Unmotivated to make dinner tonight? Has the thought of dishes antagonized you all day? Are you constantly peering into your fridge thinking… “there’s actually nothing in here for me to eat!" (effortlessly of course – otherwise why bother?). “Er-mah-Gerd”, me too, I do this all the time!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, hosting and everything that comes with entertaining but let’s be real here, on your average Tuesday there’s nothing in the world I love more than vegging on the couch with a little Netflix - so bring on the salad!
This recipe was created with YOU in mind!
As a #VIEFITTER, you and I both know, lazy isn’t how we would describe each other, however, even the strongest of people need a little break sometimes. That’s why I’ve come up with this Easy peasy lemon squeezy salad designed to be successful even during the laziest of days. It’s a super versatile quinoa salad filled with a ton of nutrients that can be eaten warm or cold depending on your mood. Lo and behold, the perfect cheat sheet to a deliciously well-rounded meal.
The last couple times I chose to make this recipe, I really focused on the mess I was leaving behind. I thought to myself: How can I make this entire experience completely effortless? As the salad is already so easy to make, I quickly realized that perfection wasn’t very far away. After another successful creation, all that was left to do were the dishes.
That’s when it dawned on me, what if there were hardly any dishes to do in the first place? As I was crouching over the sink, with my completely cringe-worthy posture, this, immediately became my new goal. I began examining each and every kitchen tool, deciding which ones could be quickly rinsed then reused and which ones could have a dual purpose. Through elimination process, I was able to narrow the entire list down to 7 Lucky winners. Mission accomplished!
Note: Use your water glass to measure out the quinoa and the water needed to prep it. Use the fork you plan to eat with, to stir, toss and combine everything. Roughly chop the herbs, your blender will do most of the work and an added bonus for those flying solo, you get to eat straight from the salad bowl - so no plates to wash for you!
I think the real focus though, should be on the ingredients found in this recipe. As were all trying to avoid shopping as much as possible, I REALLY wanted to share something extremely flexible yet completely wholesome. To be honest, lately, I've been making the base of this salad; the quinoa and the dressing, on average two or three times weekly. Apart from those two steps, the rest of the recipe is entirely adaptable to your situation, use whatever vegetables you have ready and available. It's not how you accessorize your salad it's strictly how you dress it!
"Cooking is the art of adjustment" - Jacques Pepin
I rarely use precise measurements because that takes away the fun of cooking. (not to mention all the extra cleaning it gives you ) Trust yourself, you've got this. The joy of cooking is in the freedom of creation. It shouldn't be a chore - just remember, the worst thing that can happen, is a quick taste of something absolutely inedible. You'll quickly resort to ordering pizza for dinner and laughing it off the next day. You're not filing for bankruptcy or anything remotely close to that so don't fear your kitchen, have fun in it!
Throw the ingredients in a blender and give it a blast, after a couple seconds of pulverizing, once it's silky smooth, taste it. You'll know right away if it's missing anything, it's supposed to be yummy! If it isn't, play around with it. Is it too sour? Balance the lemon with a bit more honey. Too thick? Add some oil. It's always better to start with small amounts and adjust accordingly afterwards. I learned this the hard way, it is very challenging to recover from an overpowering taste of basil or tarragon. Trust the process & have fun while doing it. Now for those seriously reluctant, here's a rough estimate: 4-6 mint leaves 4-6 basil leaves 6-8 chive scapes 2-3 garlic cloves 1-2 juiced lemons 1-2 tablespoons of honey (or maple sirop or 1 Tbsp of each) 3 Mississippi's of olive oil salt and pepper to taste Keep in mind that I use a Vitamix blender (which is the best investment, if you allow me this one council). A magic bullet, for instance, will not achieve the same texture. It will need to run a bit longer to work through the herbs but the flavor will remain ultimately very similar.
This salad preserves really well in the fridge for a couple of days and if you don't eat it all in one sitting just be mindful of the more delicate veggies like avocado & arugula. They won't survive long in that environment.
To give you some extra ideas, there are many other items to chose from including but not limited to; carrots, spinach, red onion, beets, roasted fennel, radishes, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, olives, goats cheese, toasted walnuts, canned chickpeas etc.
Good luck, have fun and get creative!
I'd love to hear or see your version of this masterpiece. Don't hesitate to leave some feedback in the comment section below or better yet share with us at #VIEFIT, a picture of you VEGGING ON YOUR COUCH!