Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Up Before The Rooster

Um... it's dark.

Like, really dark.

I'm sitting upright in bed, computer on my lap, no other lights on, and it's... very dark.

It would be, right?  It's 6:03am.  It should be dark.  It is.

You know those mornings when you have to wake up super early?  Maybe you're a baker somewhere. Maybe you work at a coffee shop.  Maybe you're a glutton for punishment and like it.  Judge not.

Even though you've been waking up early like that for a long time, eeeevery once in a while you wake up before the alarm goes off.  Not really understanding what the actual time is, you are thrown into a panic, sheets flinging, compromises being made as to just how *ready* you'll get before  tearing our the door with your keys in your hand.

You know what compromises I'm talkin' about.  Not washing your hair.  Makeup applied in the car instead of the bathroom.


Hey.  Sometimes that happens.  This is real life.

But then, in the midst of your tornado through the kitchen to find something to eat in the car, you catch sight of the clock...  Wait.  That... that can't be right.  I don't...  leave for... AN HOUR???

>insert happy dance here<

This is one of those mornings.  But add on the fact that I just realized I don't work until 1 o'clock... in the PM.  *sigh*

Yeah.  And I'm all hyped up on java now, too.  Good morning, kids.  It's going to be a long day.

No biggie.  Because now, in the cover of the early morning darkness, I get to bring you quinoa salad.  With cumin-lime dressing.  It's healthy.  It's scrumptious.  It would be great in a burrito.  Too bad I didn't have that idea last night when I wasn't as sleep-deprived.  Whatevs.

Quinoa Salad with Corn, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing
Inspired by Eating For England

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 avocado, cubed
2 roma tomatoes, cubed
1/2 a medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon flavored EVOO (I chose chipotle)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm the EVOO.  Once it is hot, add the quinoa and toast, stirring occasionally, about 2 - 3 minutes.  It should smell slightly nutty and toasted (not burnt!).  Add the water and vegetable broth, stir, bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.  When quinoa is done, fluff with fork and stir in the frozen corn to warm through.  Set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl toss together the tomatoes, onion, garlic and red pepper.  In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, cumin and flavored EVOO.  Whisk vigorously to ensure it doesn't separate on you before you dress your salad.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add the quinoa-corn mixture to the vegetables, drizzle with the dressing, and gently fold to combine.  Serve alone or, for a more complete dinner, add some grilled tofu (or shrimp would be stellar with EVOO, salt, pepper and lime juice).  Enjoy during the daylight hours.

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