I've got an awesome Avocado, Mango & Pineapple Quinoa Salad for you today. It is sure to brighten your day regardless of the weather.
I will miss them. I'll miss talking to my mom. I will also really miss our nightly card game (Spades) in which me and my Dad routinely beat up on my Mom and Hubby. And, if we get right down to it, I am already seriously missing my Dad's help cleaning the kitchen. (Unlike the rest of the family he subscribes to the I cook, he cleans philosophy making him my favorite house guest of all time.)
But my pain is just a fraction of what my boys were feeling.
At 6 and 8 they don't really understand why we can't all be together all the time. In their perfect world we would all live in one house forever. (They get teary eyed at the idea that one day they will grow up and live in a different house than us and God-forbid each other. Obviously this will change but it is very sweet right now.)
It hit my youngest the hardest and he threw a royal fit the night before they left. A fit that I haven't seen since the toddler years.
First he was crying and begging them to stay. Next, he got angry.
Then he got serious.
He made sure all the doors were locked with weights in front of them and hid all of my parents shoes. Without anyone (except for possibly his brother) knowing. We didn't discover it until after he had calmed down and by the time the dust had settled it was one of those I really should be serious and tell you how wrong this was but if I say a word I'm going to bust out laughing parenting moments.
The worst of the fits were over once they left, but then my parents had three tough days on the road getting home. Who would expect to get into a snow storm driving from Arizona to Texas? What should have been a two day trip turned in to three. It was obviously challenging for them, but also stressful on me.
So what's a girl to do when she's worried? Yep - it was time to cook!
I started with this healthy salad which tastes just as good as it looks. My husband - who has quite possibly been fed one quinoa salad to many - even approved! It's healthy dishes like this one that make me remember that eating right never has to be a sacrifice.
Avocado, Mango and Pineapple Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup champagne white or red vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon basil chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR ¾ teaspoon chia seeds + 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups spinach or baby arugula
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 roasted red pepper diced
- 1 mango peeled and diced
- 1 cup diced and peeled pineapple
- 1 avocado peeled and diced
- If using chia gel in place of oil, combine ¾ teaspoon chia seeds with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a simmer. Add red onion and salt and remove from heat. Allow to cool completely. Drain onions, reserving liquid in a small bowl. Add olive oil OR chia gel and basil and whisk together.
- In a large bowl combine reserved onions, spinach, quinoa, roasted red pepper, mango, pineapple and avocado. (NOTE: if you are preparing ahead wait until you are ready to serve to add the avocado to prevent it getting discolored.) Toss with dressing and top with nuts if desired.
Now if I could just get someone to come clean my kitchen...