Today - I'm feeling BLESSED. I consider myself one lucky girl to have this group of friends who were willing to drive more than 2 hours just to have dinner with me on my birthday. ❤️
Spending a weekend with friends in the cutest, most quaint little North Georgia town nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains was exactly what this tired girl needed to restore her soul. We visited a winery that sits in a tiny Italian style village that you would swear was transported here right from the heart of Tuscany. 🇮🇹 Complete with ivy covered villas, rolling hills planted in grapevines and lots of great food and wine, it was the perfect place to kick off this new decade of life. 🍷
If you know me, you know that I'm somewhat of a fitness fanatic, so it was probably no surprise to anyone when I announced that I wanted to incorporate some exercise into my birthday celebration. And what better way to burn some birthday calories than hiking through the winery grounds? 🥾I mean, how often do you get served samples of local wine at the end of a hike?
Spending the day in this Italian style village was awesome and it has inspired me to try making fresh, new Mediterranean style food this week. Tonight - I tried my hand at a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables. I've got to say - even though I was missing the Tuscan atmosphere - it was still a delicious Mediterranean style dinner.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 small eggplant (about ¾ pound), diced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ cup halved grape tomatoes (quarter any larger tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons walnuts nuts, toasted
For garnish: crumbled goat cheese
Add tomatoes to quinoa. Garnish with goat cheese and walnuts.
Hey feta fans - If you want to make this quinoa bowl even more Mediterranean - substitute feta for the goat cheese. Also, I had plans to grill an eggplant to add to this salad as well but there were none to be found at the grocery store. So if you've got one handy - by all means - toss it in. 🍆
Also, out of curiosity - after looking at these pictures, does it look like I'm shrinking to anyone else? 😅
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