Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Countdown to Thanksgiving - Day 4

This is the fourth day in our Countdown to Thanksgiving. This is what we did and/or read for today:

Activity for the Day: 

The focus for today was on doing something nice, and totally unexpected for another member of your family.

We had dog agility training this morning, and both the girls got the items together for Cooper and then went outside and scraped the frost from all the windows on the car.

Cooper on the ramp. Sophia is on the left (in purple) and 
the trainer is on the right (in black). 
I'm right next to Cooper holding onto his leash 
so he doesn't jump off the ramp.

We had fun in two different rooms set up with a variety of agility equipment.

Going through the tire.

Cooper likes the tire and the tunnel. No problem with either of those pieces of equipment.

Cooper going into the tunnel.

By far, though, one of his favorite activities is the running and jumping that is at the end. He went over all the jumps and didn't knock down one of the poles.

Cooper running to us at the end of class.

Sophia said, "You made the salad for us tonight so we could do other things." 

Having dinner on the fourth day of the Countdown to Thanksgiving.

We also stopped at the little local supermarket which just re-opened earlier this week. Purchased an alternative item for Olivia so she didn't have to eat the spinach and mushroom pizza that Sophia and I had for dinner. 

Thanksgiving Fact: 

The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

Gratitude Quote: 

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~ Charles Dickens


The recipe for today is a healthy one: Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette. It is from a pin on Pinterest that led to Gluten Free Goddess.

According to Gluten Free  Goddess, "Quinoa adds vegan protein and heft to simple green salads- perfect for lunch or a light supper. Use pears or apples in this recipe - either one will work."

Quinoa salad that I made.

This is a very good salad - I enjoyed it. There's no one flavor that overpowers another. Sophia liked it, but didn't feel like it had a lot of flavor. Olivia didn't care for it, but did try it which was good.

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 cup organic quinoa (I used a brown rice and quinoa combination)
Sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste (I didn't include these, but will next time)

Ingredients for the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place it into a large bowl. Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, and then pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Makes four main course servings or six side dish servings.

Note: If you are making this salad ahead of time, make the quinoa, fluff, and add the dressing while it is warm. When it cools to room temperature, add in the spinach, chick peas and parsley; toss, cover and chill. Before serving add the pears and toasted pecans. Taste test and add more seasoning if needed.

Also, the amount of dressing seems like a lot for the amount of quinoa and other ingredients used. Next time, I would make the full amount of dressing, but use only half to begin with. If more is needed, it can be added by the person who wants more dressing.

Thanksgiving Joke: 

When the Pilgrims landed, where did they stand? (On their feet!)

1 comment:

Rita said...

Looks like an especially fun time for Cooper!
I've never tried quinoa before. Sounds healthy and like something I should investigate. :)