It’s the beginning of June, which means technically it’s still spring but mentally we all view it as summer. If you live in New Hampshire, as I do, Mother Nature likes to provide reminders as to what season it truly is. Last week I had an evening alone and planned on making a nice, chilled salad for my dinner. However, the temperature hovered in the upper 40s all day long as a steady rain fell. This was not chilled salad weather.
cold weather = warm meal
That’s an equation in my meal planning book. I thought about how I could transform the salad from chilled to warm, which wasn’t difficult for the main ingredient. The tricky part would be determining what dressing to use. As a cold salad, I had planned on using Greek yogurt as the base. Then I remembered that I had some leftover cranberry sauce from a previous dinner. Cranberry sauce would give this salad a Thanksgiving feel, which kind of matched the weather outside. Not freezing, but pretty darn chilly.
This is a light, vegetarian salad. If you’re looking to make it heartier, you could add some toasted walnuts. For your carnivorous diners, some cooked chicken would be a good option. If you want to pair it with a cocktail, What’s Up, Doc?, created by the bartender at the Loews Ventana Canyon would be delicious. Be sure to visit Parched No More to get the recipe.
For a lighter entrée salad with a nice array of flavors, this is one you have to try.
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- olive oil
- 1-2 Tb. sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup diced carrots
- 2 Tb. cranberry sauce
- salt & pepper
- Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepot and bring to a boil.
- When boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
- While quinoa simmers, heat small frying pan over medium heat. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil.
- When pan is heated, add onions and cook until translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
- Fill a second small saucepot with water and bring to a boil. Add diced carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
- Transfer cooked quinoa to a serving bowl.
- Drain the carrots, discarding the water, and add carrots to quinoa.
- Top with cooked onions and cranberry sauce. Stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired.