Hello everyone! So, we are in full-on back to school mode, which means tons of forms and calendars and planning. I’m crossing my fingers that time spent now figuring out logistics will help my mental sanity next week when the little ones actually begin going back to school… Part of me feels a little blue because I hate forms, as I’ve recently explained!!! But the kids are itching to go back. They’re playing and laughing and horsing around, but also arguing and getting easily riled up and upset over the smallest things, simply because we are just too much on top of each other! We each need space, Mommy included! Some structure will also bring some peace.
But for the moment, we are still within the summer and spending lots (maybe even too much) time together preparing and eating food. One thing I loved in the homes of the friends we visited in Europe this summer was how they did make a ritual of sitting together to eat. Bringing the food to the table versus serving it on plates makes this easier, and we’ve been starting to do that. The kids also like serving themselves, and I think it gives them more ownership over the meal, makes them feel more adult.
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Sometimes we do super simple things like grilled cheese and soup, sometimes it’s grilled chicken, hamburgers, or sausages, sometimes I’m popping some salad onto each of their plates, to vocal protests. But when the protests die down, I notice that sometimes they actually take a few bites of foods they previously would not touch. It’s not perfect — and it’s not relaxing!! — but we are together and I think my kids are on the road to more adventurous and healthy eating.
On that note, one of my personal favorites this summer has been this fresh and easy quinoa salad. I’m always on the lookout for recipes with quinoa because it is so healthy and for gluten-free friends. What I love about this simple recipe is that it is a no-cook, no bake, fresh and healthy solution for what to put with hamburgers, hot dogs, or sandwiches and you can make a big serving and keep and serve for a few days.
Here’s how I’ve been making our quinoa salad.
- One bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped (can be Italian or regular parsley)
- 4-6 large tomatoes (try for local)
- 1 large cucumber, finely chopped
- 6 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 cups quinoa (red or white)
- Quater cup of olive oil (or less, to taste)
- Juice from one lemon
- Salt to taste
To prepare, mix all the ingredients other than the oil and the quinoa. Then, add the quinoa dry from the package. Mix and mix, and add the oil. Cover and store in the fridge, ideally overnight. Later or the next day, add the lemon and salt. Your quinoa might be slightly crunchy, but overtime it softens.
What’s your favorite summer salad? Please feel free to share it below and thanks so much for reading CloudMom!