Yesterday I had a friend and her daughter, who is a month older than Nora, over for a play date. After comparing nap schedules, we decided the best time to meet was noon, and that means lunch! I wanted to make something simple that we all could enjoy, mommies and babies alike, so I went with an old potluck standby of mine — quinoa salad. It’s quick, easy, healthy and can be made ahead, so it was perfect for the occasion.
I served it as a finger food for the babies, and on a bed of arugula for the adults — with a fork. As anticipated, we all enjoyed it. As a bonus, my friend and I got to catch up and the babies had tons of fun playing together after we ate. Oh yeah, and Nora, who was starting to take more and more steps, is now officially a walker, thanks to little Ahalya showing her how it’s done!
Here’s my basic recipe for the quinoa salad, which can be tweaked to suit what you have on hand. Enjoy!
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 ripe avocado, cubed*
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup feta, crumbled
1-2 shallots, diced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Bring the quinoa to boil in 2 cups of water, turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on (or per package directions). Set aside to cool.
Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, shallots and salt together in a small bowl until emulsified. Add the dressing and the other ingredients to the cooled quinoa and gently fold together with a large spoon or a spatula. Serve room temperature or cold.
* You can either toss the avocado with some lemon juice to keep it from browning, or just give it a quick rinse in some cold water, which, for whatever reason, seems to work just as well.