Tag Archives: Strawberry

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Doesn’t the weekend just go way, way too fast?  I’m so bummed that it’s already Sunday night, even though we had a fun-packed weekend and Fritz is outside grilling chicken so I can have a beautiful salad tomorrow like the world’s best husband that he is.

Still.  I wish it was Friday morning again.  But since it’s not, here’s an awesome fruit salad recipe that I promise you will love.  You’ll think it’s gorgeous, you’ll want to kiss it, you’ll want to hug it, you’ll want to love it…(Miss Congeniality, anyone?)

Quinoa Fruit Salad (original recipe from Oh She Glows, serves 4-6) 

Printable Recipe Card

  • 3/4 C dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 apple, rinsed and diced
  • 3 peaches, rinsed and diced
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T lime juice
  • sprinkle of salt

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, remembering to rinse it first to get rid of that bitter taste.  Meanwhile, slice the fruit (and feel free to adapt the fruit in any way–use whatever you have around the house!) and layer it in a deep bowl.  When the quinoa is cooked and fluffed (it doesn’t need to be cooled), toss that on top, too.

Toss the dressing ingredients over the top and mix, mix, mix.  I found this to be the perfect amount of sweetness (and just a teensy hint of balsamic), but you can always adjust to your own taste.  The lime also keeps the apple from browning, which is nice.

Either serve warm as is (because you probably wont be able to resist it), or cool in the fridge prior to serving.

Angela also added almonds to her salad, which I can imagine would be amazing if you plan on eating it all in one day.  I know we’ll have some leftover for school tomorrow, so I left out what I knew would end up as soggy nuts.  Which is never a good thing to have.

Ahem.  Anyway.  I love, love, love this salad.  Sometimes I forget that quinoa is so yummy in a sweet dish, so I’m glad I had a reminder.

I also got to chat with some lovely people at the farmstand by my house when I went to pick up some strawberries.  I’ll tell you all about that (and the recipe I left with!) on another day.

Because I want to start the week off on the right foot, I’ll leave you with a picture that my mom posted on facebook today.  It’s a throwback to the old days, when my little sister Kristen (who is applying to vet schools as we speak) first discovered her true love for animals:

It makes me laugh every time I look at it.  For, like, ten minutes.

No frogs were harmed (other than possible psychological damage) in the making of this photo.

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Filed under Salads

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet

I hate that period right after a really stressful and busy month when your body finally realizes it can relax for the first time in too long, lets its guard down, and BAM!  You’re sick.  I was starting to feel my body head down that road today, so I took a nice hour-long nap and drank tons of water.  I’m already feeling a little bit better, so I’m hoping I managed to ward it off.

It also helps that I made lots of yummy and frozen treats today, from ice pops to strawberry-banana sorbet.  All that cold fruit does a body good!

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet (inspired by this recipe)

  • 2 C frozen strawberries, roughly chopped–reserve 1/2 from the blender!
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 C cold water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 t lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except for 1/2 C of diced strawberries.  Blend until smooth.

Pour into the tub of an ice cream maker (which should have been frozen overnight, or as directed) and allow it to churn the sorbet for about 15 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Add the 1/2 C chopped strawberries and continue to churn.  You can serve it immediately when it thickens as much as you want, or freeze it overnight to harden further.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just pour the strawberry-banana puree into a tub and stick in it the freezer, stirring it every half and hour or so until it reaches your desired consistency.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I let it freeze for another two hours, but we wanted to have some for dessert.  It’ll probably be the perfect scooping consistency tomorrow.

The strawberry-banana flavor was seriously good.  Just enough tart strawberry perfectly mellowed out by the smooth banana (and the strawberry chunks just add that extra oomph).

Fritz, who loves ice cream and all things frozen (due to that heat-regulation problem that all men seem to have), says that it was really refreshing.  I’m excited to make more sorbet–I’m thinking a mojito flavor might be my next one!  Sadly, rum doesn’t freeze well…but I’m okay with having the rum on the side.

I also went over to my friend Gill’s house today, and made ice pops with another friend, Laura, and her daughter.  These ice pops freeze instantly “right in front of your eyes”, which makes them extra fun for layering and decorating.  We were definitely rookies, but it did give me some fun ideas for how I might make other frozen stuff in the future.

Here’s what we made:

The one I made was layered cranberry and lemonade with lime slices in the middle–yum.

And of course, how could I resist playing with my new camera with an adorable baby around?  I took about a million pictures of Laura’s daughter, Lila:

Isn’t she cute?

I’m a little sad because my sister has been sick for the last few days, and the doctor thinks she might have mono.  If so, our Boston trip is off, but we’ll see how she feels tomorrow before we decide whether to drive there for a visit.  Get better, Kristen!!

I’ll bring you some sorbet, if it helps.

Oh, one last thing (so many things to talk about today!).  I stopped at a little-old-lady church thrift shop today, and look what I walked away with for the outrageous price of 25 cents?

The sweet woman I bought it from laughed and said “Wow, you’ll have to eat a lot of oatmeal to fill that bowl!”

If only she knew.

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Filed under Desserts

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m trying to learn not to be a salad hater.

But it’s difficult.  I just don’t like salads.  They are boring.  I hate lettuce bones (the spines in iceberg lettuce).  Salad dressing with a creamy base completely grosses me out–especially Waldorf dressing (sorry, Tharrie!).

But–they are so good for you!  And all the bloggers I read love salads.  And they are trendy! 

I want to be trendy.  I want to bring salad to school with my dressing in a separate container so the leaves don’t wilt.  That’s cool.

So here’s my first (incredibly successful) attempt.  A classmate of mine reminded me how amazing salads can be when you combine baby spinach leaves and strawberries.  With a few other additions, this salad became my dinner.  It did not last long. 

Even Fritz felt full afterwards (and there was not a single lettuce bone in sight!).

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 2 (giant) handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 4 strawberries, sliced vertically
  • 1-2 corn tortillas, baked until browned and crispy (really! seriously!)
  • 1/8 C raw walnuts
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • balsamic dressing

Step one: make your husband grill the chicken for you or alternate step one: finally learn how to use the gas grill on your own (you are a doctoral student, for God’s sake!).  I went with the former–thanks, Fritz!

However, do put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pound it out flat with a saucepan first–that makes it grill faster so it’s nice and juicy by the time it’s cooked.  Dried out chicken will simply not do when I’m trying to learn to like a salad.  Season with salt and pepper and grill it up beautifully.

Assemble the salad–spinach, strawberries, and walnuts.  Crush up the tortilla and sprinkle over the top. 

I’m not kidding when I say that was the best-tasting crunchy texture ever.  I surprised myself with that idea, but I had some going stale from the open-faced tacos we had a few nights ago.  They stayed crunchy throughout the whole salad, and when browned, were so nutty and delicious that I kept asking Fritz if he could believe how good it all was.

Top with the grilled chicken, of course.  There is a man in the house, after all, and he just doesn’t feel complete without some sort of animal protein.

 Drizzle some balsamic right over the top.

Yum.

So good!  I ate the whole bowl (even scraped up the remainders).  That is a salad first for me.  A salad as a meal?  That was big enough–and I still didn’t get sick of it?  I can’t wait to have more tomorrow.

What are your best salad combos?  I need inspiration!

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Filed under Side Dishes

Three-Layer Strawberry-Filled Chocolate Cake

Wednesday is Fritz’s birthday!

We have a tradition every year in which I make a new kind of birthday cake–it’s a fun occasion for me to bake something extravagant and decadent, and to try something new.  This year he requested a black forest cake, but since I know he doesn’t like cherries I adapted his idea to something similar (but probably more delicious)!

For his past birthdays I’ve made:

22nd–Reese’s peanut butter chocolate cake;

23rd–Cheesecake with strawberry topping;

24th–Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting;

25th–Pineapple upside-down cake;

…and now:

It’s a ridiculous three-layer chocolate cake with strawberry filling (and fresh strawberries) covered in whipped chocolate ganache–and it was so much fun to make.

I wasn’t going to blog it at all, but once I saw the three cake layers just sitting there, I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t adapt the recipe at all (except that I whipped the ganache, didn’t puree the strawberry filling, and added a layer of fresh strawberries into each strawberry layer), so I’m not going to repost it–but here’s the original site from Baking Junkie.

And here, my friends, is where it all began:

Now let’s add some strawberries:

Another cake layer:

And some more strawberries:

Of course we need that last layer of cake:

And then we slather it all over with whipped ganache:

Top it off with some sliced strawberries and chopped chocolate:

I’m pretty excited to try this cake–but we are waiting for Fritz’s actual birthday to slice into this bad boy.  For now, it’s sitting in the freezer ready to be defrosted Wednesday afternoon (hopefully it’ll be just as good).  That’s not to say that Fritz didn’t get to enjoy an early birthday present–he got to lick the bowls.

We also received a box from my parents with presents!  Needless to say, it did not contain an evil cat when it arrived.

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake?  I used to hate cake when I was a kid so my mom always made me “dirt cake” with pudding, Oreo crumbs, and gummy worms.

Hmm…maybe that will be next year’s cake for Fritz!

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Filed under Desserts

Heart-y Strawberry Whole-Wheat Pancakes

Heart-y!  Get it?  ‘Cause it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and these heart-shaped pancakes are chock full of healthy ingredients and are so filling and…yeah.  You get it.

I’ve been all about breakfast lately–and Fritz and I truly outdid ourselves since we decided to celebrate V-tine’s a day early on account of having a full day of classes tomorrow.  We slept in a bit, and woke up to a 55 degree house again (seriously?!).  We decided to make a gigantic breakfast to warm up while we waited for the heat to be fixed.

It might be illegal to have food this good when it’s not even the official holiday yet.  And if this breakfast doesn’t fill your heart to overflowing with love for each other–and every other organism on the planet, I don’t know what will.  Not to mention your body will thank you for all the good stuff inside: wheat germ, flaxseed, strawberries, and whole-wheat flour make this a heart-healthy breakfast.

Strawberry Whole-Wheat Pancakes (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 2 C buttermilk (I use dried buttermilk–add the powder with the dry ingredients and the water with the wet) 
  • 1 C chopped strawberries

This is an easy mix.  I combined the dry ingredients, made a well, and added the wet ingredients.  Mix well, then add the berries.

 Cook over medium heat–we used egg shapers to make hearts and perfectly round pancakes.  Looks good, but they also cook evenly and don’t run into each other for easier flipping.  Top with more strawberries, some cinnamon sugar, and of course, maple syrup.  These pancakes have a perfect and subtle butter flavor already so you don’t need to add extra (unless you want to–it is almost a holiday!).

Just a touch of syrup.

Well, maybe a little bit more.

To celebrate, we made a really fun, delicious, and exotic Asian-inspired dinner together.  You’ll see all about that in a later post.  We also decided to exchange gifts early–Fritz made my present this year (and Henry helped).  Here’s a little hint:

You’ll see the fruits of their labor in a day or two.  Have a happy V-Day tomorrow!  What are your plans?

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Filed under Breakfast