
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1 stalk of fennel, diced
- 1 large handful of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 stalk celery
- 3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- cracked pepper
- Pot and spoon
- Bowl and strainer
- Knife and cutting board
- Soak quinoa in a good fruit and veggie rinse (I recommend Sunrider’s b/c it is non-toxic and works well) for 5 min and rinse. You can soak longer if you like. (You can cook the quinoa ahead of time, then this is a super quick recipe. Cold quinoa just out of the fridge or room temperature quinoa both work great for this recipe.)
- Heat up 2 cups water to boiling, then add rinsed quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Turn to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
- Once it is finished, spoon it into a ceramic or glass bowl to cool completely.
- Place spinach in a Cuisinart and pulse until it is finely chopped.
- Add chopped spinach, and all the rest of the ingredients in with the cooled quinoa. Mix well and serve.
You can change up what veggies you put into the salad. Sometimes we add mint or diced raw apple or kohlrabi. Experiment with what you like and have fun!