Friday, May 28, 2010

I don't know about you but...

'tis the season for cookouts. I am wondering, however, if your skin crawls like mine does when you think about the typical, fattening, mayonaissish dishes that you find at your typical cookouts?

I thought so!

Once in awhile, like maybe every 10 years, this stuff is ok. But I am tired of conforming!

As we prepare for a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend including quality time with friends and lots of food, I decided to break the mold and serve some different, perhaps gourmet, healthier options.

To my friend and fellow foodie Susan- thank you. :)You inspired me and after much research, I came up with a few ideas.

For appetizers, I am serving sliced french bread with artichoke parmesian spread and cranberry horseradish sauce. With that, I am also putting out spinach and feta spring rolls.

Then for our main course, I am starting with something Susan purhcased the other day...none other than the Chili Lime Burgers from Trader Joes...mmmmmm. I also grabbed a pack of veggie hotdogs (stay tuned for Diana's reaction)

Along with our funky burgers and dogs, I am making a tri-colored (red, white and blue of course) salad and a new recipe...Quinoa Walnut Salad (although I am substuting almonds for walnuts)...see this funky recipe below!

Quinoa Walnut Salad
1 cup quinoa

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup frozen green beans, defrosted

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, green beans, walnuts, and green onions until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving

For dessert, to keep with our red, white and blue theme- I am making individual strawberry AND blueberry shortcakes :)

Thank you to our soldiers for fighting for and defending our freedom... a special shout out to my Papas and Rob's dad. xoxo


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