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Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Radish, Chickpeas, Parsley, & Dill

I do believe summertime is in full swing! I’ve been easing into my lighter work schedule & spending a lot of time catching up on unfinished business around the house, but also making sure to make time for “me” - which typically consists of getting up early for a morning run, followed by yoga practice, then an afternoon sitting under the big tree in my back yard, reading a book & enjoying a wholesome & delicious lunch - like this salad pictured above.

In the summer months I crave simple light salads, fruits, & fresh juices. My CSA has been generously supplying beautiful summer produce, & I’ve been delighting in peppery arugula, cool cucumber, sweet chioggia beets, spicy peppers, crisp green & yellow beans, hearty sprouts, juicy strawberries & fresh herbs. I am so grateful to have local, organically grown produce so readily available to me. I saw a very thought provoking quote on a t-shirt today, "someone is praying for the things you take for granted." It stopped me in my tracks. When it comes to wholesome, nourishing food, I think I often do take for granted (not on purpose, of course!) that I can afford a bi-weekly CSA share, & have access farmers’ markets offered several times a week in surrounding neighborhoods. It’s so important to take pause, be mindful, & cultivate gratitude for the abundant good fortune that so many of us have. 

The inspiration for this colorful “gratitude” salad came to me last Friday, which was the perfect way to enjoy the welcoming summer solstice. I awoke early, enjoyed a coconut-almond milk latte, & went to yoga, then met up with Anna for a hike, & lunch at Casa de Luz. Among the macrobiotic yumminess upon our plates was a small scoop of quinoa salad with radish, cucumber, parsley, & dill with a zesty lemon dressing. I had just been gifted with a large bunch of dill in my CSA share, & always at a loss with what to do with that much dill (other than pickles, of course, but the pickling cukes have not arrived at the farm stand yet), I was instantly inspired & had exactly what I needed to try to recreate the salad at home. For the dressing, I made a batch of Kris Carr’s fresh & simple "Lemon Oil." I also added a handful of chickpeas (because they needed using!), & for extra green goodness, I served the salad atop a bed of spicy arugula.

"Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Radish, Chickpeas, Parsley & Dill"

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quiona
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely diced
  • 2 watermelon radishes, peeled & finely diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 small carrot, spiralized or shredded
  • 1 bunch arugula

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cooled cooked quinoa with cucumber, radish, onion, dill & parsley. Toss well.
  2. In a mason jar, combine lemon juice & zest, evoo, garlic, sea salt & pepper. Give it a good shake to emulsify & incorporate all ingredients. Pour over salad & toss. Serve a scoop of quinoa salad over a bed of arugula.

While there was a certain "je ne sais quois" present in CDL’s salad that I could not quite replicate, my version was close enough & just as satisfying. I love the cool crunch of the veggies with the fresh herbs, & lemony quinoa. Wholesome, fresh, light & summery.

Enjoy!

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