I hope all of you have been enjoying your summer so far. My family and I just got back from a relaxing vacation in upstate New York. It was so nice to be all together, without commitments, having fun and enjoying the good life (i.e., scenic views of breathtaking mountains, lakes and of course, some delicious food).
Well, it’s back to reality now, and I’m ready to share some of my favorite new creations with you. This weekend I finally got around to a project I’ve been desperately wanting to conquer…creating some new food photography props! I’ve recently discovered that there is no other hobby I enjoy more than creating beautiful pictures with food. So, I did something brave and walked into Lowe’s. Yes, you heard right. I have a terrifying fear of mammoth, manly hardware stores with seemingly endless aisles of supplies that go on for miles! And, I needed WOOD of all things! You see, I’m not the Martha Stewart crafty type. Any craft project I’ve ever done has pretty much turned into a disaster, so for me this project was a long shot. I spent most of Sunday afternoon sanding, glueing, staining wood and painting some new food props, and I’m kinda proud of myself. They turned out pretty well, and I’m showcasing one in this week’s recipe!
This dish makes the perfect summer lunch because it requires such little work and almost no cooking. I always have some quinoa left over in the fridge, and the roasted peppers and olives I purchase already prepared. The only real work is cutting up the cucumbers and making the dressing which takes all of five minutes. If you wanted to save calories, you could even skip the dressing and simply squeeze some lemon juice on top.
I think you’ll really enjoy these Mediterranean flavors. Why not pack up some extra to take to work (or better yet, the beach) for a healthy lunch?!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 small cucumber sliced
- ½ cup kalamata olives (pitted and halved)
- 4 large roasted peppers (in water and preferably not marinated) sliced
- 8 oz chickpeas
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- handful parsley
- For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- ½ lemon
- agave syrup
- dash sea salt
- dash pepper
- In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp of the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper with chickpeas.
- Arrange the quinoa, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas in individual serving bowls.
- For the dressing combine lemon juice, shallot, agave, salt and pepper.
- Whisk in olive oil.
- Lightly dress quinoa bowls and top with a sprig of parsley.