Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Spring Dinner

I still have two easy dinners from "Bachelor Monday" to share but with these wonderful bursts of warm weather I have been feeling like summer is just around the corner. Well, at least in LA it is (sorry to my Ohio readers who are still having bursts of winter!). A couple weeks ago I threw together a delicious warm weather dinner that was both full of flavor and light on the calories - Lemon Cucumber Quinoa and Grapefruit Avocado Salad.

Lemon Cucumber Quinoa
NOTE: I made an entire batch of quinoa but only used about 1/2 for the preparation below. This allows you to make a variety of salads out of the same batch of quinoa.

1 Cup Red Quinoa (other quinoa can be substituted)
2 Cups Water (broth can be substituted)
Olive Oil
Good Quality Salt (I like the Pink Himalayan Salt with a grinder from Trader Joe's)

1. Prepare quinoa in water in either a rice cooker or on the stove according to package directions. Allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Based on the amount of quinoa you are using with this preparation, finely chop cucumber and mint. Add to quinoa.
3. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste. You will want to make sure there is a noticeable lemon flavor but not overpowering.
4. Add a dash of olive oil and a bit of salt.
5. Stir and adjust the above as needed.

Makes approximately 8 side servings if all the quinoa is used.

For more great quinoa recipes, check out past posts here as well as The Little Red Apron - my friend Lisa's blog!

Grapefruit Avocado Salad
Butter Lettuce
Red Onion
Pink Grapefruit
Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (regular champagne vinegar with a little orange juice would probably be a fine substitution)
Olive Oil
Good Quality Salt

1. Rinse butter lettuce (if needed) and add to salad bowl.
2. Cut up avocado, red onion and grapefruit in proportion to the amount of lettuce used. I recommend that not more than a ratio of 1/3 toppings to 2/3 lettuce be used as these are bold flavors.
3. Lightly salt the salad.
4. Mix together the vinegar and olive oil. I have found the best way to do this is to slowly add the olive oil to the vinegar while whisking. The amount will vary based on how wet a salad you prefer. Personally I feel that this salad is best with just a bit of dressing. Remember, you can always add more if you feel you went too light.
5. Toss and serve.

I served this with the Grilled Lemon Chicken from Trader Joe's however even without the chicken it was a great meal for my vegetarian friend. We enjoyed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with our meal however next time I would probably choose a different label. I can't wait for the weather to stay warm and enjoy more meals like this all summer long!

1 comment:

  1. Looks delish! Thanks for the nod to my blog. I haven't tried red quinoa, but LOVE the idea and will look for it in Indy.