I hoard recipes. I quietly rip them from magazines at the dentist’s, bookmark them all over my computer, file them away in my brain, and pry them from the fingers of reluctant innocents. Just last night I sat down with a notepad and a stack of 8 cook cookbooks. You know…just paroosing ingredients, techniques and colorful photographs. When my mouth started to water and stomach begged to be fed, I knew I had to stop reading and go to sleep immediately, or else I might eat everything in my fridge.
If someone presents me with food that HAS to be made again, I find the chef and whisper loudly “WHAT. IS. IN. THIS.!?” I don’t know if it’s the creepy little voice I use, but they usually eye me suspiciously. They try and use some lame excuse…like that they can’t remember or they just threw some stuff together. I pry and pry though, following Wayne’s World mantra of it will be mine. The chef usually gives in to my sweet sass.
When my great great grandparents came to the U.S. from Denmark there must have been a cookbook tucked away in their luggage, holding recipes that would comfort them and remind them of home. There must have been a favorite bread recipe that they religiously followed out on their farm. But where did these recipes go?! I get so sad when I think of all the culinary specialties of our families, and how they have gotten lost or forgotten over the years. If I drive by a house that has been burnt to the ground, I don’t fret over the destroyed photos or heirloom wedding dress. I just mourn the loss of pieces of paper that some grandmother scribbled the directions for her favorite dishes on. Call me twisted….I don’t mind.
Recipes are little bits of history in themselves, revealing so much about the chef and everything occurring during the time they were made. Recipes tell stories. Were the meals: quick and easy, labor intensive and requiring patience, or absolutely divine pieces of art. Did they yield inexpensive huge meals to feed ten kids, or were they rather decadent? I have decided to grab the sword and start a personal ritual of finding and collecting recipes. If ever I have a child, I will try my darndest not to overwhelm them with stories about food. But if there is a tale to be told about a meal, you had better believe they will hear it. And I will make sure to repeat it often, just to be certain that their children will feel strong roots every time they eat something that originated in my kitchen.
The recipe for this Quinoa Salad was recited to me at a BBQ, by my friend Nora. I burned it into my memory and recreated it the next day. This dish is fresh, light, and full of lovely textures. Great as a side or heaped in a bowl, the loads of lovely protein is bound to satisfy.This is definitely a new favorite that I will make certain stays in the family.
Evan Lentz blew me away during this photo session. You wouldn’t believe it, but all of these pictures were taken at 9 pm! Yes…he is a genious!…and very handsome.
Nora’s Mango Quinoa Salad
2 Cups Cooked Red Quinoa (at room temperature or cold)
1 Mango Diced
1 Handful of chopped Cilantro
1 15 Ounce Can Black Beans
1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
6 Green Onions Thinly Sliced
4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
Salt to Taste!
In a small bowl, combine your vinegar, oil and lime juice. In a big bowl, combine all of your foods. Drizzle your liquid mixture over the the salad, and toss until well combined. Salt to taste. If you feel it needs more vinegar…then Lordy, add some more! Chill for about an hour, eat and burn the recipe into your lovely little brain.