Delightful Quinoa Salad and Fancy Fruit

Whenever there is a gathering that requires bringing a dish to share I want to make something that is delicious for everyone yet satisfies my dietary needs.  There is always the “just in case” factor.  If there is no other food available that I can safely eat, I want to make sure my dish serves well as a main meal for myself.

Such was the case for Easter when we all gathered for the dinner my dad was making.  My mom would have been impressed with the foods he prepared and dare I say his turkey rivaled hers.  My mom, bless her heart, always seemed to overcook her meat no matter what cut it was.  My dad’s turkey was amazingly moist and perfectly cooked.

I brought a couple of lovely dishes that were not only pleasantly eye appealing, but quite tasty as well.  They also had to meet my energy level requirement, which currently is pretty darn low most days.

This quinoa dish was a side dish at our Easter dinner, but it could also serve well as a main dish with its high nutrient and protein levels.  In addition to providing 48% of the recommended daily allowance in protein, quinoa provides essential amino acides like lysine as well as a decent amount of calcium.  Furthermore, it boasts high levels of magnesium and iron.  Add in some veggies like I did here and you’ve got a pretty amazing meal in a bowl.

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Quinoa Salad

Here’s what I used to make this dish:

To cooked quinoa add in any amount you desire:  shredded kale, sliced red onions, toasted pecans and dried cherries.  Toss with a dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, a tiny squeeze of agave, a little garlic, salt and pepper.

The kiwi dish I provided was my silly attempt at making a fruit “Easter basket”.  The kiwi served as the grass and the blueberries and raspberries were the eggs.  I thought it was pretty creative.  I got lots of compliments on how pretty it looked on the table.  By the end of the meal all the fruit was gone so that tells me it was a success.

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Easter fruit “basket”

We had a nice time enjoying the impressive spread made mostly by my dad.  Even though we carried on our usual Easter traditions, it was clear by my dad’s sad face and the tears I saw flow from my oldest niece, that my mom was sorely missed on this first Easter since her passing.  Today, I write this while wiping my own tears.  I miss my mom more than words can describe.  This year will be the hardest as we pass all the important firsts without my mom.  As much as I try to hold on to the idea that she is close by and knows what is going on with her family, I cannot help but feel she is missing so much.  That thought made this Easter a very somber one indeed.

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