Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Year of the Zookeenwah!!

2012 was the year of the Kale Salad in our house.  That recipe that Jen mentioned or posted about a couple weeks back, with the kale, chick peas, feta, raisins, shredded carrots, onion, etc. and a dressing of Bragg's soy, lemon juice and oil.  It remains a favorite around here and I've tried all sort of variations that haven't failed me yet.  My kids screech with joy when Kale Salad is on the menu and I enjoy this time of life before school and peer pressure and 'coolness' begins to trump taste buds.

Anyway, 2013 is a new year and although Kale Salad will continue to be tops with the Barnyard clan, there's a new salad in town.  I think I may be the biggest fan of this one, but I think it will grow on everyone and I anticipate it being the next big thing.  I can say with confidence that this is my favorite recipe that I've posted on here as of yet, and I've only made it twice.
It's so simple and has this amazing, super light and fresh flavour, with a just a hint of kick hidden somewhere in each bite.

Zuquinoa Salad (get it!?  zuchinni-quinoa!? Not just a pretty face! Clever too!haha)

I'm not great at measuring things and for this one it really doesn't matter, so here's what you need (and I'm pretty sure you have nearly all of this in your fridge/cupboard).
Cooked quinoa (if we ever had leftover quinoa we'd use it, but I just cook some and then run it under cold water-same thing.)
Shredded carrots
Shredded zucchini
Fresh dill
Olive Oil
Vinegar (I've used both balsamic and red wine vinegar and they were both good, will try white wine next).
salt and pepper.

That's it.  Seriously.  Sounds kind of bland right?
I think it's the dill that does it for me.  (In all fairness Mark made a subtle comment that suggested maybe I'd gone a little overboard on the dill, but I thought it was just right, so add it to your taste).  I've only used Jen's fresh dill so I don't know what dried dill would be like, but I think it's the freshness of everything that makes it so light yet satisfying.  I used a lot of zucchini (one whole smallish one of both green and yellow) and a fair bit of feta, but I could have cut back on both without affecting the final product.  I wasn't wasting the new candy baby carrots on shredding so I used old, last season carrots and they were fine.

 This is not the most appealing picture, but I was too excited to eat it that I forgot to take a proper, pretty, plated one, so this is the best I've got.
The other great thing about this recipe was that it was super kid-friendly.  They all got to grate something and I've found that the minute that kids participate in the cooking, they are then invested in the eating.
 small hands cutting the dill and feeling pretty important. (Admittedly for a different recipe than this one, but it makes my point that kids will nearly always eat what they (help) cook.)

I plan on taking this recipe with me to any potluck, family gathering, etc. that I go to from now on.  In a world of cheese-laden casseroles, sweet bbq meats, heavy white breads and sugary desserts, this will be such a pleasant taste of sunshine (not that we don't all love some cheese and ham and butter on white bread!). 

Go make this right now. 


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