You guys! WE SOLD OUR HOUSE.
It was a whirlwind of showings and phone calls and meetings and negotiations and big adult things, but we did it. And we are ever so relieved and grateful and excited.
It’s funny, because while I am feeling all of the above feelings, I’m also feeling a sense of loss. We do still love this old, charming little house. It’s our first house. We brought our child home to this house. I’ve made a lot of food for this blog in this house. We have amazing neighbors and the community has so much to offer. But we also are ready. We are ready to move into a new home that we can settle into for a lifetime. And thank goodness that, no matter where we live, I can have this summer vegetable quinoa tabbouleh in my life.
The truth is, last week our meals were chaotic and not-so-healthy. On the morning we were without power, we had to pick up McDonald’s for breakfast (I mean, so good, right, but also the worst). That night, we were given about oh, five minutes’ notice that there would be a showing at our house, so I literally tossed things out the door and drove to Panera for dinner with the tot. There were a few meals that came in a can or out of a box because I’m really good at planning ahead, clearly.
I mean, we tried to make a few wholesome, healthy meals, but for a while our routine was pretty hijacked. So when the weekend came and the dust had settled a bit, I took the first deep breath I could take in days and made this summer vegetable quinoa tabbouleh. And slowly, surely, the routine was back.
I love this tabbouleh salad because it is completely clean. Everything is fresh, simple, easy, delicious. You toast the quinoa with a dash of allspice to enhance the flavors, then cook it and let it cool. In the meantime, you chop up all the veggies — a red or yellow bell pepper, an English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, some fennel (which is my favorite part), fresh parsley and mint. Toss everything into the quinoa along with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a few dashes of salt and pepper. And that’s it. Done. Serve it as a meal with grilled chicken or salmon, or as a side dish at a picnic or outdoor dinner party. I plan to make it and share it with all of my future new neighbors in an effort to make friends, obviously.
Over the next few months, we will be packing and moving, signing more papers, having more talks, making more adult decisions, yada yada yada — but I know that even without routine, this tabbouleh is always accessible.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- ½ bulb fennel, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 English cucumber, halved and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 pint cherry or golden tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup packed fresh mint, chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and allspice; stir 2 minutes until toasted. Stir in 1½ cups water and pinch of salt. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until quinoa is tender. Transfer quinoa to large mixing bowl to cool completely.
- Add bell pepper, fennel, cucumber and tomatoes to bowl. Add remaining olive oil, fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Add parsley and mint. Stir again to combine. Season to taste, if desired.
- Serve immediately, or store in airtight container in fridge up to 1 day.