My second recipe in my Fresh Vegetarian column for Taste Magazine is up! I could go on about this strawberry and spinach salad (it’s delicious, try it) or tell you about my mishaps in the kitchen this week (there have been many), but I all I really want to say is this: thank you.
Thank you, readers, for your presence and encouraging comments. Thank you, family and friends, for your love and support. Thank you, internet, for presenting so many wonderful opportunities. Thank you, modern science, for allowing me to donate stem cells to a young man with leukemia last year. He is graduating from college this weekend and I couldn’t be happier for him. Thank you, God and universe, for this good fortune. I’m just overflowing with gratitude and all I can say is thank you.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon shallot, finely chopped
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa, warmed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- black pepper and sea salt, to taste
- ⅔ cup strawberries, chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
- Cook the quinoa: Note that 1 cup of dry quinoa yields over 3 cups cooked quinoa. Rinse the quinoa well in a mesh colander, then combine the rinsed quinoa with twice as much water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Make the dressing: In a small jar, combine the ingredients listed below. Either use a fork to whisk the ingredients well or screw a lid on the jar and give it a few good shakes. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavors if necessary (add vinegar for a more tart dressing, or maple syrup for a sweeter dressing). Set the dressing aside.
- Toast the pecans: In a small pan over medium heat, toast your pecan pieces until they are fragrant and golden (stir often). This should take around five minutes.
- In a bowl, mix together ¾ cup or more of warm quinoa with the goat cheese, salt and pepper. Mix in the strawberries and spinach, drizzle with as much dressing as desired, and mix well. Top with pecan pieces. Enjoy!
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