Always in the search of more interesting staples for dinner than pasta, potatoes and rice, I sometimes delve into quinoa. I’m never sure of exactly how to cook it (still stubbornly unconvinced by the packet instructions) and it always ends up a bit sloppy. Anyway, if at first you don’t succeed …

I found an interesting looking recipe for harissa patties which came with a lovely sounding quinoa salad. Obviously, the harissa patties were out for us, what with them including chicken and all, but the accompanying salad sounded delicious, with lots of fresh sounding ingredients. Along with the basic boiled quinoa, it uses flat leaf parsley, mint, red onion, orange segments and one of my personal favourite ingredients for this sort of meal:  pomegranate seeds. I misjudged my measurements a little bit, and would rather have had a bit more quinoa, and less of the herbs and onion which ended up being the bulk of the salad, but hey ho. It tasted super fresh and managed to still be quite filling, so I was happy. TOH was late home tonight (again), so it was handy to have mine earlier and leave his for later. Again, it’d be a good left-overs-for-lunch-the-next-day meal, if it wasn’t Saturday tomorrow!

Tomorrow I’ve got to make a birthday cake for TOM’s Mum whose birthday it is this Bank Holiday weekend. She’s a very good cook, so I always end up agonising over what would be most ‘appreciated’. Years ago I excelled myself and made an Aga-inspired cake, complete with foil-covered licorice wheels for lids and rice paper doors. The problem with that early attempt to impress the in-laws was that I set the bar too high … from now on, everything is mediocre! Anyway, I’ve gone along the lines of ‘less is more’ recently (well, that’s what I’m telling myself … and her) and this year it’ll be a chocolate-orange marble cake, so watch this space …


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