There's a vegan place down on 5th that makes this really amazing quinoa salad. We had it the weekend after we signed the lease on our loft and I think of that salad literally every time I am hungry. They're just far enough north not to deliver to our hood and I never happen to be in the area with enough time to sit and eat, and really, enough is enough already. It's not like I'm that inept in the kitchen. 

Now that Daylight Savings has crushed my will to live (seriously) (I'm starting a Mortals Against Daylight Savings club (M.A.D.S.) would you care to join?) (Dues are due at the first of the month), I'm remembering the things that I always forget about November but then always remember once November rolls around. Such as, how hard it is to want to be outside when it's dark. And how satisfying it is to work in a kitchen with a warm oven running when it's nice and nippy out. And how welcome a brisk fifteen minute walk to the local market and back for some fresh dinner ingredients can be when it's cold out and you've been working from home chained to your computer all day. (Fifteen minutes is about all the cold weather my ears can manage before they start to ache. Seriously my ears are such wimps.)

And so it was that this cous cous southwest salad was born! Out of a need for a break, a salad that's been haunting my dreams, and the knowledge that if I bought an avocado and ate it same-day, then for sure it wasn't going to go bad on me before I could get around to eating it. And also the fact that I thought that I had quinoa in the cupboard but it turned out I had cous cous instead. (Potato Potahto.)


Mesclun lettuce mix
1 cup cous cous prepared according to directions
1/2 cup canned black beans
one ear of corn
1/2 avocado
Corn chips
Cilantro Dressing (recipe below)
Salt & Pepper to taste

I started with a basic mesclun mix from the grocery store and spooned over it a heaping scoop of cous cous prepared according to directions (not really, I always wing that stuff). Add a few scoops of canned black beans, some fresh corn sliced straight off the cob, and half a sliced avocado, however much you need. Finish it off with a drizzle of cilantro dressing and a sprinkling of crushed corn chips. 

*I sort of made this up as I went along, starting with good old Hidden Valley Ranch and my Ninja.* 

One small bottle of ranch dressing
On medium sized tomatillo, roughly chopped
One fresh jalepeño, seeded and diced
One bunch fresh cilantro, stems discarded

1. Blend chopped tomatillo, diced jalepeño, and about 1/2 cup of packed fresh cilantro (or one whole medium-sized bunch) in a blender til liquified (pulverized? are there specific terms here? #blendernewbie)
2. Add the contents of one small bottle of ranch dressing to the mixture, then blend until thoroughly combined
3. Transport dressing to a mason jar or other dressing container.



  1. My belly is growling already!!

  2. omg! are you referring to Snice?? they have the best sandwiches...ever.

  3. I keep seeing all this grumbling about daylight savings time. It seems like people have forgotten what it is? Daylight savings is over, we're now on standard time.

  4. I hate daylight savings time too. That salad looks tasty!

  5. yum. looks so good. definitely going to give it a try.
    oh and i totally agree... no one needs that time changing "spring forward and fall back" unnecessity.

  6. this looks delicious. if it wasn't for my husband's pleas of 'no more salad' I would definitely whip this up tonight. thanks for sharing, natalie!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  7. Hey Natalie Jean- I'm so sorry for all your chemical pregnancies this year :(. I wish you one that will stick around for longer... like 40 weeks, asap. Good luck <3

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  9. this looks amazing!!! thanks for sharing the recipe!


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