10-Second Mediterranean Salad

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Well, now that I have your attention, I admit this salad will take more than 10 seconds to toss together. Assuming you have all the ingredients, it might take more like a few minutes tops. Really. I think you can handle that.
What is it about instant gratification anyway? It’s like we’ve never lost our infantile urge to have our every need satisfied RIGHT NOW. We all know that it is just not possible to lose ten pounds in one day, or to change the world in five, but there’s always that hope. And I don’t know about you, but my days seem to be springing forth and losing substance. An hour’s worth, to be exact. I need it back!
But back to the salad – if you make a batch of the balsamic dressing (adapted slightly from the February ’08 Gourmet magazine) ahead of time, this will be a simple, speedy-fast meal. I love all the Mediterranean flavors in this salad – everything from the artichokes to the chickpeas calls out to me. Oh, wait, it must be time for lunch

10-Second Mediterranean Salad

Toss this salad in a jiffy
Well, now that I have your attention, I admit this salad will take more than 10 seconds to toss together. Assuming you have all the ingredients ready, it might take few minutes – tops. Really. I think you can handle that.

What is it about instant gratification anyway? It’s like we’ve never lost our infantile urge to have our every need satisfied RIGHT NOW. We all know that it is just not possible to lose ten pounds in one day, or to change the world in five, but there’s always that hope. And I don’t know about you, but my days seem to be springing forth and losing substance. An hour’s worth, to be exact. I need it back!

But back to the salad – if you make a batch of the balsamic vinaigrette (adapted slightly from a recipe in the March ’08 Gourmet magazine) ahead of time, this will be a simple, speedy-fast meal. I love all the Mediterranean flavors in this salad recipe- everything from the artichokes to the chickpeas calls out to me. Oh, wait, it must be time for lunch…

10-Second Mediterranean Salad
inspired by a recipe in Whole Foods magazine

2 -4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes in assorted colors if you can find them
Handful of leftover steamed green beans (optional)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or shallot
2 cups mixed prewashed salad greens
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
¼ cup soft goat or feta cheese

Put 2 tablespoons dressing in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except cheese and toss gently. Add more dressing if you like. Crumble cheese over the top.
Serves 4.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a food processor, pulse ¾ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoon Italian or flat-leaf parsley leaves, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, and a dash of hot sauce. With motor running, slowly drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil or safflower oil until emulsified. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and fresh black pepper. Keep in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Quinoa Salad with Smoky Lime Dressing

Power lunch
You are all blowing me away with your ideas for organizing my spice cabinet. And I send little bear hugs to those of you who confessed that your own spice cabinet looks just like mine, and in some cases even worse!Let’s consider ourselves united in our slackerly pantry ways.Now I wish that someone could come over to my house and actually do the work for me, but I realize that wasn’t in our agreement.Oh, well. My mistake.

I’m going to need all the energy I can muster to tackle the project, so I think I’ll just go and eat some quinoa. You probably know that quinoa is known variously as the wonder grain, the mother grain, a miracle among grains. It cooks quickly, has an appealing texture, mild, nutty flavor, and by golly, is just plain good for you – loaded with protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals.

I wrote this article about grains for Sauce magazine recently. The following simple quinoa salad recipe is modified just slightly from the one published in Sauce – I just switched the black-eyed peas for black beans. Enjoy…

Quinoa Salad with Smoky Lime Dressing

Serving Size: serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (Inca Red from Ancient Harvest is my fave)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon low-sodium teriyaki sauce or soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the green onions, black-eyed peas, and cilantro.
  3. Puree the remaining ingredients together in a food processor; pour over quinoa and stir to coat with dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://familystylefood.com/2008/03/quinoa-salad-with-smoky-lime-dressing/