Guess who’s back, back again? I’ll give you a hint: it’s this girl, and she’s back all the way from beeeeautiful Europe!
Okay, that was more of an answer than a hint–BUT only because I’m seriously excited to share all of my adventures with you. As I mentioned in my penultimate post, travel planning for this three-week trip had basically swallowed up my life (and the better part of my sanity) in the months leading up to August, so getting in the groove of blogging again is a super squeal-worthy enterprise. In fact, I got so ahead of myself that the first thing I did after hopping off my 12-hour flight was barrel into the grocery store to pick up
a few A LOT of fresh ingredients and start cooking.
There’s really nothing like a month away from home to make you fall madly in love with your kitchen again!
But more on Europe later, because first I want to tell you all about this quinoa salad. Does it look innocuous and unassuming to you? HA!
But also not sorry, because it’s seriously great stuff. The tangy flavors of lemon and rice vinegar in the dressing blend perfectly with the subtly earthy taste of cumin, the nuttiness of sliced almonds, the freshness of chopped tomatoes, and the sweetness of raisins. After three weeks of basically eating my heart out in delicious, occasionally coma-inducing bliss through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy, I simply couldn’t wait to create a homemade dish full of greens and vegan-friendly produce. Luckily, I kept a running memo pad throughout my travels of dishes that I wanted to try making (you’ll see them over the next few weeks!), and quinoa salad was at the top of my list. Can you guess where I was inspired?
On the airplane.
Yup. Culinary inspiration on United. Sounds like the title of a trendy platinum record or something, right? But no joke, this was one of the first dishes I had en route to my travels abroad, and in the interest of recapping my trip chronologically, it made sense for me to start by recreating this simple salad. Plus by the time I got home from the store at, ahem, 10 PM (yes, I’m neurotic like that), I had been awake for nearly 24 hours and was understandably rather tired, so this 20-minute salad was the perfect–and perfectly delicious–solution.
Next post = the beginning of my adventures in England: stay tuned, and yes, try this salad! It’s a platinum winner in my book.
- 2 1/2 cups oats, old-fashioned or quick-cooking (I used the latter and they worked fine)
- 2 cups flour (the original calls for 1 cup APF and 1 cup wheat flour; I used 2 cups APF)
- 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canola oil OR coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, throw in ALL ingredients except the chocolate chips. Seriously. Just do it and mix away until a dough pulls together.
- Mix in your chocolate chips.
- Using your hands, clump together a large spoonful of dough, squeezing and compacting the very crumbly dough (seriously, it'll be crumbly) together as necessary. Place each dough ball carefully onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, until your cookies have set and turned a light golden shade. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on stovetop (your cookies will continue to "cook" at this step, so make sure you let them cool completely!).