Quinoa Summer Salad--Guest Post!

Today, I am having a like-minded, long time friend Jessica Barboza give you a recipe that she cooks up all the time for her family in Eastern North Carolina. Jessica is a lover of good food, investing in local community, and standing up against Monsanto and GMO’s. One of the first times we really hung out was to watch the Princess Bride when we both realized the other was somewhat obsessed with the film, a classic from 1987. Since then we’ve moved apart but enjoy keeping up with each other from a distance through Facebook and messenger. Though Jessica doesn't have her blog up at the moment she was nice enough to take time to write down (who has time to write down your thrown-together-supper-meal?! Am-i-right?) her favorite or go-to recipe when it comes to good healthy eating.

I’ll let Jessica take it from here, and I’ll give this dish a name, Quinoa Summer Salad, though you could opt for more Autumn vegetables if what you have on hand, or at your local farmer market varies from what’s below.



I love how versatile this is! I’ve even added shredded zucchini (with moisture pressed out) for extra vegetables. You can use 4 cups of cooked rice or over veggie noodles (butternut squash, zucchini, etc) in a pinch, but it just isn’t as good. Also, this will always be best if everything is organic and fresh!



12oz bag of quinoa

bunch of asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces

grape tomatoes, halved, 

chopped fresh spinach, 

red, yellow and orange bell peppers, cut into strips

1 can Canneneli beans

16 oz meat of your choice: turkey sausage, shredded chicken (omit if vegan)

4-6 minced garlic cloves

½ t. basil (or 1T minced fresh)

¼ t. dried thyme

½ t. dried oregano 

1 t. onion powder

salt and pepper to taste*

¼ c. +rice vinegar

1/8 c. lemon juice (and extra zest if it is fresh)

¼ c. olive oil

- Cook quinoa in large pot while veggies sauté and set aside. 

- In a large skillet, brown asparagus pieces in olive oil and minced garlic and spices. Let everything get clumped up and add halved tomatoes and bell peppers and scrape up browned pieces in the bottom of the pan. 

- Add the rest of the non-liquid ingredients into the skillet and make sure everything is coated well with the spice mixture.

- Add everything together with the quinoa and drizzle with the last three liquid ingredients, tossing to coat gently so that the softened vegetables don’t get mushed, but evenly distributed. 

- Serve immediately, but hot or warm this stuff is comfort food!

-Jessica Barboza