Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Spring Quinoa Salad With No Quinoa

I've been reading Gluten Free Girl and the Chef's blog on a pretty regular basis lately. She writes about some pretty amazing looking food and I'm often inspired to get in the kitchen after I read it. But when I go back to the post to look again, I feel like I used to when I would read through Martha Stewart's magazine - that in reality, the recipes are either just a little too complicated, a little too expensive for the lengthy list of ingredients, or just a little over my skill level. But I recently saw this post for Spring Quinoa Salad and it looked like something potentially more my speed, both in skill and ingredients. And with the weather heating up, the last thing I've wanted to do lately is eat some crock pot, "home cooking" type of meal (illustrated by the 3/4 of a meatloaf still in the fridge that was supposed to have been eaten by now). I decided to give this a shot and use some of the ingredients I had on hand to help the old grocery budget.

So during Addy's nap today I got motivated and pickled the onions. The recipe said to "french cut" them, and at the time I didn't want to take the 30 seconds to read about it. As I look now, it looks like I actually did a mostly french cut. I also realized that I in fact did not have the quinoa that I thought I had, so I cooked some brown rice instead.

"French cut" red onions

Pickeling liquid

Finished onions

The onions smelled great as they cooked in the briny liquid and my mouth was watering the whole time. Then I preceded to wash the pan and make rice krispie treats. :-P Very productive nap time!

Then at dinnertime I finished up the rest of the recipe. I had some lettuce from our CSA pick up this week, so I just used that. I also didn't have champagne vinegar, so I used some pear vinegar I had with some extra virgin olive oil. I did chop up some asparagus, so that part was the same.

My salad!

The result was super yummy. The rice was not nearly as complex a flavor and texture as the quinoa would have been, but the sweeter dressing was a great combo with the spicy andouille sausage. Addy loved the sausage, too, so that was a fun find. So I'm proud of myself for trying something so "foodie" - maybe I will be less intimidated to try more of their recipes now that I can say I've pickled onions.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Time Flies

Wow, no post since March? I'd like to say I've been busy, but I'm not sure that I can make that excuse. Well, an almost one year old will keep a girl busy, for sure. I can say very excitedly that I'm 16 weeks pregnant, so I think I will say that the baby has been eating up my motivation. But I'm well into the second trimester now, the baby is doing great, and energy and nausea levels have returned to normal on most days. 

So, what else has been going on?

CSA Experiment - We had our first CSA pick up this week, which I was very excited about. I know it is early, so I wasn't expecting much. We got some turnips, green onions, and some green leaf lettuce. So far we have had a salad with the lettuce and green onions, and they were tasty. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with the turnips yet. Don't people eat turnip greens too? Hm, need to do some Googling.

Camping Experiment - We did some early camping with Addy last month. Overall it went well, but it did rain all night, which was very loud on the roof of the pop-up camper (otherwise known as Poppy) and kept us awake alot. It also got pretty chilly, so it was a good lesson in learning the best way to keep the whole camper warm. We ended up abandoning the electric heater and using the propane heat instead - after we did that, we were all very toasty. But I think Addy had a good time, and she slept very well, so we were glad to have this experiment under our belt before summer or any potentially longer trips.

Our Camping Baby

Crazy Weather - Back in March and early April we did get some crazy weather, including some big hail. I really thought the skylight in the kitchen was going to come crashing down, but that thing is obviously built to withhold some pounding. Check out some pics that Matt took of the ice.