Too Hot to Cook Meals

Hello All! How are you? Well out here in the Bay Area we are experiencing our version of a heat wave, we’re not used to this.

As a child I often spent summers with my Paternal Grandmother in Vallejo, CA. When we experienced 100 + degree weather, my Grandmother would always say, “It’s too hot to cook.” She always cooked. She would also say, “Can’t turn on the oven in this kinda heat,” as if it were a warning of doom to come.

What would we do? Tuna, sardines, OR, she would prep early in the morning to put together an easy meal for when my Grandfather arrived from work at 3:30pm. I’ve been thinking about her a lot recently, and the wisdom she taught me.  I decided to prep early Saturday for dinner that night , so I wouldn’t have to add additional heat to the house in the afternoon/evening.

I decided to make a nice Quinoa Salad, which only requires cooking the Quinoa and one can do that very early on.

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Ingredients: I use all organic.

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Peppers: I used 1/4 bell pepper, 1/4 orange pepper, and 1/4 yellow.
  • 1/4 Red onion
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp and 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper

Saturday morning while I cooked breakfast, I put the water in a pot and let it boil. After the water boiled, I put about a tsp of sea salt in the water, then added the raw Quinoa. Turned the heat to low and let simmer. If you’re cooking, check after about 15 minutes and if the water is dissolved, turn off the heat and let the Quinoa cool.

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While the Quinoa was boiling, I chopped the veggies. I love beautiful colorful veggies! Only about 1/4 of each.

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It’s dressing time! This dressing is very simple. I put 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil in a measuring cup, squeezed in half of an organic lemon, no seeds, and then added in 3 small cloves of chopped garlic. I like garlic which is why I used 3. You can use as much or as little as you like. I added in 1 TBSP of sea salt, and 1/2 TBSP of black pepper and then whisked with a fork.

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Its’ now time to put it all together. Pour the veggies over the cooled, cooked Quinoa. Pour over the dressing and stir. Taste and if you like more salt, pepper, and/or dressing, add more. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour. You can honestly cook this the day before and leave it over night. When you’re ready to serve, take it out the fridge and let it sit for about an hour to get room temperature. Garnish as you please. I normally serve with chopped walnuts and feta cheese, however we have a nut allergy in the house and I didn’t pick up the cheese. SO here it is!

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Works as a midnight snack as well 🙂20170902_205934

I encourage you to think of creative ways to serve healthy meals on a hot day that doesn’t require a long time over a hot stove, or with the oven on. The key is early morning prep to beat the heat.

I feel so grateful that my Grandmother instilled this into me very early on in life. I pray you enjoy this recipe. Talk to you soon.

All the Best,

Tara

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