Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quinoa Salad is Berry-licious!


I really have no excuse for not posting too regularly except for the fact that I have been enjoying some much needed alone time.  How is this you ask? For one, I am on holidays from work until September.  Two, Hubby has been working during the day, as per usual. Three, the Boy is on a fantastic Me to We adventure in Ecuador building a school, playing games with kids, and having a blast. (He's a keeper!)

Not to brag too much, but I have been sleeping in, watching Netflix, and hanging out in the garden.  Nothing too exciting but seems to be just what I needed.  That being said, many apologies if I haven't kept in touch. I must also admit to spending a good amount of time browsing Pinterest.  I love seeing the ideas and thing people come up with and sometimes it inspires my own thought processes.

I found some salads featuring quinoa and berries.  The dressings didn't seem to appeal to me so I figured honey and lime always go well with berries and boom....there you have it. 

Berry Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

4 cups mixed berries 
    - I used a mixture of blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries
1/2 cup un cooked quinoa
1 cup water
Slivered almonds, toast almonds in a dry pan until slightly golden and allow to cool.

Honey lime dressing

1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil (use a neutral tasting oil such as canola)
Pinch of salt

Combine the quinoa and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, slap a lid on it, reduce the temperature to low and set the timer for 15 minutes.  When the timer dings, take it off the heat, fluff it with a fork and set it aside to cool.

Wash and dry the berries, cut up the strawberries, pit and halve the cherries, and put it all to the side.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake it until everything is combined. Give the dressing a taste to see if it needs more honey, or lime, or salt.

Once the quinoa is cooled, combine it with the berries, almonds, and the dressing. Chill until serving time.

This salad was divine....Hubby gave it rave reviews!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Supper Central: Meal Assembly 101

Oh my, have things been busy around here.  The Boy graduated high school!!  There was convocation, a dinner and a dance, a limo full of teenagers.... Now that graduation things are over, we had to get the Boy registered for University classes in the fall!  By the way, he earned himself an entrance scholarship!  The last of our excitement is underway as way as well:  the Boy leaves for his Me to We trip to Ecuador!  Wow!

 A while back I had the opportunity to check out Supper Central.  They had teamed up with the Manitoba Chicken Producers to sponsor a meal prep gathering. I had heard about this place but had never been. Supper central is a dinner assembly kitchen. You order your meals, set a day and time to go in, and rotate through the statio stations assembling meals. Here's the neat part: they do all the prep AND the clean up! What's not to love? At the end of the evening you leave with your meals, each one neatly packed in a big zip top bag complete with meat, grain or pasta, and veggie.

Packing your meal couldn't be easier. Rice and pasta are pre measured into baggies, meats are already portioned out into another baggie....seriously.  All you need to do is follow the recipe instructions they provide to add marinade ingredients to the meat, smoosh it up, reseal it and put it into the larger zip top bag.  Now grab your grain or pasta, toss that in, and assemble your last part.  On this meal that was the mango salsa.  In another meal, it was grabbing a Baggie of frozen green beans and adding honey and soy.

As you assemble your meals you can adjust seasonings to your family's liking, we like spicy so I added extra spices accordingly. Supper Central will also provide you with a handy prep card with instructions on how to prepare your meal.

Meals come together quickly and easily. For a busy family or couple, this is a fabulous dinner option.  The chicken and mango salsa were tasty and came together quickly with a quick grill of the chicken, boil the rice and thaw the mango salsa. Everyone in the house enjoyed it.  We got 5 chicken breast with the 'full size' meal. The pieces were quite smaller than I would normally buy when grocery shopping but if you are feeding smaller kids, they are a good size. If you are feeding a giant teen boy, there most likely want be leftovers.

The Quick and Easy:

I am in love with the concept of supper central and will most likely make use of them during busy times. They are organized, clean, and they do the work for you.  The meals are tasty and well thought out as well.

Supper Central is allergy aware with nut free stations, gluten free options and the like.  

They have plenty of single meals pre frozen to store in your freezer and which are great options for singles or people who aren't able to cook.

Supper Central offers a packing service where they will assemble your meals and all you need to do is to pick them up.

If their meals seem pricey, think about the time component. All the chopping and cleaning pins done for you. You just show up and assemble.

Definitely worth checking out.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Please note that I assembled 2 meals at Supper Central which were generously provided to those in attendance by Manitoba Chicken Producers. Thank you for the opportunity to try out meal assembly.