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There was a stifling heat wave crushing its way across the country earlier in the week, so we hit the road. We wound our way up the mountain passes in search of one badass blues guitarist, and some cooler weather.

Every time we take the drive from Boulder to Aspen, the beauty of landscape astounds me. As we headed further into the Rockies, cascading waterfalls of icy winter melt-off, snow covered peaks, emerald green valleys, and harsh deep crevasses, met us at every turn. The grace of nature was in its full glorious bloom.

Even though we live in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado, I was seeking to go deeper where I would loose cell reception and I could connect, without distraction, to Mother Earth, if even for just a few hours. I was also heeding my body and mind’s request for a small break from work. A change of scenery with a bike ride down a tree lined path, and a moment to cool my toes in the frigid waters of the Roaring Fork River worked wonders to clear my head and refresh my spirit.

We found our badass soul singer in the form of the incomparable Gary Clark Jr., whose mere presence on stage was something to behold let alone his ravishing guitar riffs and sultry take on the blues.

             

Eating fresh fruits and veggies was also part of getting grounded on our brief retreat into the mountains. This Spinach, Quinoa, and Strawberry Salad was spot-on for flavor and healthy ingredients.

Spinach, Quinoa and Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pinenuts
Recipe type: Salad
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 dinner size salads or 2 entree salads
Ingredients
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • ½ pint strawberries, core and slice (hold out 2 strawberries for the dressing)
  • ⅓ cup quinoa
  • ⅓ cup pinenuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup sultanas or green raisins
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 -2 teaspoons honey
Instructions
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer to remove the bitter coating and then place in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain off any excess water and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  5. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and honey.
  6. Using the back of a fork, mash up one or two strawberries and whisk them into the dressing
  7. Season the dressing with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  8. In a large salad or serving bowl, place the spinach, feta, remaining strawberries, quinoa, and raisins and toss.
  9. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle the pinenuts over the top and serve.
Notes
For the vegan version simply leave out the feta cheese.


Enjoy!

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