Southwest Quinoa Salad + Maple-Mustard-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Posted on by Susan Posted in Dinner, Food, Lunch, Recipes | 6 Comments

Once again, I missed the What I Ate Wednesday party with Peas & Crayons. But, you guys? I’m making up for it with not only one, but two recipes!

Even though I’m not sure what the definition of South-Western food is, this salad has become part of our regular meal rotation lately. I’m assuming corn, beans and avocado are staples in kitchens of the American Southwest, so that’s what I’m going to call this combination. Feel free to educate me, if you know more! I’d love to hear about it!

Southwest Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup corn (thawed from frozen)
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained well to remove excess sodium)
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • extra sharp cheddar, about 3/4 cup, cubed
  • cilantro (to your liking – I just garnished the salad with a little cilantro on top)
  • salt and pepper to taste, chili flakes if you feel like it ;)
  • lettuce for layering underneath (I used spinach)
  • easy Maple-Mustard-Balsamic Vinaigrette (*recipe below*)
So, so easy:
  1. Cook quinoa according to instructions.
  2. Toss with the other ingredients.
  3. Scoop onto the bed of greens
  4. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  5. Eat.
Of course, you can always throw in other veggies you have on hand, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or tomatoes. That’s why I love these throw-together-in-a-jiffy salads. Be creative! :D
This Maple-Mustard-Balsamic Vinaigrette is one of my go-to salad dressings, as I usually have most ingredient on hand and it works really well with the above salad.
I usually eyeball it, because I make it quite frequently, but I’m guesstimating the measurements to be the following:
  • 1 T grainy mustard
  • 1 T pure maple syrup
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T Extra virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. I keep leftovers in one of our Wean Green glass baby food cubes in the fridge for 3-5 days.
It works also really well with a spinach, pear and blue cheese salad, or simple mixed greens, cucumber and tomatoes.
Do you have any quick salad recipes to share? Your go-to dressing? I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!
PS: I’d love if you follow me on Bloglovin, Pinterest and Twitter!

Weekend Adventures

Posted on by Susan Posted in Fun, Lunch | 2 Comments

Hi friends, how are you? Hope you have had a fabulous start of the week. Our Monday was relaxed, with some cooking and going for a little walk to the playground.

Our weekend, however, consisted of a couple of adventures.

Trout Lake

As planned, we went to the farmers market on Saturday followed by a fabulous lunch at Havana.

Tuna Ceviche to share:


House-made nachos:

perfect to scoop up some tuna

Paella for the Mr.:

If I knew how to cook mussels (or rice) I would totally try to re-create this at home!

Beet Salad for me:

the truffle vinaigrette was not my favourite…

The staff there was super baby-friendly and had fun making our little man laugh. After our lunch we decided to get some Ice Cream and since we were already so far north on Commercial Drive, we thought it would be fun to check out La Casa Gelato.

218 flavours of ice cream

Flavours included garlic, wasabi and pear gorgonzola blue cheese, the only crazy one we tried and it tasted surprisingly good.

the big blob on the glass makes the garlic ice cream look even less appetizing…

My choice:

Bacio Bianco and Strawberry Champagne Sorbetto.

The verdict: It’s a fun little adventure to admire the amount of flavours and taste a few of them, but honestly I don’t think it’s worth paying $6.50 for two scoops of ice cream. I’ve had better ice cream before as well. Mario’s is pretty delicious if you’re ever in the Vancouver area.

We ended our afternoon on Commercial Drive with a lovely 25 km walk home (I’m not joking, we really walked that far!). :)

Needless to say, I had sore feet on Sunday, so I skipped the Zumba class I had planned to give my body some rest. Maybe I can make the class up tonight?!? We’ll see…

Enjoy your weekly adventures and I’ll see you soon!


Fun Lunch Bowl

Posted on by Susan Posted in Lunch | Leave a comment

Hey Everyone, how is your Friday so far? Mine is great – I’m off. :-D

Today I have a great lunch idea for you, if you have leftovers: Fun Lunch Bowl!

I made Kailua Pork last night and had a big leftover portion. So I decided to heat some up, and together with some rice and veggies (tomatoes, peppers, avocado) put it on top of my cold salad (i.e. spinach) and drizzled a bit of balsamic glaze on top of it. Neither a salad, nor an entree, but perfect for a super quick lunch.

Kailua Pork makes me wish I could go back to Hawai’i and just have the real thing (plus the sun and the ocean, of course) there. For now, I will just have to work and study, and hopefully one day I will be able to see more of Earth’s great places. Until then, I just recreate vacation-food and drinks at home. ;-)

Do you have any food memories from your favourite vacations? I love Christmas Ham (Sweden), Kailua Pork, Tuna Poke, and the Breakfast Buffet at the Shorebird (Hawai’i), Cuban Pulled Pork, Mauritian Curries and the South African Pinotage they served there – I forgot the name -, I could go on, but then you would probably get bored… ;-)

Now, if you don’t mind I have to flee the apartment, because the person upstairs just decided to play their giddy pop piano tunes and scales… At least it’s better than their techno-euro-pop with the bass that we can feel in our floors (they’re above us!), which they normally play for hours a day. 8O

Take Care,


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