Dinner salads for a hot evening

I never seem to get enough salad on these hot end of summer days. So today I made two salads for dinner. I use the website Cookie and Kate as a resource and inspiration. Kate has wonderful fresh veggie recipes, I want to jab at the screen with my fork because her photos are so enticing. I don’t always have the exact combinations of ingredients for the recipes, so I use them as a jumping off point. Here is what I made tonight.

Kale and veggie salad and Quinoa tabouli

I had to pull it all together pretty quickly because I told my trainer, Ben that I would show up for boot camp at six, only an hour to pick stuff from the garden, pull out the veggie drawer in the fridge and chop, chop, chop.  I don’t want Ben to think I’m lame and lazy; I already know that I am, I want to keep him fooled as long as possible so I have to go.

I raided the garden for tomatoes, basil, parsley and mint.

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Rinsed my quinoa and started it cooking.  You have to rinse quinoa before cooking it, otherwise it can taste bitter. How do I know this? I am lazy and one time I didn’t rinse it and it didn’t taste as yummy. 

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I also started blanching my frozen edamame. I  didn’t have shallots that were called for in the recipe, but I found a half a red onion in the fridge and some sugar snap peas.  This time I used the tuscan kale, cutting the leaves away from the tough ribs and chopping the kale into bite sized pieces.  Using my hands I scrunched the kale a bunch to tenderize it.  Added the rest of the bag of shredded carrots I found in the veggie drawer. 

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I added the sugar peas to the edamame at the last minute just to briefly blanch, and ran them under cold water. 

Here is the kale, carrots and onion getting friendly and blending flavors. Oh, and I tossed in the minced basil too,.

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I mixed put the dressing: minced ginger, and cilantro both from a tube I keep in the freezer, a bit of garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil.  I set this all aside with the two ripe avocados ready to cut and mix just before we eat. 

Now the quinoa for the tabouli is done and I set it out to cool and started chopping the veggies. cucumber and red onion go into the bowl.  

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I chopped the tomatoes into small dice, and minced the parsley and mint and tossed it all together.  I raided the lemon tree for a couple of fresh lemons and squeezed them all over the salad, added salt, pepper, a bit of minced garlic, olive oil and a dash of red wine vinegar. Then I quickly shoved the salads into the fridge and threw on my workout clothes and ran to the gym.

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Back from bootcamp and freshly showered I chopped the avocado and added it to the kale salad tossing with the dressing. Then stirred the quinoa salad and garnished it with a couple of sprigs of mint and voila…dinner

 

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Rose and Brian ate leftover pizza with the salads, but I savored the freshness of the salads with a nice glass of Prosecco. yum

 

 

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