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For me, the arrival of summer means the sudden urge to buy lots of magazines. When I was younger, there were stacks of Cosmo an InStyle to read by the pool. Gradually that stack has been filled with Real Simple and Rachael Ray. I know, I know, I’m getting boring. But cooking magazines are so fun and so full of recipes . . . which I never make.

Not this time though. Good old Oprah had this recipe in her June issue of O and I thought Hell, that looks delicious an I’m pretty sure I can make it. This salad is easy, the dressing is a good balance of tart and spicy and leftovers can be used as a marinade.  Plus, it offers endless variations. Starting with subbing out cherry tomatoes. Those suckers are EXPENSIVE!!!

I ate the leftovers at room temp the next day and they were just as good. PLEASE NOTE: These are all iPhone Photos and I typed this on my phone. So if it’s unreadable or the pictures are terrible, I blame Apple.

Quinoa Salad with Arugala, Tomatoes

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 cups lightly packed baby arugula (I used the herb blend from Safeway. Just as yummy!!)
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (I subbed out tomatoes for red pepper. I like red pepper better, it’s cheaper and it’s my damn salad. So there)
  • 3/4 cup spicy citrus dressing, divided (get the recipe)
  • 1 or 2 Fresno chiles or jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  1. Bring chicken broth and water to a boil, add salt, oil and quinoa and simmer over medium low until liquid is absorbed (20 minutes)
  2. Toss arugala, tomoatoes, cucumbers chiles and onion in a small amount of the dressing, set aside.
  3. Fluff quinoa with fork and set aside in bowl or platter to cool. Once cooled, toss all or half of quinoa with dressing and mix in salad greens.

Spicy Citrus Dressing (Click here for original, below are my modifications)

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar (don’t have red wine? Use whatever vinegar you have!)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chile de arbol or cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
  1. Put everything together. Shake. Taste, reseason to your liking. Shake again before dressing the salad.
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Quinoa. I had to go to a natural food market to find it. I felt very granola and fancy. For most of you, I bet you can find it in your grocery store in the natural food aisle or with the rice. Or cereal. Really, it could be anywhere.

The beginnings of the dressing. Three kinds of citrus. Feel free to give up on the salad and just add some vodka or tequila at this point.

The beginnings of the dressing. Three kinds of citrus. Feel free to give up on the salad and just add some vodka or tequila at this point.

Go ahead and make fun of me and my mason jar dressing. Guess what?  It makes pouring easy. It makes storing leftovers easy. And the seal is tight, so when my kids want to shake it, I say go ahead! SHAKE IT.

Go ahead and make fun of me and my mason jar dressing. Guess what? It makes pouring easy. It makes storing leftovers easy. And the seal is tight, so when my kids want to shake it, I say go ahead! SHAKE IT.

Please try this salad. It's much better than my blurry iphone photo might lead you to believe. It's super easy, quinoa is supposed to be good for you and you can put whatever you like in it. I'll turn my head.

Please try this salad. It’s super easy, quinoa is supposed to be good for you and you can put whatever you like in it. I’ll turn my head.

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