It's Quinoa Summer Salad Time!

IMG_6931

As I'm writing this post, the thunder, lightning and rain is slowly coming after a very hot few days filled with music festivals, friends & fun. I love stormy summer nights and the freshness it brings.

This is my favorite salad for summertime, and the one I usually make for potlucks and picnics. That's what I brought yesterday to a summer night at a friend's place chillin' by the pool with a great sunset. This super fresh, healthy, full of flavors salad with a crunchy taste is perfect for vegetarians or as a side dish. I'm a huge fan of  quinoa, a seed (looks like a grain but is actually a seed from South America in the Andes region- a very ancient seed once called "The Gold of The Incas"). It's a complete protein, which contains all the 9 amino acids, it is very high in fibers, iron, magnesium and with lots of nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties. Very refreshing for a summer night.

All you need:

  • 1/2 english cucumber
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 5-10 Cherry tomatoes
  • Mint leaves
  • Herbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive or walnut oil
  • Lemon juice

 

IMG_6913

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F, place your red peppers cut in half (remove the stem and seeds) on a baking sheet with a little olive oil on top, the skin side up,  roast them for 20-25 minutes or when ready with dark spots. Then, you can take the skin off (better to digest), and cut in slices. (You can also put them in a ziploc bag for 10 minutes, which will make it even easier to take the skin off). Set aside in a dish. You can add some olive oil and herbs to marinate. It will bring more flavor to your salad.
  • Rinse well your quinoa before cooking. Cook it in water for 12 minutes. When ready, put it in the fridge to cool down while preparing the rest of the salad.
  • Crumble your feta cheese in a bowl.
  • Peel & dice the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Add herbs & mint leaves
  • Drizzle with olive/walnut oil and lemon juice

IMG_6924IMG_6942

Happy summer (heatwave) day!

IMG_20130727_202059Sunset from last night.

Colourful Green Beans Salad

This is one of my "go to" salad during summertime to bring to picnics and potlucks. It's fresh and peaches are a perfect addition for a summery taste. I'm attracted to colorful food that looks good on a plate (and photos of course! ;) ). If this salad would be a type of music, it would definitely be a reggae one! ;)

"Lift up your hearts with a smile   Lift up your feet with a dance   Lift up your spirits with a song   Its family time, its family time, its family time"

All you need:

  • 500 gr/ 1 lbs Green beans
  • 1 red pepper -grilled in oven
  • 1 yellow pepper -grilled in oven
  • 2 peaches
  • 2 cups of feta with olive oil, crushed garlic and dry herbs

Cook the green beans in boiling water until done, 15-20min. Then, put it in the fridge to let it cool down wile cooking the rest of the ingredients.

Place the red and yellow peppers in a baking pan in the oven at 200°C /400°F for 20 minutes or when the skin turns black . Turn them a few times. To take the skin off, you can place them in a bowl and put a cellophane paper on it and let it cool down for 10 minutes. The skin will then get off easily.

Mix the feta cheese, olive oil, crushed garlic and dry herbs together in a bowl and let it marinate.

Mix everything together.

Cut the peaches in small pieces and add them to the salad.

Peaches are a great source of vitamin C which is good for a healthy glowing skin and contain vitamin A, good for the eyes and heart. They're rich in minerals like potassium to regulate blood pressure and iron. The fibers are good for the digestion. And moreover....they taste so sweet, who could resist a peach?! ;)

Let it cool down in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Buon appetito!

Share your favorite summer salad!

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/408214-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-peaches/