Quinoa Caprese Salad

 

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Summer has arrived!  We just made it through a ridiculous heat wave sending us into the high 90’s and even 100’s.  Unfortunately this means cooking has been one of the last things on my mind.  I’m trying to prevent adding any extra heat to the house.  Thankfully we do have a/c but we try to keep our usage to a minimum using it only when necessary.  Of course a heat wave counts as necessary!

Otherwise we have been busy.  We moved into a new home into a new location just outside of Boulder.  We have so so so much more space, it’s been a welcomed upgrade.  The kitchen is open with endless cabinets, drawers, and counter space.  As you can imagine I’m loving this.  But of course it’s been too hot to cook elaborate exciting meals.  Instead we’ve been opting for simple light food that requires little usage of the stove and none of the oven.  The farmer’s market is in full swing and we have been buying fresh baby greens every week.  They are tasty and crunchy!  Much better than any store bought lettuce.  And the mushrooms, so yummy, by far my favorite thing to buy at the market!

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I have made this caprese salad a few times already and it’s been my go to meal lately.  I switch the grain up between quinoa and millet, but I’ve decided I prefer the flavor and texture of the quinoa.  Sometimes we eat this caprese salad over a bed of local greens other times just as is.  It’s delicious either way.  I keep it basic adding cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and blueberry balsamic vinegar.  And for a little extra crunch and flavor I add in a head or two of chopped Belgium endive.  I make it early enough to marinate and chill before enjoying.  We always have leftovers and it’s just as delicious for breakfast with a fried egg on top.

And lastly, I think it’s about time to share one last detail.. we are expecting baby #2 this fall!  We are very excited to expand our family and this is the main reason why we’ve moved to have more space.  And now I have an excuse, my pregnancy, for the erratic posting over the last four months.  Overall it’s been a pretty smooth ride but adjusting to the changes always takes time.  Especially this round since I have Cia to take care of too, not just myself.  So here we are living in a new home getting ready for our growing family.  Just typing this brings a smile to my face.  This pregnancy experience so far has been pretty much the same as the first round.  One notable difference though is my acceptance to pungent herbs.  When I was pregnant with Cia a lot if not most foods made me nauseous at the beginning and I never came around to enjoying certain flavors as basil or cilantro.  And these are two herbs I typcially love.  This pregnancy I did experience nausea early on but it never interfered with the foods I typically eat.  So bring on the basil and cilantro!

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Quinoa Caprese Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • basil
  • 1 or 2 head of Belgium endive
  • s&p
  • olive oil
  • blueberry balsamic vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  1. Cook quinoa according to package.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop cherry tomatoes and mozzarella and add to large bowl.  Chiffonade basil and endive also adding to bowl.
  3. Toss quinoa in to tomato mixture.  Add 1/8 cup of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of vinegar.  Season generously with s&p.  Toss well and add more olive oil if necessary.  Note: blueberry balsamic vinegar is much more mild than white balsamic vinegar so if you are using white balsamic vinegar start with less adding more as needed.  I prefer the strong flavor but Josh does not so I use less than I typically would for the main bowl and add more to my individual serving.
  4. Cover and place in fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.

 

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