Crisp Lemon Snap Pea Salad

lemon-quinoa-salad

This has been an eventful week. My blog had its 10,000th visitor, and I launched my new photography website.

I also attended a wedding and sadly, a funeral.

The wedding made me remember that love comes along when you least expect it. My nephew and his wife met while traveling in New Zealand. He is from Canada and she is from Germany. They met by chance, fell in love and have been together ever since. They are one of those couples that you just know by looking at them, they are madly in love. I wish them both a lifetime of joy and happiness.

The funeral was for a man who died before his time. He was a great father, a wonderful coach, and a great husband.  He had an endless passion for living and helping others. While I watched hundreds of people pay their respects to this unique individual it made me wonder. What will people remember about me when my time comes?

We all need to put our lives in perspective, now and again.

Nobody is remembered for the long hours that they worked or the things they did not do. They are remembered for their contributions to the world and their relationships with their family and friends. I admit that I have been guilty of not balancing my life, in the past.

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

Mark Twain

Now I am pursuing my passions with great enthusiasm. I am soaking up knowledge like a sponge and trying new things, every day. I love writing my blog. I have learned so much on this journey. I love my family and my friends, and the wonderful man in my life.

I have a passion that I have been feeding for years. Every time I pick up my camera and shoot a few shots of a special place, a person, a wonderful recipe or a beautiful flower, I feel alive. Whenever life gets me down I focus on photography and find my inspiration. I don’t know what I would do without having this creative outlet in my life.

Another one of my passions is cooking. I found this recipe for Crisp Lemon Snap Peas Salad and thought it would be perfect for this time of year when the sugar snap peas are in season. When they are fresh from the farm they taste sweet and crisp. The original recipe called for raw mushrooms but I decided to saute them to bring out their rich flavour.

Crisp Lemon Snap Pea Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 ml) water
1 cup (250 ml) quinoa
2 cups (500 ml) fresh sweet snap peas cut in half, diagonally
1 ½ cups (375 ml) brown mushrooms sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup (75 ml) thinly sliced red onion cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup (75 ml) white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 ml) pure maple syrup

Directions :

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool completely.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, cook until lightly browned, stirring as needed. Set aside.

Combine the peas, mushrooms, red onion and the dill in a medium bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, remaining ¼ cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and maple syrup. Pour over the cooled quinoa in the saucepan and stir until evenly dispersed. Add the vegetable mixture, toss and serve.

Recipe adapted from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

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