Spinach Mushroom and Cranberry Quinoa
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving hanging out with your family and friends! We’re having another magical mystical morning today. The sun is shining through the trees, giving the canyon a warm backlit pinkish glow. It’s been a quiet weekend. During the holidays L.A. takes on a small town feel: quiet streets and a chilled out vibe. Every year I ask myself, “why can’t L.A. always be like this?”Ah, the price you pay for living in Southern California. Los Angeles has everything: the magestic Pacific Ocean, the crystal snow of Big Bear and Lake Arowhead, to the dry, flat heat of Palms Springs and the Mohave Desert. Amid so much natural beauty, you have to smile, share the love, and pass it on.
When it comes to holiday eating, I like to carve out my own path. In my own humble opinion, the surprise of something new on the table is just that much more interesting. By following my nose, nature nudges me into what flows to the table. Don’t get me wrong, I love the usual pumpkin pie, stuffing, gravy, green beans, and the like, but it can be refreshing to try something new.
Spinach Mushroom Cranberry Quinoa was thrown together for an afternoon playdate for my friend Vicky and her son Oliver. Of course I had my usual Blueberry Banana Muffins for the kids, but I always like to make a little extra effort for the Moms in the house. Vicky loves a little twist in the food department as much as I do, so I knew I could try something a wee left of center. We both love the savory flavor with a hint of sweetness from the cranberries, and the roasted pumpkin seeds takes the dish to the next level. An unexpected bonus: her four-year old son Oliver loved it, and gobbled it right up (Jake’s a muffin man I’m afraid). Just when you think you’ve got your kids pegged, there’s always nice surprise waiting for you.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa, vegetables, and cherries. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Lightly toss, sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds and serve. Delicious hot or cold.