Jedd and I went to Maine for a couple of days, and it was amazing.
The first day was sunny and the sky was bright blue. The second day we were pummeled with wind and rain and crazy high waves.
It was kind of the best of both worlds.
But even being out of the kitchen for a couple of days is like a mild form of withdrawal. (Let alone walking into a hotel room and not seeing the furry faces of our cats. On our last really long vacation, we may or may not have called our answering machine while we were tipsy to leave a message for the cats. “Mommy and Daddy lurve you! We’ll be home tomorrow!”)
So, as much as I love to travel, it’s also wonderful to get home.
And I really love to get back in the kitchen. For no apparent reason I always crave healthy food once the suitcase is unpacked. Maybe it’s using public restrooms while traveling and feeling like Rodney Ruxin’s character in The League.
However, I surprised both of us with our “Welcome Home” dish.
I was craving quinoa.
Quinoa isn’t something I normally consider “craveable” food, but once I spiced it up with lime, tomatoes, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro – it made an amazing dinner.
The dish was healthy, bright, spicy, savory, and completely hit the spot after a four hour car trip.
Bonus: It was the first time I dipped into our “winter reserves” of frozen tomatoes, scallions, and jalapenos from summer’s bounty. They were great.
Pico de Quinoa
Makes 3 cups.
½ large yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil or unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup scallion greens
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
Optional: 1 ½ teaspoons pickled jalapeno juice
Saute onion with olive oil or butter over medium heat. Season with salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and saute about 1 minute. Pour in the stock and lime juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork and gently stir in the tomatoes, scallions, cilantro and jalapeno, along with jalapeno juice if desired.
It’s delicious hot, cold, or at room temperature.
(Photos by Launie and Jedd Kettler)