The other night my volleyball team got together after work for a weeknight dinner party.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to host since one of our teammates happened to be house sitting for her aunt who has this view:
Since there would be no time to go home between work and dinner, I needed to bring a commuter-friendly side. In my book, that means a dish that can be served room temp and either fully ‘make-ahead’ or extremely easy to toss together at upon arrival.
View from my desk at 8:30am:
I went with Blueberry & Avocado Quinoa with Zesty Lemon Vinaigrette.
Italics make everything seem fancier, but trust me, this one is easy-peasy.
Truthfully, the entire recipe can be made in advance (I can now attest that the leftovers are divine.) Two reasons why did not combine all ingredients in advance:
- It was my first time making this dish and wasn’t sure how it would taste on day two.
- We eat with our eyes first. For a dinner party I like the appearance of a salad freshly combined vs. overnight.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups high quality red quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable* broth (low sodium)
- 2 cups water
- 2 rip avocados
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt (optional)
Here’s how to do it:
The night before:
Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of stock to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and you notice the white rings on the outside of the quinoa are pulled away from the grain. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid and fluff with fork. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
Pre-wash the blueberries, avocado, and lemons. Package the 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a small Tupperware.
When you arrive:
Zest the lemon. Dice the avocados. Add zest, avocados, and blueberries to quinoa.
Juice the lemon directly into the Tupperware with olive oil. You probably tasted the quinoa the night before. If you feel it needs a little salt, add a pinch to the lemon and olive oil. Place lid back on Tupperware and shake to combine.
Pour in vinaigrette and gently combine. The longer is sits, the better it gets so don’t be worried about serving immediately.
*Bonus: This recipe can accommodate a variety of diets (e.g. vegetarian, dairy-free, health-conscious, gluten intolerant.) You’ll be bringing something most people can eat!