Simple Fresh Salad

You people always amaze me. I was hesitant about sending my last post out into the internet world. I kept asking myself, “is this too much information?” or ”how much do I really want to open up here?” In the end, I did a lot of editing and re-editing, deleting entire paragraphs I didn’t feel were necessary. But it didn’t feel right for me not to share anything and it ended up being an incredible way to look deeper into how I was feeling, even if I didn’t share it all here. All of you confirmed for me just how much people care, how much I know others can learn or at least remember to think about messages learned and passed along. I feel we could move mountains with the support this community gives, so thank you.

This blog has become more than just a place to share recipes. I’ve never been much of a journal writer. I probably started and stopped a dozen or so journals or diaries in my youth, each written with scribbled handwriting about how I thought recess should last longer, who my latest crush was, and all the other incredibly mundane day-to-day thoughts of a relatively happy pre-teenage life. I was thinking how this blog has really become an online journal of sorts. More than a collection of recipes. I enjoy that I can look back on and recall memories or what I was feeling or doing during a certain point in time. I’m not totally sure what makes this place so different from pen to paper, but I’m glad I’m here.


I realize many of you may be very over tomatoes, but I surely am not. In fact, I feel like tomato season only just got started at the beginning of September around here. My plans for 4 tomato plants in the garden, turned into 6. Then when a friend of a friend decided to drop off 8 more plants, I had to think quick about where to put them all. I envisioned all of summer with bright red, juicy tomatoes off the vine and me canning all of September to store for the winter. Fast forward to several weeks ago and I still had a ton of green tomatoes and only the little cherry ones had been turning red.

Now I have tomatoes daily. This salad is the perfect example of a meal inspired by the mass variety and sheer amount of tomatoes I have on hand. So if you live up in the NW like me or also are not quite ready to be roasting vegetables in the oven just yet, throw this salad together and eat it outside one more time.


Tomato Cucumber & Quinoa Salad / serves 4
Don’t feel you need to have all the exact tomatoes I’ve used. If you can, great, otherwise try to have at least 2-3 different varieties and sizes for all their different flavor profiles and estimate the approximate amount based on what I’ve given. Leftover quinoa is a great thing to have around for impromptu salads like this one, but making if from about 1/2 cup dried quinoa will give you about the right amount for this salad. I’ve also added avocado to this salad in a version I didn’t photograph and it was a delicious addition.

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 herloom tomato, sliced into wedges
2 green tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 cup yellow pear tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cucumber, skin peeled and cut into slices
1/3 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup packed basil, roughly chopped

juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Quickly sauté the sliced red onion in a bit of oil until just softened, this step is not necessary and you can leave it raw, but I personally wanted to tame its flavor a bit.

Place the quinoa, red onion, all tomatoes, and cucumber into a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the quinoa mixture. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle the almonds and basil over the top. Serve at room temperature or chilled.