Monday, July 19, 2010

What Next? - Quinoa, Tomato & Cucumber Salad

I'm in preparation mode. Cleaning out my desk at work, organizing my files, creating the necessary paper trail for the person who comes into my current position next, trying to get my apartment ready for the work-from-home transition. It's all very cathartic actually. And so far, it's a terrific distraction from the fact that I've set into motion a fairly drastic change for myself.

I'm not a person who comes around to change very easily. I wouldn't call myself impulsive per say...impromptu road trip, yes. Impulse purchase of that thing I want but don't need at the check out line in the grocery store? Often enough. The occasional late night piano bar karaoke session? It has been know to happen. But when it comes to the big decisions; a move, a job, a relationship, I tend to take my time to carefully examine the facts, and then do it again, and again, and again, until I'm so sick of thinking about it I just make up my mind to decide. I can be a tad over-analytical, and as much as I wish it weren't the case...cautious to a fault.

I don't know if this current path I've chosen will work out, but I do know it was time for me to move on. For now, at least, I have the organization of my life to keep me from pondering to death the idea of, "what happens next?" Well...I have that and True Blood, also a terrific distraction. I'm trying to just let go, take it a day at a time, and enjoy the fact that I'm about to have almost 2 weeks vacation. Unheard of. The last thing I want to do with that time is over-analyze the fun out of it.

When you clean out the desk you've worked at for the last four years, and you come across things that remind you of something that seemed to happen only yesterday, you tend to realize how quickly the time has gone by. And hopefully, how much fun you had in the process.

Quinoa, Tomato & Cucumber Salad

adapted from the NY Times

1 cup quinoa
1/2 large english cucumber, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 avocado, sliced for garnish
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt & pepper to taste

Soak the quinoa in cold water for 15 minutes, cook according to package directions. When the quinoa has cooked and is tender, drain and set aside and let cool to nearly room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and lime juice. Pour the vinaigrette over the tomatoes, onion & cucumber and let sit for about 5 minutes to marinate. Add salt & pepper to taste.

When the quinoa has cooled, mix together with the tomato mixture and add the herbs. Taste for seasoning and then garnish with avocado and serve.


  1. Thank you, this is just what I was looking for.

  2. I just made this and served a dish to my dear teen step-son. His first comment was that it was light and fresh!-that! coming from a 16 year old!