a tale of shattered dreams and also, quinoa salad

I grew up in a village. I didn’t think much of it until one of my students said, “A village? Those are real? I thought they only existed in fairy tales.” Are kids getting dumber?

Recently, Rosie Beaucoup brought out a whole bunch of stuff from my village childhood to show 2.0. Highlights included a clipping of my locks from my very first haircut, photos of my parents feeding me dog biscuits, and a certificate stating that I had earned my Bachelor of Rhymes from the local pre-school. Yah, you read that right. A Bachelor of Rhymes. Can I get a what what? Bounce wit me.

Then we stumbled across a program from Happiness is Figure Skating (which, FYI, is a total lie), presented by the local figure skating club. Suddenly, I was awash with painful memories. My name was listed in the section called: Stars of Tomorrow (another lie). I remembered that we, the stars of tomorrow, were to bring the tale of The Farmer in the Dell to life. I was cast as The Cat. The pungent scent of the local skating rink came back to me as vividly as if I were once again standing at centre ice, blinded by the lights, in my wee black cat costume. I remember skating in a circle, each child attached to the next. And then, like a punch to the stomach, the memory of a spectacular fall came flooding back. As if only yesterday, I could remember falling and taking the entire cast of The Farmer in the Dell down with me. The farmer, his wife, the child, the dog…

I remembered that I didn’t return to figure skating after The Incident. I think my parents were told I didn’t demonstrate much potential, and I was enrolled in ballet the next fall. And I thought about how those cruddy instructors lacked vision. How they didn’t spot my potential for Olympic glory because I destroyed one stupid lame-ass village production of The Farmer in the Dell. I was like, four, for cripes sake. And the costume didn’t fit right. Come to think of it, that’s probably what made me fall. The tail threw my balance off.

And I felt sad for my child-self. So, so sad.

As I held the wrinkled old program in my hands, my eyes scrolled down the list of cast members. The names of the children let down by yours truly. And there was my sister’s name! She was in The Farmer in the Dell? How could I have forgotten? What was she cast as? Oh, there she is… The Cheese.

And then I laughed for about three hours straight.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat that will allow you to meet the challenges presented by a local figure skating production, you should consider eating some quinoa. This stuff will give you the power of, like, ten skating cats. It’s a freakin’ super food, mofos. And this here salad is a great way to transport some of that superbness straight to your belly. It’s a got a little greek salad thing going on what with the thyme, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese. The crunchy veggies are perfect alongside the protein packed, gluten-free pseudo-cereal awesomeness that is quinoa. And it’s über easy to make – you can dice the veggies and make the dressing in the time it takes to cook the quinoa. The dressing has a nice tang, and the feta adds a little saltiness to the mix. I could eat this stuff by the shovelful. No lie. I just high fived myself.

Oh, and just so you know, sister dearest, you didn’t have the worst part in that ill-fated production of The Farmer in the Dell. Some kid named Debbie had to play the part of The House.


. . .

Quinoa Salad

print and make for a local skating star

Yields enough to serve 4-6 as a side dish.

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water (for cooking quinoa)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese + extra for garnish if desired

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Here’s what I do: put 3/4 cup of quinoa in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before floofing with a fork. As the quinoa is cooking, you can dice the veggies and prepare the dressing.

To prepare the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the thyme, pepper, salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside.

To assemble the salad: place the green pepper, red pepper, garlic, and green onion into a large bowl, and mix to combine. Stir in the prepared quinoa. Pour the dressing overtop and mix to combine. Finally, mix in the feta cheese.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with some crumbled feta cheese for garnish (if desired).

Best if served immediately. Should be stored in the refrigerator if not eating right away, due to the cheese content.

Note: I find this salad tastes best when it’s warm/room temperature, though you might like it cold! If the salad has been chilled, you can heat it gently in the microwave before serving. If microwaving, use a low power setting and heat for only 10-20 seconds at a time, stirring frequently, as the salad should be warm, not hot, to avoid cooking the veggies and cheese.



  1. juanitascocina on April 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Just stopping by to give you a “what what”…

    And an, “Mmmmmmmm”…

  2. stirandstitch on April 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    the cheese stands alone 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Or, falls down with the rest of the cast.

  3. loveboston on April 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Um, Ms. Movita….you are a Star of Today and please don’t ever forget that! Beautiful salad which I believe is going to be for dinner this evening.

    Bouncin’ witcha always!

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Yippie! Your bouncin’ approval is all I need!

  4. thekalechronicles on April 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Stirandstitch beat me to my intended comment, which was, “How dare you put quinoa in my cheese? Ask your sister: ‘The cheese stands alone.'” The rest of it was some maudlin drivel about how I should have had a Bachelor of Rhymes, but I was too poor to go to pre-school (I went to physical therapy instead). I don’t like quinoa yet, but I do like Greek salad and I love feta.

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      I”m not sure where to start – that comment was jam packed with all sorts of awesome. Clearly we need to get a fund started to send you back to school. You NEED a Bachelor of Rhymes. Also, you will like quinoa after eating this salad. Trust me.

  5. emmalina73 on April 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I suspect, my friend, that you were the unwitting victim of sabotage. Your glorious future torn from you by the judicious placement of an errant, child sized skate boot. While I think we can safely eliminate the cheese from our enquiries ( can I get some kind of dairy intolerance joke?) I would be casting a firm eye over the future rap sheet of Debbie ‘the house’ McCriminalpants. You were robbed, but skating’s loss was ballet/baking’s gain.

    P.S I understudied a swan once. Understudied! The very nerve!

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      So, I was the original Nancy Kerrigan? And you were the original Black Swan? That’s what you’re saying, right? Right?

  6. maureen on April 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    You. Make. Me. Laugh.

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      That’s my job, Maureen. Happy to do it.

  7. musingmar on April 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I felt so bad for your child-self. But then I saw the word ‘floofing’ and I laughed. It just so happened that tonight I bought quinoa for the very first time. Yes, the first time ever! Haven’t even eaten it before. I’m a quinoa virgin. This salad looks like just the ticket to get me some quinoa experience! FLOOFING!! Baaahaaa

  8. Danny on April 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Looks absolutely delicious!

  9. Movita's sister on April 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    For 35 years I thought the cheese fell alone. Gah!

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Dude, now that I’ve found out that you were THERE, I’m kinda wondering if it was you who caused took the whole debacle.

      That’s totally something you would do.

  10. cravingsofalunatic on April 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Aw that is awful Movita. I was in parade and I suppose to tap but they gave me these stupid dutch shoe covers for the costume and I tripped and ran home crying. I was never the same. It lead to a life of run on sentences apparently.

    Great salad, although I have not fallen in love with the mofo-ing quinoa yet. It sorts of creeps me out a bit. I like it in this form but it sucks lemons in pasta. Big fat sour lemons.

    • movita beaucoup on April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      I’m so sorry about your parade. Though it’s nice to know you can relate. Also, I’m assuming that traumatic event is what lead you to believe (incorrectly) that quinoa would be a good pasta substitute…

  11. bitsandbreadcrumbs on April 10, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I shiver at the thought of The Farmer in the Dell as a skating performance, regardless of the part. No doubt about it, childhood can be cruel. But, this is hands down the best looking quinoa salad I’ve ever seen…enough to make me make and eat it! Bravo!

    • movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Yah. It was a weird choice. I’m sure Debbie (The House) would agree. I wonder if she just happened to have a house costume on hand…

  12. lorrielorrieb on April 10, 2012 at 1:34 am

    The hours of torchure they would put us through just to get those skating badges that depicted a skate with some wings sticking out of them or something……the different colours let EVERYONE know what level you were at because you had to sew them on the arm of your winter jacket…..humiliating!

    But quinoa…..GOOD FOR YOU!!

    • movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

      I forgot about the badges!! (I remember seeing them on my friends. Clearly, I earned no badges myself.)

      Glad to see WordPress hasn’t banned you yet… xox

      • lorrielorrieb on April 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

        Heartbreaking……the whole thing!

  13. delicio8 on April 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

    I love a good story…and a good quinoa salad. I have an amazing one with chick peas and a lemon tahini dressing. I’m gonna have to dig that up and post it. Thanks for sharing your childhood trauma!

  14. emma on April 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Do people even have access to figure skating in villages?

    Are “20-somethings” getting dumber?

    • movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Well, because villages are magical places, you can do all sorts of things there. Like figure skating, and…

      Well, I guess that’s it. So, yes, you can skate there. But nothing else.

  15. Susi K (@BocaFrau) on April 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

    We’ve tried Quinoa before but haven’t really found a good way to get the kids to eat it. They happen to love Greek salads and feta cheese… definitely worth a try. As for the figure skating… oh well, ballet is a lot warmer, isn’t it?

    • movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Oh, I hope the kids like it! I’ve been eating copious quantities of it all week… And yes, ballet is a lot warmer. And awesome-er!

  16. Alanna on April 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Haha love your story that leads up to quinoa!

    • movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Thanks, Alanna! I hope my personal tragedy has convinced you to try the salad…

      • Alanna on April 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        And the cheese in the salad will be all the better for your tragedy. 😉

  17. Ann Mc (@AnnHolly) on April 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Hi there! I’m here from Kim’s @ Cravings of a Lunatic’s blog and she’s right….you’re hysterical, and talented and make amazing dishes! I’m your newest subscriber and it was SO nice to meet you via Kim! She’s terrific, isn’t she?

  18. movita beaucoup on April 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Thanks, Ann! Yes, Kim is the bestest, and just so you know, I’ve been to your blog before, and you’re pretty terrific too! Glad to have a new invisible friend! xox

  19. spree on April 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    You have such a gift for making happy, I hope you know! you’re a sprinkler of sun beams, for cripes sakes! (and if it matters, i love every everything about your quinoa salad.)

    • movita beaucoup on April 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Yippie! Also, I’ve made this salad three times in the past week. Here’s hoping no one does a study on the over-consumption of quinoa…

  20. Ann on May 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    your poor child-self! but in reality… tying small children on ice skates together is the worst idea ever, and whoever thought of that should be the real culprit in this tragedy. Yes… i am giving you permission to release the blame to someone else. 🙂 that is my way.

  21. Kitchen Time « 95 acres of sky on June 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    […] or to add alongside meat or fish for dinner time.  I’ve been making buckets of my favourite quinoa salad, which goes with everything, as well as trays of roasted root veg, egg mayonnaise and of course […]

  22. denise on August 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Quinoa is SOOOO good, best darn superfood out there. Well maybe not best, but I find it delicious. Just stopped in to comment, your blog is so refreshing. The dorky-ness and real life-ness of it is awesome. Thank you for the fun reads!

    • movita beaucoup on August 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Dear Denise,

      I love you.

      movita beaucoup

  23. Stevie on April 6, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Love this salad, but I just noticed that the ingredients say garlic but there’s no instruction for it. Where do you put it?

  24. Stevie on April 6, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Nevermind! Found it haha!

    • movita beaucoup on April 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      This made me laugh!! Hope you enjoy the salad…

  25. movita beaucoup on June 2, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in April 2012. Happy cooking!