Fresh Lemon Quinoa-Slaw with Baked Salmon

Today Cleveland was an uncommonly sunny, and 65 degree day, and the entire city was out enjoying the amazing weather.  If there is one thing about Clevelanders, it is that they know how to take advantage of a warm day in March.  I had an incredibly busy weekend helping my boyfriend’s sister move, and today the day off was well deserved.  I spent the day pretending like spring had arrived and I could not stop imagining the crisp salads, and light meals that come with warm weather.  So, after the two-hour walk with the golden retriever Samantha, it was decided that we were going to have a fresh, crisp, lemony healthy dinner, in honor of the spring like weather.

As usual, I spent a fair portion of the afternoon perusing numerous websites, pinning on pinterest, and compiling my personal recipe in my head.  I am never satisfied with just one, so I combine them all, and that is how I came up with my “Lemon Quinoa-Slaw”.  I essentially combined a vinegar based coleslaw recipe, with a Tabboulah recipe, while replacing the Bulgar with Quinoa. Let me begin to explain the process.  I started with 1 cup of quinoa, and 1 cup of vegetable stock boiling and then simmering on the stove for about 15 minutes.  While that was working, I chopped up the parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and red pepper, and combined it with the shredded cabbage.  After all the chopping was done, I made the vinaigrette for the salad.  I combined the juice of 2 lemons, with 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, and whisked in about 3/4 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  At that time the quinoa was finished, I fluffed it, and tossed everything together.  When you ate a spoonful of it, you immediately got a burst of citrus from the lemon, and was followed with the tangy vinegar.  The texture of the coleslaw, with the quinoa worked perfectly.  Each bite was crisp, savory, and tangy at the same time.  DELICIOUS!

I paired the Quinoa-Slaw with Balsamic Baked Salmon, and roasted broccoli.  I cranked the oven up to 375*, threw the broccoli on on side of asheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper, and the other half of the sheet pan was the salmon drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  Bake for 15 minute, and you have yourself a meal.

This meal was crisp, fresh, clean and delicious.  Not to mention it provided came along with essential amino acids from the Salmon, loads of protein from the quinoa, and my vitamins that I need from the broccoli.  It is also a meal that is friendly to my boyfriends Crohn’s disease as well.  So it is a home run in my book!

Food is Art is Life.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirlooms from Lincoln Square Market

Now is the time in Chicago where all the markets, festivals, and events are in full swing.  My favorite part is the markets.  I live in Lincoln Square, and we now have two markets a week with fresh vegetable, flower, cheese, and sweets.  You name it, our market has it.  The one thing that caught my eye last week, were the heirloom tomatoes.  Clearly the colors of the tomatoes were what initially caught my eye.  The market was filled with them, so many reds, purples, greens, and ZEBRA colored tomatoes.  I must have been standing at the basket of tomatoes for 15 minutes trying to decide which colors were my favorite.  While I was standing there, the workers began to notice my unavoidable interest and inability to make a decision, so they started talking to me about the tomatoes.  It is so nice to be able to literally talk to the farmer that grew the food that you are buying.  I started asking how heirloom tomatoes come about.  The farmer broke it down for me, essentially telling me about seed saving.  The farmers save the seeds of the tomatoes, clean them, and reuse them.  Upon doing so, the tomatoes start to change in a way that no others can.  They form the different colors, and have an incredibly different shape.  The tomatoes above were cultivated by seeds that have been saved and used for over 50 years!  INCREDIBLE!  I couldn’t wait to get home and take pictures of these bad boys.  I had a great time at the farmers market learning about Heirlooms and now I get to share my little knowledge of them with you.  I had a salad last night with them in it, and they taste amazing.  They have much more flavor than most tomatoes I have bought at the supermarket.  Granted, they are more expensive, but the visual appearance, and the taste are well worth the extra $1.  So go to your local market and have fun…I know I did.