I am pretty darn lucky in the friend department. Wherever I have lived, I’ve managed to score the nicest mom friends. The kind of friends who will bring one of your kids to school so that the other sick kid doesn’t have to get dragged out of the house. The kind of friends who will watch your vomiting older kid, so you can be the secret guest reader for your younger kid. The kind of friends who encourage your new cooking venture by bringing you the most thoughtful care package or who show up at the local art gallery, where you’ve catered an event. The kind of friends who see you’re holding onto your sanity by a thin and quickly fraying thread, and offer to take your youngest out for the day.
One of my best friends, Kerry, does all of those things for me– without prompting and without fanfare. It’s just the kind of person she is, and it’s why she’s my youngest daughter’s godmother. They just don’t make them any better than Kerry. On a particularly challenging week, Kerry scooped up my youngest, bringing her shopping at Target and out to lunch at her favorite restaurant. As if that wasn’t enough, when she dropped my daughter back off to me, she also dropped off lunch for me. And, being the thoughtful person that she is, she knew exactly what I ordered at this particular restaurant: a quinoa salad with a Southwestern spin. It’s healthy, but filling. It’s delicious.
So, I decided to do my own twist on it. I added some chili, garlic grilled veggies. I made an easy buttermilk lime vinaigrette. And, I grilled some chili lime marinated chicken to throw on top. You should try it. And, if you are lucky enough to have a friend as wonderful as Kerry, you should make her some and thank her for helping you handle this crazy mom gig. I couldn’t do it without her.
For The Salad
What You’ll Need:
- 1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to directions
- 1 large red onion, sliced into rounds
- 3 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 1 red pepper, sliced into large strips
- 1 orange pepper, sliced into large strips
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced into large strips
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1 cup of corn kernels, if in season, fresh would be best
- 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed (or you can make your own)
- 4 handfuls of leafy greens, baby spinach, kale or arugula
- Olive oil
- garlic powder
- chili powder
What to do:
- Preheat your grill and spray it with cooking spray. Meanwhile, rub each side of the vegetables with olive oil, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Once the grill is hot, place the vegetables on it, cooking them until they’ve begun to brown and are tender.
- While the vegetables grill, cook the quinoa, according to the directions. Add the corn for the last minute or two of cooking time.
- Toss the quinoa and corn with the grilled vegetables,the black beans, the halved tomatoes, the sliced avocado and the spinach. Pour dressing over top: serve warm or at room temperature.
Buttermilk Lime Dressing
What You Need:
- 1/3 cup of buttermilk
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- salt to taste
What To Do:
Mix all ingredients well. Be sure to salt to taste.