At the beginning of the school year, we had taken the chance to make our own quinoa, bread and tomato salad to serve at lunch. We thought, how can we go wrong with a savory salad that is refreshing and protein packed? Well, after the first few times we served it and saw children politely decline our offers, we thought we needed to remove it from our menu. Then something happened. Our spectacular servers passed around samples of the mysterious salad in small sample cups. After they tasted it, their outlook changed and they came back for seconds! We are now receiving requests to have it on our menu more often. We also noticed that our quinoa salad fans have grown a liking to our other menu items that are not as familiar to them, which is great news all around.
One of our lessons learned during lunch time is that by exposing children to new foods you help spark their curiosity, and help open their minds to different tastes, textures and experiences – ultimately expanding their palates and world-views. We welcome you to cook up your very own quinoa, bread and tomato salad to share with your family at home. Here’s how:
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 4 slices of crusty bread
- 1/3 cup olive oil + extra for bread
- Salt + pepper
- 4 ripe medium tomatoes
- 1/2 small red onion
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F (for the bread).
- Place the quinoa in a pot of boiling water and cook until tender for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to dry.
- Drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Break into small chunks.
- Chop the tomatoes and slice the onion.
- Place them in a mixing bowl and combine with all other ingredients, including the quinoa and bread.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Photo courtesy of nerrisa’s ring