Quinoa with Arugula, Peas and Fresh Thyme Vinaigrette

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Oh jeez. I am admittedly already not keeping up with the blogging world, and it’s only been a couple months. This thing is harder than it seems! I mean there’s the whole conceptualizing recipes thing (easy), cooking (easy, except when baking dishes spontaneously combust in my oven), eating (really easy), writing everything down that I cook (in measurements – hard), taking photos of everything (not all that hard, but camera gets a little greasy), writing something even mildly interesting (hard), and then posting the whole thing.

Ok, written out it doesn’t seem nearly as taxing as I’m making it out to be, but I need a gripe moment.

I so admire the food bloggers I have been following for years who post beautiful, engaging content and delicious recipes nearly every day! And some of them have been doing it consistently for a very long time. Kudos to you all, oh Internet food heroes of mine. I am forever in awe of your perseverance and dedication.

I initially did expect myself to post every day…ha! Evidently I shot a little high on this one. But it is certainly a learning process, and like many things it is getting easier as I blog more and move farther into the cyber-rabbit hole of the food blogging world.

The ironic part of this all is that I really am cooking a lot these days. Herb-rubbed steaks, kale salads with roasted garlic, zucchini noodles in cilantro pesto, feta and artichoke heart quiches, coconut chili popsicles…tons of summer goodies! But getting them committed to my notepad, camera and website within a few hours of licking the plate clean is proving to be a challenge. But I must say that the summertime makes this kind of “sit, stay, write” project harder for me to assume. I find myself more interested in heading for the sun-lit hills to run around, drink fine tequila and kill an overheated afternoon with friends floating down a river. Or nap in my bed and read food magazines and watch shitty movies. That has also been a regular activity this summer.

But as we transition into autumn, which is truly one of my favorite times of year, and the mercury drops, I will undoubtedly find myself more willing to sit. Stay. Write. Cook. I can already feel my autumnal home-making instincts kicking in as the afternoon sunlight starts to change and the breezes coming across the mesas are bringing a new chill with them. I know it’s still August, but Falls comes fast in the desert. It is good, and about time. My liver can’t take too much more Chamucos reposado, even though it is liquid gold 🙂

So here’s a recipe that is perfectly fresh for summer but can easily carry us over into the rich, earthy meals of the Fall. It sides well with a good grilled chicken and boiled corn or a hearty lamb dish and root vegetables. I’m keeping this one in the rotation for sure! I’m a big fan of this dish, and that’s not due solely to the fact that I love frozen peas as much as I do, but it might have something to do with it.

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Quinoa With Peas, Arugula, and Thyme Vinaigrette

1 C quinoa

3/4 C peas (I used frozen peas due to the fact that I love them very much, and I let them thaw in the fridge for about a day before I used them)

Large handful of fresh arugula

1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chiffonade (lay leaves flat and stack, roll up and slice thinly so you get little strips)

Vinaigrette

6 Tbsp olive or sesame oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced

Pinch of salt

Smaller pinch of pepper

Directions

Rinse quinoa under running water, then combine with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Vinaigrette: Put all ingredients into a jar, close lid tight and shake to combine. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Combine cooled quinoa, peas, arugula, mint and vinaigrette. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

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