As the weather gets warmer I naturally make the switch to lighter recipes.  My spring menus often include a room-temperature grain salad, which is a great make-ahead side.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is one of my all-time favorite grains.  It’s high in protein, extremely versatile and super fast (it takes about 20 minutes).  Substitute it for couscous in any recipe or use it as you would use brown rice.

The menu below is from a dinner I made for friends the other night.  The orange flavors in the quinoa salad compliment the salmon really well.  Check back for the recipes, which I will post over the next few days.  


Homemade hummus served with carrots
Savory black and white “cookies”
Assorted cheeses

Main Event
Cumin seared salmon
Quinoa salad with orange, golden raisins and cilantro
Salad with herb (scallion and cilantro) vinaigrette

Individual dark chocolate soufflés
Fresh strawberries