Sunday, June 5, 2011

Avocado Summer Salad

Going plant strong meant eating many more salads. I didn't eat salad until last August when I went on a cruise with my family and needed to start eating fish and salad almost out of necessity because I knew if I was ever hungry, it would be my fault. The springboard for this salad was a picture I saw on a foodie website as well as on TV. I jazzed it up a bit and was so excited to finally eat it by the time I managed to buy all the fresh ingredients. This was great to make on those hot summer days when you want to properly cook, but at the same time, want a fast meal that gets you out of the kitchen and on to another adventure. From entering the kitchen to fist bite, this is easily a 30 minute or less meal - much less if the quinoa is already cooked or canned or frozen corn is used.

And can I just ask who the hell am I that I got excited to eat a salad?!?

Avocado Summer Salad
Serves 2-3 meal sized portions
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 T sugar
Lemon juice
3 ears of corn, husked
2 tomatoes, washed and diced
1 handful cherry tomatoes, washed
1 head of butter lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
2 avocados

Prepare 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water with sugar and a splash of lemon juice (mom's special recipe) with to boil. Add the corn. Cook until corn is tender. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels off.

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, corn, quinoa, tomatoes. Immediately before serving, add diced avocados on top.
(Note: This was so good, I didn't even bother adding a dressing.)

I've never had butter lettuce before, let alone be a savvy enough lettuce consumer to truly appreciate the range of varieties available and their unique flavorings, but the butter lettuce was really, really good. The whole salad, in fact, was delicious! My 28-day plant strong (no animal product) diet ends this week. I see more salads like this in my future. This one had quinoa as a source of protein. I think when I make it again, I will cook the quinoa with chicken stock and add about 1/2 cup of cooked chicken to the recipe for the extra protein/calorie punch without sacrificing all the healthy nutrients this salad already has going for it.

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