A new friend & a new recipe

Back in the “olden” days when I was a practicing military wife I would meet new people almost every single week of my life.  Somewhere along the way, I became shall we say, “seasoned”.  People started asking me for recipes or tips on being a mom or a wife.  I don’t really know when that happened?  Last Sunday, I had the good fortune of meeting a new person.  Through another friend, blah, blah, blah……it just sort of happened organically.  It took place in the warmth and comfort of a bakery.  The heavenly smells and the kind people who were working were all part of the back drop.  I instantly was drawn to the sparkle in her eyes.  Once you get past that, the book slowly opens and a kind heart and thoughtful words and curiosity come tumbling out.  You want to connect with this person right away.  She has the kind of spirit you just want to be around.  She is a young mom to be and when you find out that tid bit, you get a little shiver on the back of your neck.  You instantly have a feeling that she is going to be a wonderful mom.  You know, a mom that takes pure joy and delight in the daily life of their babe. For some unexplained reason, you want to jump on her train.  You want to be part of the goodness that is happening all around her.  You want to be among the people who lift her up and encourage her…..for someday in the future, once she is a practicing mom, you can secretly take partial credit.   yeah, yeah, I know totally selfish.  I am still doing it.

This recipe is for you.  While in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, we ordered this salad and I tried (with some measure of success) to recreate it and oh boy (hey, I wonder if she will have a boy or a girl?) is it ever delicious.

Citrus Quinoa Salad (pronounced keenwah) I am guessing you know how to pronounce citrus and salad 🙂

Let’s get the information mumbo jumbo out there first (hey we are teaching here people!)  Quinoa was cultivated over 5,000 years ago and is refered to as a super grain…..however, it is actually a seed of a plant related to beets, chard and spinach.  High in protein and magnesium (helps relax the blood vessels – could help for migraines/headaches).  Quinoa was once considered “the gold of the Incas.”

Oh one more thing……soak and wash your quinoa first.  please.  http://www.cookingquinoa.net/how-to-cook-quinoa-perfectly

I cooked my quinoa in some vegetable stock to add some flavor.  I used 1 cup of pre-soaked quinoa to 1 1/4 cup stock.  cook, drain and cool.

Then add to that:

1/2 can rinsed black beans , 1/2 can rinsed garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup shallot – chopped fine,  1/2 cup fresh spinach – chopped into thin strips,  1/4 cup red, yellow & orange pepper – thinly sliced,  the rind of one lemon, grated fine, juice of 1/2 a lemon, sea salt, pepper and about 2 Tablespoons olive oil.  Mix together.  Keep covered in the refrigerator.  Use a clear lid or a couple of layers of plastic wrap.  Put it on the top shelf so you can see it’s goodness and you will want to have some when you don’t know what you want to eat.  Day two is better than day one and I can’t even describe the goodness on day three.  So you can actually see and taste this bit of delight,   I am dropping some by tonight before you head back to Portland.

“A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and the one which we take the least thought to acquire.”

Say Grace and dig in!