Vegetable Quinoa Summer Salad

We all hear about eating more whole grains. We’re supposed to cut out bleached flour, white bread, baguette, and all other things delicious for more natural products. Working at a food website this summer has made me wonder: what’s really the benefit?

Vegetable Summer Quinoa Salad

Well, according to Whole Grains Council, studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined ones may reduce risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease and will help control weight. According to, refined grains are enriched with B vitamins like riboflavin and folic acid after processing. Fiber is not added back into the grains. While I’m only 19, I still believe that the best defense is a good offense. Building good habits now is the most important thing I can do to hope for a log, healthy life.

Substituting whole grains for other grains in a well-balanced diet is the perfect remedy. I’d love to know, what are your favorite whole grains and recipes?

Vegetable Summer Quinoa Salad

This weekend at the grocery, I came across this Seeds of Change Microwavable Quinoa and Brown Rice. Instead of microwaving it, here’s what I did:

Quinoa Summer Salad (makes 2 servings)

1/4 white onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
1 pouch quinoa and brown rice (+ 2 tablespoons required water)
1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
3 sprigs arugula, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt; cook until translucent. Add zucchini, yellow squash, and red pepper, and cook until browned. Add pouch of whole grains plus water required on package. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

Once a bit cooled, transfer into a bowl and add goat cheese, arugula, and crushed red pepper. (Rough chop crushed red pepper to bring out the flavors.) Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Vegetable Summer Quinoa Salad

Blueberry Crisp

I’ve never loved cooked fruit. The apple fell far from the tree, seeing as both of my parents and all of my siblings love pie. And though I can tolerate cooked apples, I’d much prefer to bite into one whole.

blueberry crisp1

For the Fourth of July, in honor of “blue,” I made a blueberry crisp for my dad, whose favorite desserts either include chocolate and peanut butter or blueberries and vanilla ice cream. This went perfectly with a scoop of vanilla, and even I had a serving. The blueberries still had some pop to them, but the topping is what had me. It was perfectly crunchy, sweet from the oats, and went really well with the lemon from the blueberries.

Recipe via Ricky Lauren Courtesy of The Daily Meal
*I added a dash or two of cinnamon to the topping, which I suggest!

blueberry crisp2

blueberry crisp3

American Summer

This summer has been a constant road trip. Whether it’s the trips between the city and the beach, a weekend in Rhode Island, or an upcoming weekend in Boston, I’m pretty much always on the road or thinking about having to leave my current place.


Though I’m loving my summer internship (and my office’s refrigerating A/C), spending days in Westhampton are the days I cherish most. I can usually be found at the pool in the backyard, at the beach, or in the kitchen/heart of my house. I feel super lucky to be able to cherish these days out here and escape the hot and sticky NYC summer days.


Independence Day Weekend was the longest chunk of time I’ve spent in WHB all summer – 5 straight days of beach, pool, tanning, and delicious eating. I’m heading back into the city today, and I’m happy to have these photos to remind me of the relaxing weekend I was able to enjoy.

purple and yellow


fried chicken for the 4th