Creative In My Kitchen: Manuels Quinoa Salad

While obtaining my undergraduate then graduate degrees, I had to assure I was fueled, nourished, and efficient to support my busy schedule.  So I decided to learn how to cook for myself for the very first time. I didn’t know exactly how to cook, save turning on the stove and maybe boiling a pot of water.  I did know, however, what flavors I liked.  I knew if I was going to feed myself, I would have to get creative.

Back then, I threw things together and experimented a lot.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that; sometimes too much of this or too much of that.  Little by little, step by step, I formulated a good foundation of basic tastes and learned how to vary those tastes with slight changes in ingredients. 

Today, I still find myself experimenting and being creative in my kitchen.  I still know what flavors I like and now have a better grasp of what ingredients will get me there.  For instance, for dinner the other night, I created the above dish (picture) from scratch.  I had no recipe but I listened to what my mouth was craving.  Turns out my mouth wanted a powerhouse of flavors and nutrition and what developed from that craving was this recipe I can now share with you:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 tomatoes, chunked
  • 1 avocado, chunked
  • 1 cucumber, chunked
  • ½ – ¾ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Lime juice to taste

(Serves 4)

 Mix together and enjoy – delicious!  Creativity should not only be left to the artist.  As humans, our curious minds are meant to explore, create, and expand.  Start by listening to your mouth and think about what flavors you like.  Next, don’t just think about it, create it.  Over time, you may be astonished by how fulfilled you are not only by the final product, but by the creative process that brought you there.

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