A touch of summer

by Kiran on July 20, 2011 · 19 comments

in Entree, Salads, Sides

Figuring out what type of plants we have in the garden is quite a task. Take this plant for an instance. Our driveway is literally littered with sweet fragrances of this unknown flowers. If  you know anything about this plant, appreciate it if you could share 🙂

Take this dish for example. It has everything that SUMMER can offer.

I love how SUMMERS can be so colorful and surprising. From fresh mangoes, to roasted bell peppers, kale and tomatoes – everything tastes so much sweeter, plump and juicy in the SUMMER 🙂 Now, if only I could get my hands on some fresh lavender and put it to good use.

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Massaged Kale topped w/ Quinoa and Summer Delights


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 3 handfuls kale leaves, chopped bite size
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pieces of roasted bell peppers (store-bought)
  • 1 tbsp herb de provence
  • salt to taste


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey mustard
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Add dressing ingredients in a jar, and shake to combine. Set aside.
  2. Massage kale with balsamic vinegar for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to “merry” flavors.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Water should be enough to cover quinoa. Throw in quinoa and cook on medium heat between 7-8 minutes. Remove access water (if any), fluff quinoa with a fork, put on a lid and turn off heat to cook off remaining moisture. Click to read more on how to prep quinoa.
  4. Once quinoa is cool, toss it with mango, tomatoes, bell peppers, herb de provence, kale, salt and dressing.
  5. Serve room temperature or cold.

I didn’t end it there. This salad was missing something. A little more texture and protein to have it as an entree.

And finally it dawned to me – TOFU! Let me tell you, it was a good decision 🙂

The only difference in this recipe is that I subbed out mango for broccoli, added pan seared tofu and some cashews for crunch!

 What are your summer meal/ingredient inspirations?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Cait's Plate July 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Yuuuuuuuum! I LOVE this! How incredibly creative and delicious 🙂 I think your blog just became MY summer inspiration 😉

2 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Thanks for the compliments honey, you truly made my day 😀

3 Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) July 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Love the addition of tofu – great inspiration. I haven’t had luck with raw kale. It always tastes bitter to me. But this recipe looks wonderful. Bookmarking it to try soon.

4 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Thank you for dear, please try the recipe and let me know how it tastes 🙂 I always find kale to taste very bitter after cooking it for a long time. I must prefer it raw or just a light saute.

5 kankana July 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Somehow I couldn’t enjoy Kale. I tried crispy baked and also in soup, it’s too bitter for my taste bud. This dish does look very summer-y and that flower .. no clue dear .. but looks pretty!

6 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I’ve read about kale before my first taste and I was amazed at how it tastes. It is bitter, but not as much as a “karela” would tastes 🙂

7 Holli July 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Is that a crepe Myrtle tree or bush Kiran?

8 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I think we’ve solved the mystery behind those gorgeous flowers – it is a crepe myrtle tree 🙂

9 miri leigh July 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Creative, beautiful, healthy…perfect!

10 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Thanks dear, you are always way too kind 🙂

11 carolinaheartstrings July 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM

That is the perfect summer meal after a trip the farmer’s market. I cannot wait to whip it up. Great pictures. Come over and visit. We have a great grilled squash recipe today.

12 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Thanks honey. Please do try this recipe and let me know how it tastes 🙂

13 Simply Life July 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM

oh those flowers are so pretty!

14 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Thanks! And it has a fabulous scent! Mystery is solved – that is my Crepe Myrtle tree 😀

15 Ameena July 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM

I am all over mangoes right now and they are a fabulous addition to any recipe – just like this one! It looks delicious Kiran!

16 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Thanks dear! I could eat mangoes for breakfast, lunch dinner and in between. But that would require additional flossing time. Meh 😀

17 Jess@HealthyExposures August 3, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Ahh, yes – I love the fresh “taste” of summer, as well!This dish really does look like it hones in on those wonderful flavors.

My summer meal inspirations almost always revolve around something light and fresh – salads, tomatoes and minimal cooking!

18 Kiran August 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for your comment 🙂 I love summers for salads too, with minimalistic cooking. Nothing tastes as fresh and delicious as a bowl of summer produces.

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