Summer Vegetable Salad with Quinoa and Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

My oh my, I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I put up my last recipe.  Between wrapping things up for graduation (I finish in 2 weeks!) and lying in pools my own sweat (ew) in my hot apartment, I’ve been seriously lacking in energy lately.  I tend to believe that there are few problems a good helping of nutrition can’t solve…does anyone have any good tips for breaking out of a low-energy slump?  If so, I’d love to hear them.

Because of the recent temperatures and my unfortunate lack of air-conditioning, I’ve been focusing on creating meals that require little, if any, cooking, baking, or boiling.  While this one does not completely fit that mold, it comes pretty close and the leftovers kept me happy for days.  I even ate a few servings for breakfast with a fried egg on top.

This recipe was inspired by a similar one from Whipped.  I changed the ingredients based on what I had in my kitchen and I omitted the mozzarella because…well, I was dealing with the discovery that I now have cellulite on my thighs.  I really recommend taking an extra few minutes to make the pickled cherry tomatoes.  They provide amazing little bursts of flavor and are easy to make.

Summer Vegetable Salad with Quinoa and Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
makes 8 servings
adapted from Whipped

Ingredients
– 1/2 cup quinoa
– 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
– 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1/2 large)
– 1 ear corn, kernel removed
– 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
– 2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
– 1 cup pickled tomatoes (see recipe below)
– 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
– salt, to taste

Start by pickling the cherry tomatoes.  They will need at least an hour for the flavors to come together.

In a large bowl, toss vegetables together.  Drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss again.  Finish with a sprinkle of salt.

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
adapted from Plate to Plate

Ingredients
– 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 3/4 cup water
– 4 tsp salt
– 2 tsp sugar
– a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
– 2 garlic cloves, gently crushed
– 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix vinegar, water, salt, and sugar together until salt and sugar are dissolved. Mix the halved tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Pack gently into a glass jar and pour vinegar mixture over until covered.  Replace the lid, give it a few good shakes, and leave it at room temperature for 1-3 hours.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

* I shared this link with this week’s Fat Tuesday and Traditional Tuesday.

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Cherry Tomato and Yellow Squash Crumble

Just last week, I noticed the first cherry tomatoes and summer squashes in the farmer’s market.  We had a cool spring and so it seems that everything has been a bit delayed.  Now that summer is in full swing and I’m beginning to wonder just how we are supposed to survive without air conditioning, the local tomatoes and squashes have decided to grace us with their presence.  In another month, we’ll probably have more than we can handle.  For now, they still feel like a treasure.

I baked them into a savory crumble (although the vegetables’ natural sweetness also shone through) and we enjoyed it on our patio with tuna melts.

Later that night we went to a CD release show for a local band, Monarques (they are amazing!), and then met some friends at our favorite late-night spot.  Yup, summer.

What signals the arrival of summer in your world?

Cherry Tomato and Yellow Squash Crumble
makes 6 servings
adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine, July 2012

Ingredients
– 2 Tbsp butter
– 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (use gluten-free if you like)
– 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
– 1 small yellow onion, chopped
– 3/4 lb small yellow squash, diced
– 1 generous pint (about 3/4 lb) cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and parsley together.  Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour a little more than half of it over the breadcrumbs, leaving enough in the pan to sauté vegetables.  Mix butter into breadcrumbs.

Add onion to skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until soft, about 7 minutes.  Stir in squash and cook another 4 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and cook about 2 more minutes.  Season with salt.

Transfer mixture to a 9-inch square or equivalent baking dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top and then evenly sprinkle breadcrumbs over everything.  Bake 25-30 minutes until top is lightly browned.  Serve hot.

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I shared this post with this week’s Hearth and Soul Hop, Slightly Indulgent TuesdayMelt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix it Up Monday, My Meatless Mondays, and Seasonal Celebration Sunday.