Monday, September 19, 2011

Pesto Qunioa Salad

Yesterday I mentioned that it was raining, well the rest of the weekend was beautiful. It was hot but I can handle that. Geoff worked Saturday but got home early enough for us to have a productive Saturday together. We started with some early birthday shopping for me. My birthday isn't until October but I have been in need of these beauties for a while...

Tri shoes (and pedals)! I have my Miami Man in November and need some time getting used to them. We went to Road and Trail Bicycles & they were very helpful. They recommended that I got mountain biking shoes for triathlons since they are easier to run through transition, which I totally understand, but I went with the tri shoes. The mountain shoes were very bulky and thick. Think hiking tennis shoes with cleats on the toes. Easier to run in yes but I know I will be spending more time riding for training or fun compared to races so that wasn't a huge issue. I did go with the mountain pedals though. Apparently they are the same as the ones at spin class and I wanted to use my shoes for both. It rains a lot after work and  I would rather not have another reason to bail on a workout.

I haven't tried them yet but expect to see pictures of wipe outs. Road & Trail has a bike group that rides on Saturday mornings that I can't wait to join. Other purchases included a new seat for Geoff's bike and a cage for his water bottle. I also grabbed a pack of Nuun. I hate sport drinks, mostly because of their high sugar content and extra ingredients but this product claims to be different and contains no sugar or fake sugar. We shall see....

When we got home Geoff finally got around to bottling his beer. I think it needs to sit for another week or so before we can try it. Its an IPA so the chance of me liking it is pretty slim. I prefer my select 55 :)

While Geoff was hard at work I threw dinner together and made a tragic discovery are down to our last avocado! This is tragic but our basil plants are growing out of control and I knew that one last avocado + basil = pesto.
I am predictable. I then went to grab a bag of pasta and there was none and I was not about to go back out to the store. I had a few jars of quinoa from the bulk bin and knew that would be even better. 

Pesto Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 avocado
2 Tablespoons pepitas, toasted 
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon EVOO, optional
red pepper flakes, optional 
s&p to taste
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped 
1 cup of cherry tomatoes 

Combine basil, avocado, pepitas, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Blend until desired consistency is reached and taste. Add desired red pepper flakes and s&p.

Spray grill pan (or saute pan) with olive oil and grill over medium high heat until vegetables are tender and starting to brown. Season lightly with s&p.

Combine quinoa, grilled vegetables and desired amount of pest in a large bowl and stir to combine. I used about 3 tablespoons of the pesto. There will be left over pesto. Last night I stirred the left over pesto into a bowl of tomato soup and slathered some on a panini for Geoff.

The salad was a perfect tribute to summer. I know a lot of people are transitioning into fall and even though we aren't (what is fall anyway?) summer produce is slowly leaving the produce section.

I sauteed kale with garlic to have on the side. It was my first time using fresh kale. Normally I use frozen kale from Whole Foods and it turns out perfect ever time (ok twice but still) and this did not turn out perfect. It was very bitter. I think I may have over cooked it... I may stick with the frozen for a few reasons: cheaper, faster, and takes up less space.

I will be buying fresh kale to make kale chips soon though. I sucked it up and bought a bag at WF last week (nacho cheese flavor I believe). It was AMAZING. Reminded me of my high school days of Dorito boats minus the 1,000 calories and fake cheese.

Here is the perfect ending to a Saturday....

.live creatively well.

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