t's hard for me to believe that it has been almost a month since I last wrote. In some ways the time has flown. In others ways a month ago feels like another lifetime.
It feels like a lot has changed in my world and I needed to take a step back to catch my breath!
I won't go into everything today – but I will share something really fun.
As I've mentioned before, our family is location independent. Because of this, I've been able to rectify the “I hate fall in warm climates” situation.
Currently we are in-the-middle-of-nowhere, Colorado, which is quite heavenly. There are actually color on the trees and we have been enjoying a fire in the mornings with our coffee and in the evenings. I love the crispness in the air!
Unfortunately, the whole in the middle of nowhere thing has also meant that I've been without internet for a while, thanks to our failed attempt at upgrading the service.
Even though I've been offline (by choice) for the most part for the last month, I really don't like not being able to look something up, find a recipe or download an new ebook. When I stop and think about it it is insane how dependent I've become on technology.
But, at least it allowed me to catch up on my HGTV and Food Network Shows. (I haven't watched “regular” TV in such a long time I wouldn't even know what to turn on. Janae from Bring Joy suggested Parenthood, which I'll be checking out as soon as I have enough bandwidth to download from iTunes. Any other suggestions?)
Today's recipe is a fun BBQ Ranch Quinoa Salad that the whole family will enjoy. If you have little ones that aren't nuts about garlic, you can make this a little more kid-friendly by either cutting back on the garlic or separating out their dressing before you add it. I used pinto beans here, but black beans or kidney beans would work too.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cups cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 can)
- 1 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
- ½ cup frozen corn, thawed
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce or mixed greens
- 3 tablespoons light Vegan Mayo or Low Fat Mayo
- 1 tablespoon almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon gluten free barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tortilla strips in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, checking towards the end to avoid burning.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine quinoa, pinto beans, chopped tomato, corn and red onion. Add lettuce or mixed greens if serving immediately. (Otherwise wait to add the greens until you toss and serve.)
- In a small bowl combine veganaise, milk, barbecue sauce, onion powder, garlic and parsley. Whisk well until smooth.
- Toss ¾ of dressing with quinoa mixture and lettuce. Drizzle with additional dressing or barbecue sauce as desired.