Eat Very Local Challenge: Day Two, Quinoa salad

Today, Katie and Ben Haldeman will be my guest bloggers!

But first, a short recap of my day: Day Two was a little harder than yesterday, mostly because I started out with a run up Jesusita Trail. I felt a little sluggish, and I’m not sure if it was the heat or a lack of calories. I did a bit of trading with some other Eat Local Challenge participants to get oranges and avocados, and also picked about a dozen figs. Here’s what I ate today:


Green smoothie (Avocado, strawberries, pineapple guavas, celery, greens). Post run: 2 smashed potatoes and a fried egg


Spaghetti squash with roasted seeds, fava beans, tomato sauce, onions, and peppers


1 grapefruit, 2 oranges, 1 apple, 4 figs, cherry tomatoes, avocado


Corn on the cob, rockfish, roasted potatoes, sauteed zucchini, canned apricots

Day Two, Quinoa Salad

by Katie & Ben Haldeman

We have quite a stash for the week after the Sunday evening trading session, and plenty to last until the first group dinner. The tricky part is planning and timing: when to defrost, soak  and cook so that things will be ready for the appropriate meal. Since we have different schedules every day, each day takes planning the night before and prep in the morning.  I’m not familiar with how to cook and prep some of these foods (acorns, sunflowers, quinoa, etc.) so I find myself googling ‘how to . . .” more often than usual.

Even though it’s only Day Two, this challenge has both Ben and I more active in the kitchen, and it has also made for some logistical challenges (as I anticipated) around working dinners and lunches and group gatherings.  Last night I had two meetings that would potentially have food, so we did some advanced planning to stick to the challenge while not being rude guests.  I had my monthly Book Club gathering that featured all sorts of wonderful wines and fresh foods, so I snacked on avocado before the meeting and brought a bottle of wine instead of making a dessert dish like I usually do.  We arranged the second meeting with our business partners over “Google Hangout” video chat, instead of going to their house for dinner as was initially planned.  Since I would be getting home later, Ben made a wonderful fish and squash dish that also provided us with leftovers for tonight, as we will be short on time to make dinner since we’re going to see The Black Keys in concert at the Bowl!

We plan on doing smoothies for breakfast most of the week, as Ben is now a smoothie expert after we took Charity’s Green Smoothie Class.  Ben does a smoothie routine in the morning while I get lunch together.  I don’t like green things in my smoothies as much as Ben (sorry Charity) so he serves mine, then adds greens to the other half:

Smoothie (for 2)

2 C. goat’s milk

2 pineapple-guavas, whole (including skins)

1 C. ice

½ frozen banana

1 orange

1 C. frozen apples

Handful of frozen blueberries and strawberries

½ to 1 whole avocado

Leafy part of Chard

For lunch, I finally used the quinoa I had so laboriously collected and winnowed from the plant parts.  I briefly soaked the quinoa in an attempt to remove the bitter tasting saponins from the seeds, but I didn’t soak long enough, because the cooked product tastes more bitter than the store-bought stuff.

Quinoa Salad

1 C. quinoa (well-rinsed)

2 med. sized tomatoes

1 carrot, grated

1-2 TBS olive oil

Juice from 1 large lemon

¼ C chopped parsley

3 sprigs of green onions

1 cucumber (if you can find a fresh one, I didn’t have one to use)

Salt & Pepper

Cook the quinoa using 2 parts water to 1 part grain.  After cooking let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.  Add all other ingredients and mix, then refrigerate.

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