Guys, I will tell you about this sexy-as-heck salad in a minute. But first we need to talk road trips.
We take them fairly often with friends, but not so often with just the two of us. It turns out, they are also the best date ever with your main squeeze.
This past weekend we headed off to Montana for our friends’ wedding. It was about a 9 hour drive each way, and we only took one day off of work. We busted a move out of Portland Thursday evening, set up camp at about 10 p.m. in Washington, and then drove the rest of the way to Hamilton, Montana the next day.
We passed through Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, one of the prettiest towns ever, and Missoula, Montana, an adorable town with an old west vibe (though we definitely had fancy toast and London fogs for breakfast there, so don’t think it’s stuck in the past). We took time to have nice meals and explore several of the towns we drove through – it was a great way to get to know the gorgeous region we live in!
Once we got to Hamilton, we supplemented our wedding activities with mountain lake walks and mountain lake beach sitting and tan-getting and local beer drinking. We found a badass coffee roaster. I ate a hamburger topped with bacon AND deep fried cheese curds. We were on the lookout for the town’s resident moose. It was SO much fun packed into just a couple of days.
On Sunday, we headed out of town early, since we had only one day to return the 9 hours to Portland. It was a long drive for one day, but we made it, and in great spirits! We had a nice lunch in Spokane and some gas station sour gummy worms that were ON POINT. I definitely drank at least three La Croix and ate half a package of Goldfish crackers. Along the way, we decided that we will head to Scappoose for water sports for our anniversary and take some dancing lessons. When we got home, we showered, ate huge salads, drank delicious Portland tap water and Dave’s latest homebrew, and watched Game of Thrones. What an amazing weekend.
I am already looking forward to our next trip. But as you might be able to tell, I’m a little behind on blog content! So tonight I made this salad – I actually made it for our work lunches tomorrow – in addition to what I was already making for dinner. It’s all of my favorite things about summer. Except apricots, because you are kidding yourself if you think I have any of those left.
Piles of fruit, a little cheese, excellent olive oil and protein-packed quinoa make this the perfect summer meal, if you ask me. And now my kitchen is clean and my cocktail glass is empty and it is time for bed, my friends. Enjoy this recipe!
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- 2 tbsp. best quality olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups sturdy greens, such as baby kale, chopped finely
- 1 nectarine, sliced or chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted and halved sweet cherries
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 8 cigliene mozzarella balls, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Optional: edible flowers such as nasturtiums; a few microgreens for garnish
- Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Garnish with edible flowers and/or microgreens.