Original vs. Substitute Sam
Mother Nature works in mysterious ways here in Minnesota. Its’ weather can bring anything from breathtaking scenery to destruction. Today, April 18th, it buried us with 8 inches of snow less than 24 hours after it was 60 F°.
This would normally affect my mood, but stepping into the elevator at Target Corp quickly brightened my day because I got a break from entertaining myself and let what seemed to be the cast of Fargo take center stage.
Cliche Target woman #999: “Yeah, sure is crazy huh?”
(staring at the floor counter in silence ensues)
Skinny balding male #1: (nervously laughing) “Well try not to get sun burnt today!”
Cliche Target woman #999: (feigning laughter) “Yah, you too now”
I always thought Fargo was an exaggeration, but it’s tough to deny the stereotype we have for ‘Minnesota Nice’. It’s exactly this type of meaningless and obligatory conversation I normally avoid in elevators by trying to entice others into breaking ‘elevator law’ and holding eye contact while smiling.
But in all seriousness, I do love Minnesota. Sure the weather is crazy and our sports teams bring nothing but anguish, but the people are truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re as fascinated by people watching and foodie culture as I am there’s no better place to live!
On a tastier note, whether it was the extra time I had from my 5-mile, 2-hour Metro-Transit ride or my desire to pretend it was warm out, something inspired me to create one of the most refreshing and colorful dishes I’ve ever had.
The Southwest Quinoa Salad is the perfect combination of heat and citrus for any Mexican style feast. And I almost forgot to add; it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and all 9 essential amino acids!
1. Cook quinoa according to package and set aside to let cool. You can also boil the grain with broth and spices added to enhance the flavor profile
- 1 C uncooked Trader Joe’s Organic TriColor Quinoa
2. In a separate bowl mix lime, cumin, and olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime (about 2 TBSP)
- 1 TSP cumin
- 1 TBSP olive oil
3. Chop vegetables and combine in a bowl
- 1/2 C onion
- 1/4 C red pepper
- 1/4 C yellow pepper
- 1/4 C orange pepper
- 1/4 C jalapeno pepper
4. Combine the seasoning mixture with the cooled quinoa and stir well to distribute the flavors evenly
5. Add in the chopped vegetables, toss, and enjoy!
*Note: vegetables can easily be substituted based on personal preference (i.e. Sub green peppers for jalapenos if too spicy)
I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU!