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Cheating Heart: Leftovers are an Easy Way to Improve Quinoa Salad

I make a quinoa salad just about every week. Santa Maria loves it, and she eats it for lunch almost daily. It's a tasty, healthy, economical, and easy-to-prepare dish. One nice thing is that it keeps. If you don't dress it, the salad will stay reasonably fresh for days. Make it Sunday night; finish it Thursday at noon.

I usually eat it once a week, but I need more protein than it provides, so I often pair it with poached chicken, or whatever leftovers I might have on hand. Yesterday, I was in a rush and I supplemented it with some prepared and marinated soy bars from the coop (which we almost always have on hand) and half a ball of mozzarella cheese. The salad is so low fat that I always need to add something rich, such as bag of potato chips or a half an avocado, to really feel full. The cheese did the trick. Like the soy bars, it was approaching the end of its usable lifespan, having lingered in the refrigerator for more than a few days. I was happy to eat them (part of my job around the house is cleaning out the refrigerator, a task I take literally), but I would not suggest it on a regular basis. It didn't taste very good.

Today, however, was a completely different story. I had a bit of the quinoa salad left in my office refrigerator, and I paired it with a real delight. Last night, Santa Maria was out at a business dinner at Community Food & Juice, a restaurant on the Upper West Side. She had the steak of the day, a slab of "sustainably raised Piedmont beef," she called it. Now I don't know if she meant that it came from Italy or from the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. I do know, though, that she brought half of it home, and gave it to me. It was delicious. I sliced it up and had it, along with a bit of the restaurant's broccoli, with my quinoa salad. I couldn't have been more pleased.


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