I thought I’d give you the recipe for the Quinoa Salad I took to TGIF  the other night.  It was so good ~ my girlfriends LOVE Asian food and there’s always lots of yummy Asian appetizers so I thought I’d make a salad to go with them. ♥MUSICA♥


Have you used quinoa? (It’s pronounced keen-wa.)  If not, you are in for a treat and a world of wonderful new healthy salads!

helpful tips . . . and some interesting things you might like to know. First off, quinoa is not a grain, it’s a seed, and considered gluten-free (for those with celiac disease you might like to read this).

diet quote

quinoa And it’s so good for you!  Those little seeds (related to spinach) are an excellent source of protein, it’s a great source of fiber, and it has 700% more iron than white rice.  Quinoa has an interesting texture which means it goes with almost any savory thing you serve; and there are many ways to flavor it.  If you can’t find it at your market, try the health food store, or try Bob’s Red Mill.

quinoa salad

This is the Quinoa Salad that’s on page 84 of Girlfriends Forever ~ it has roasted peanuts, ginger and lime.  With the use of different herbs, the salad could be Asian style, Mexican style, you could make it with fruit and cinnamon, with shrimp or fish, or almost anything you would like.


quinoa salad

For my recipe, you cook 2 c. of quinoa in 3 c. water for about 10 min. and pour it into a strainer.  In a large bowl you mix together all the rest of the ingredients: rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, fresh ginger . . .


. . . the zest and juice of two limes (don’t worry, I’ll put the recipe at the end) and soy sauce . . .

making quinoa salad

. . . minced green onions and chopped celery . . .


A little salt and pepper


quinoa salad

 Stir it all together with sliced water chestnuts and coarsely-chopped, dry roasted peanuts . . .

quinoa salad

. . . crunchy fresh snow peas and sweet currants . . .

quinoa salad

. . . and voila!  I put it in my candlewick bowl, because it’ll reflect light . . . and took it to Jaime’s house.  We ate ourselves silly, caught up, had a group hug and promised to love each other forever; it couldn’t have been nicer.



  • 2 c. quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • zest & juice of 2 juicy limes
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • 1 c. snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 3/4 c. celery, chopped
  • 3/4 c. water chestnuts, halved
  • 5 green onions (w/ green part too) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. currants
  • 1/3 dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • a few good grinds of black pepper to taste
  • If you’d like chopped herbs ~ mint, cilantro, and basil, together or separately work great with this salad.

Rinse 2c. quinoa under running water in a fine mesh sieve.  Bring 3c. water to boil in saucepan.  Add quinoa, bring it back to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10 min.  Strain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix together all other ingredients.  Add drained quinoa, herbs too if you like, stir well and serve. Good cold, hot, or room temp.  Enjoy, you arteests!


Here’s our new thing . . . these birds just came into the studio.  Are they cute or what?



They’re finely detailed metal, very thin, and all have bases you can put screws into so you can secure them to fence posts, window sills, ledges,  porch rails, where ever you’d like.  Kellee will be putting them up today (I think) . . .

new birds

Over the years, here and there, I’ve found a few narrow-based things for the tiny ledge over my fireplace, and I just found three more!

bird ornament

. . . and, in case you don’t have a ledge or a fence post, we have an ornament you can hang from your window lock, a cupboard knob, from a nail that something else is on (remove the something else, hang the bird, replace the something else, allowing the bird to hang below). Hope you like them!

And now, for Pat in particular, a promise to be kept:  Lowely’s delicious recipe for

I R I S H    S O D A     B R E A D

Serve this crusty bread hot from the oven, smothered in butter and jam.

  • 3 2/3 c. (450g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2/3 c. dried cranberries (or raisins, or currants)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 c. (400ml) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425º (220ºC/gas mark 7). Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  Mix in sugar and dried cranberries.  In small bowl, beat egg with buttermilk.  Make a well in the flour and pour in all but 1/4 c. (50ml) of liquid.  Wash your hands and dry them. Grab the flour and liquid with outstretched fingers and keep doing that, moving your hand around the bowl in circles; add more buttermilk mixture if necessary, until it comes together.  Don’t knead; the dough should be soft, but not too wet or sticky.

Keeping the bread warm

Turn onto floured work surface and pat the dough into a round, about 2 1/2 inches (6cm) in height, and cut a deep cross in it, from one side of the loaf to the other.  Transfer to the baking sheet.  Bake for 10 min. at 425º, then reduce temp to 400ºF (200ºC/Gas mark 6) and bake for another 30 to 35 min, until the bread is golden, crusty, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Cool on wire rack while you get the butter! Cut thick slices with a bread knife; wrap the bread in a dishtowel and serve it in a basket. 

It’s not very far from bread and water to tea and toast…

pink border


Have a wonderful day Girlfriends! XOXO

pink border 

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

230 Responses to QUINOA SALAD

  1. Janis says:

    Hello Susan from Southern NJ!
    I’m happy to report that I’ve been making your quinoa
    Recipe for a long time. We eat quinoa all the time and it’s versatility
    Makes it great in all sorts of recipes!! We love it!
    Happy Spring ! Happy Easter! But especially
    Happy Birthday!!

  2. Gale Harris says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate one’s birthday…and to share the beauty with us. I hope you feel all the best wishes of your friends flooding the blog-way!
    I always feel that an issue of Victoria or British Country Living in the mailbox is a special gift to me for whatever the occasion–a birthday, the beginning of a stay-cation, or just a new month to enjoy.
    And although I miss more frequent blogs from you, I always remind myself that you next book is that much closer to being in the hands of all your girlfriends. That anticipation is a treat in itself.
    So have a very happy day tomorrow and bask in the love that you help circulate in the world.

  3. Suzanne Bidinger says:

    It’s a little cloudy out here in California but the sun is peaking out. It’s going to be a lovely day – how perfect that today is your birthday.
    I am sending you birthday wishes for a marvelous day. And a special thank you too for all the ideas and all the fun stories and all the beautiful things you share with us. Happy Every Day to you.

    • sbranch says:

      It was a perfect day and something tells me we are getting another one today! Thank you Suzanne!

  4. susan says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Thanks so much for all the happiness you have brought me with your drawings, calendars, scrapbook supplies, books and Willard! And also a special thanks for the lovely little England book which I sat down and read from cover to cover as soon as I got it. Enjoy your day!

  5. Joan McCusker says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan!!! You fill my heart with Joy everytime I read your Blog…and I am only 1 of your fans….Today, lots of Birthday Love coming your way…enjoy and celebrate with Joe and friends…Love to you, xoxo Joan

  6. Lisa says:

    Happy Birthday Susan! Hope your day is overflowing with blessings everywhere!

  7. Julie Ann Westwater says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan! My membership in the FOGT just arrived in the mail this afternoon, and I thought it so fitting that it came on her birthday (and yours)! I am just settling in with the Gladys Taber newsletter and a cuppa from my new lavender flower teapot that my dear hubby got me for my birthday on March 12. I’m pretending that you and GT and I are sharing this time together by the fire. Would you prefer the wingback or the rocker? Blessings to you from your one in a millionth girlfriend.

  8. Candy N. says:

    Happy Birthday, it’s Susan’s birthday! Happy, happy Birthday to you!!!! Much love, my friend, Candy 🙂

  9. CJ Love says:

    Happy birthday Susan! May you stay forever grateful. It keeps you young.

  10. Kathy Wagner says:

    Hi Susan..Hope you had a great birthday. My BD is in April too and I’m getting a picket fence from my husband to go around my little perennial garden (another inspiration from you!) Thank you so much.

  11. Donna Mac Donald says:

    Happy Spring, Susan
    Thank you, for showing step by step, in pictures how to make your Lemon Jellyroll Cake!
    Now, Zi will go for the challenge. Also liked how your wonderful gardener, Joe…is
    working so hard on your garden area, outside the white picket fence, keep the pictures
    coming, of your beautiful seashore! So looking forward , to your new book!!!

  12. Dawna Chapman (Edmond, OK) says:

    Another beautiful letter, Susan. I’ve never tasted Quinoa. It doesn’t “sound good” but I will have to try it. I do love Irish Soda Bread. I buy it from Sprouts whenever they have it. The problem is that I will end up eating a whole loaf by myself!

    Hope your birthday was absolutely the best. Sounds like you had some great things planned. Getting together with my friends and family is what I love doing the most! Birthdays may come and go, but the memories we make when celebrating our birthdays last a lifetime! So, may your memories be the best ever.

    Many blessings to you,
    Dawna (Edmond, OK)

  13. I Have been eating quinoa this past year.. dr. had me change my diet because of a gall bladder issue.. to say the least I really like it. just don’t have many recipes so this is wonderful to find a new one.. thanks.. with love Janice

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll love it Janice, it’s as good as any recipe could get, whether it’s “healthy” or not, you would still want to eat it!

Comments are closed.