Quinoa Salad with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

>> Thursday, August 16, 2012

Did I ever tell you what we ended up doing with our garden? We had some grand plans, but life certainly got in the way. Most years at this time, we'd have far too much squash.Tons of tomatoes. And strange, unknown items readying for a fall harvest.

This year?

A weedy wasteland. There's some mint. Note to you all: Never plant mint. We took some from our neighbors a few years ago (they were desperately chopping it OUT of their gardens), and it's been plaguing us ever since.

Just a few feet away from our barren dirt patch, our other neighbors (our surrogate grandparents) have this:

I've never asked why, but they only ever plant tomatoes. That's all. But they're awesome at it. Their secret for growth? M.a.n.u.r.e. Just a little bit. Every spring, I see Jack, the husband, turning the soil. I guess that's what he's putting in there!

Speaking of tomatoes . . .

We posted a delicious slow-roasted tomato method over the weekend. If you haven't checked it out yet -- now's the perfect time. You'll need between 2 and 3 hours. But it's totally worth it.

They taste incredible on their own. But I promised you a recipe using them. So, here it is!

The Jaws book is to celebrate Shark Week. Stephen actually found this 1st edition copy at a thrift shop over the weekend for $1. One dollar. Yeah. Anyway, this mix isn't exactly difficult to make. It's a simple, quinoa salad with tofu, tomatoes, and a basil dressing.

You'll need the following:

  • Slow roasted tomatoes 
  • 1 block tofu, pressed, cubed, and fried 
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa (cooked with 1 cup water)
Once you have prepared all of that, toss it in a large bowl. You can also feel free to add whatever else you might like. Roasted squash. Chickpeas. Sliced almonds. Cranberries. Whatever. That's what I like about meals like these.

No rules.

Not-so Secret Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil 
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoons brown mustard 
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped 
  • 1 to 2 handfuls fresh basil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Then pour however much you'd like into the quinoa mixture. Save the rest. Or use it all. Also feel free to add other things to adjust it to your tastes. Like Vegenaise for creaminess. Or avocado. Or nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan.

In case you missed it, there are many, MANY health benefits of quinoa. Especially for runners. Just check out this post.

Today on Writing Chapter Three, I'm disclosing that I am indeed pregnant. With emotion. C'mon. A Dreft commercial made me cry yesterday. Ridiculous!

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