I’m not really “ashamed” to admit a lot of things. Like, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have Smashmouth’s Astro Lounge in my car. Or that I am currently sitting in my kitchen by myself, bouncing around, listening to this on repeat. Or that I’ve been rabidly obsessed with the Jodi Arias trial, and have texted my best friend about it practically every single day for the past four months. Or that I am so terrible (or awesome; the jury’s still out) at being an adult that I do things like eat hot cheese for dinner. I unabashedly communicate with my dog in my puppy voice (“come heeeere my little schnuggly wiggle butt,” etc.) in front of friends, acquaintances and strangers alike.
Because seriously, look at him. He’s the cutest widdle bug.
People who try to embarrass me in public (especially my boyfriend, who likes to just randomly yell jibberish in public places) will either find me totally unfazed or willing to up the ante somehow.
I, however, am mildly ashamed to admit that I’ve eaten ramen for lunch every day this week. Out of a mug. In my defense, I’ve been fighting off what appears to be Captain Trips for the better part of a week, and therefore the wherewithal to prepare food by going further than sticking a mug in the microwave for a few minutes has eluded me. But tomorrow, I’ll be ending the work week with a bang, and bringing some tasty leftovers to work.
As a side dish to my ramen cuisine. Come on now. Let’s not get crazy. I haven’t kicked the superflu yet. And no, I can’t stay home, because apparently May is MAKE ALL THE PHONE CALLS/HAVE ALL THE WEBINARS/DO ALL THE FREELANCE ASSIGNMENTS month. It’s fine. I like being busy. I just don’t like being busy while my sinuses are so jacked up that it kind of feels like my nose is being broken.
But whatever. I have a healthy side dish lined up for lunch tomorrow.
I had a little bit of a cooking improv session this evening, and it worked out fairly well. It was a culmination of, these cucumbers are going bad + this avocado is going to go to waste + I have a lot of quinoa + hmm I like edamame + SOY SAUUUCE. Served cold. With chicken fingers, because Colin was pretty much like, “Yeah, that’s not dinner. I want cheeseburgers.”
We compromised. I think.
This is a light, simple, healthy side dish, which demonstrates the delightful versatility of quinoa. You can seriously pair it with just about anything. You can add dressing. Or cheese. Or bake it. IN CHEESE. Probably. I haven’t done this yet, but honestly, do you see that going poorly? I sure don’t.
Sorry. Cheese distracts me.
Quinoa and green veggies salad (serves 2-3)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled and chunked
3/4 cup shelled edamame
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable/canola oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
Cook your quinoa according to the instructions on the package. If you’re using frozen edamame, add that to the pot for the last five to ten minutes of cooking.
Put your quinoa in a strainer. While draining the quinoa of any excess water, rinse it with cold water (I really just do this because I wanted the salad to be cold), then place in a large bowl. Add your cucumber, avocado and edamame, tossing to mix everything up. Place your bowl in the fridge to cool for at least 20 minutes.
(Side note: If you’re going to let this sit overnight or something, don’t add the avocado. No one wants to eat brown avocado. Also, a perfectly-ripe avocado is one of the finest things in life, I think.)
In a small bowl, add your liquids and beat with a fork to emulsify. Before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly coat.
Serve as a side dish to anything, from chicken fingers to ramen noodles. This is a no-judgment zone. Sometimes.
In addition to a light, simple recipe that even you vegans can enjoy (get excited!), I’m doing my very first giveaway. A lovely, lovely lady from Mira Brands reached out to me and sent me these cute little containers. (And come on now, who isn’t a sucker for cute little products?) They’re great for transporting small amounts of food (like lunchtime sides or snacks), and the lids stay on more easily than a lot of other containers I have. The only downside I could possibly even think of is that they’re made of metal, and therefore not microwave-friendly, but if you’re using it to carry fruit, veggies, nuts, cheese… basically, anything that does not require heating, then it’s not going to be a problem at all.
So, if you’re interested in participating in this giveaway, post a comment including your favorite recipe using five ingredients or less. I’ll choose a winner at random (probably by playing eenie-meenie-miney-mo), and you’ll be the lucky recipient of your own pair of cute little Mira containers. And if you don’t win… well, perhaps I’ll be featuring YOUR recipe one of these days! (With credit, obviously.) If you’d like to participate, please submit your comments by midnight Sunday.