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When it starts getting hot out, I’m not up for cooking often. And lately I’ve been making summer salads more often than not. My pantry is always stuffed with grains, and I’m always looking for a new way to serve up my seeming never-ending supply of quinoa.

Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad
adapted from the diva dish

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
15 oz can garbanzo beans (drained & rinsed)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 avocados, diced
2 cups chopped spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup sweet onion
2 small cloves garlic

For the dressing:
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash of salt and pepper

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Bring back to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid. Remove from heat and let stand for 1-15 minutes. In a food processor, add your spinach and cilantro. Process the greens until they are finely diced. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside. Next finely dice your onion and garlic and add to the greens mixture. Add your chickpeas and stir until everything is combined and coated. When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the chickpea mixture. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Pour over salad, and mix until combined. Add in tomatoes and avocado and mix. Set in fridge for about 10-15 minutes before serving to set the flavors.

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Today was a bit of a lazy Saturday. I did go into work for a few hours this morning, but came home and just crashed. When Husband got home this afternoon, he mentioned egg salad and it sounded like a grand idea. I love a basic egg salad, just eggs, mayo & mustard, and I have a few favorite mix ins (shallots, fresh dill), but today I went all out and it ended up amazing! My favorite addition had to be the avocado (thanks Martha!), which is not only surprisingly delicious in this salad, but adds a little extra kick in the nutrition department too. I agree with Heidi from 101 cookbooks‘ sentiment – getting perfect hard boiled eggs is the most difficult part, but following her directions all of mine came out exactly as I wanted them. Next time I might try cutting out a few of the yolks, like dear old Martha recommends.

The Best Egg Salad Sandwich
adapted from 101 cookbooks

8 hard boiled eggs
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Lettuce
Bread

For perfect hard boiled eggs:
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. (Mine sat in the ice bath a bit longer, more like 5-6 minutes and they were still perfect).

Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, dijon, avocado and a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, then mash with a fork. Stir in the celery, shallots, dill and chives. Taste, and adjust the seasoning – adding more salt and pepper if needed. To assemble each egg salad sandwich: place a bit of lettuce on a piece of toast, top with the egg salad mixture, and finish by creating a sandwich with a second piece of toast.