Easy: thinking about all the things you’d love to write about and all the foods you’d like to make. Harder: Actually doing it.
So here goes nothing: we’re just going to roll this back out again into daylight and see what happens, with little to no fanfare. Like I was never gone, right? So happy fall to you: or maybe it’s just pre-fall – not yet the official season, but you can’t tell me you haven’t been thinking about it. Some dread it because it means the end of summer, but I’m not that girl: I anticipate cooler weather like I long for the holiday season – in fact, for me, this really is the holiday season. The (not-so-wee) Wee One is back in school and loving every minute of it, and we’ve been blessed with spots of teasingly cool weather here and there already. My grass is green, there’s a breeze, and I’d be lying if I said that pumpkins hadn’t wandered across my thoughts a few times.
Something about kids going back to school after a summer at home gives me a shockingly real sense of how many hours are in a day. If you work from home, you know what I’m talking about: suddenly, there’s a welcome silence that you can fill with more than just relentless answers to questions. You can think actual adult thoughts for more than 7 minutes at a time. I’m trying to take advantage of that this year by…well…doing this. And hoping it sticks again.
So we’ll start here, with my new favorite breakfast. Or lunch. It seems appropriate for several reasons right now: it’s quick, it’s beautiful, and it feels SO good to eat. I’m a classic eggs-for-breakfast girl normally, and this is the first breakfast that replaces that without feeling like I’m missing something at the beginning of the day. I tend to go way more savory than sweet for breakfast, and this just hits all the right notes. All you really have to do is think a tiny bit ahead: the day before, make some quinoa (who couldn’t do that in their sleep by now?) and whip up this buttermilk dressing, which is really just buttermilk, some yogurt, scallion or chive and salt/pepper) and you’re good for the week. Swear you’re going to love this.
Adapted from the September 2018 issue of Cooking Light, my honest-to-God go-to for 90% of my “we’re just a family tryin’ to eat dinner” recipes.
Bacon-Avocado Quinoa Bowl with Buttermilk-Scallion Drizzle
Serves | 4 |
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa*
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp greek yogurt
- 3 to 4 scallions**, trimmed, whites and greens finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium or 1 large ripe avocado(s), halved and sliced thinly tip to tail
- 8 strips high-quality bacon, cooked to crispy and roughly chopped
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, always
| Notes |
*I love quinoa always, but if you’re into another grain, by all means use it. Cook it how you cook it; you’ll use about 2/3 to 3/4 cup for each serving here, so plan accordingly.
**Cooking Light uses chives, and I’m not mad about that: however, I’m not always going to spend $3 just for a teeny, anemic-looking box of chives that go bad in a day. I almost always have scallions in my fridge that need to be used, so it’s my way of giving you a more practical choice.
Prep | quinoa | Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer and pour into a medium saucepan. Add 1 3/4 cup water and a pinch of kosher salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 14 minutes until all water has absorbed. Keep lid on, remove from heat, and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork; set aside until ready to serve.
Prep | buttermilk dressing | Whisk buttermilk, yogurt and about 2 Tbsp of finely chopped scallion greens together in a medium bowl until it’s smooth and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a jar; seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble | bacon-avocado salad | Divide slightly cooled or room temperature quinoa into low, shallow bowls or lipped plates. Divide cherry tomatoes over top and sprinkle a little salt over them. Add avocado slices and drizzle with buttermilk dressing; crumble bacon over top and add in some of the scallions, although that’s optional.
| To serve | Drizzle buttermilk dressing liberally over the top of each bowl/plate and crumble bacon over top; scatter a few scallion greens to finish. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.