Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer's Eve Beach BBQ

What could possibly be better than enjoying a warm summer evening dining Al Fresco? Doing it at the beach of course! I have put together a very simple menu, which can be assembled in less than an hour and packed into a cooler to enjoy in the great outdoors.

A salad of fresh greens with succulent local strawberries, toasted pumpkin seeds and creamy goat cheese in a tangy Dijon and stone-ground mustard vinaigrette and a zesty, citrusy quinoa salad with crunchy peppers and peas are served along with BBQ'd organic turkey sausages. Add a bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc and some chilled lemon water and enjoy!

Zesty-Citrusy Quinoa Salad


4 cups cooked quinoa (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 white quinoa) or 2 cups quinoa cooked per package directions, cooled
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sweet pea pods sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 orange plus zest
Juice of 1 lime plus zest
Juice of 1 lemon plus zest
1 Tbsp liquid honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, pepper


1. Combine salad ingredients, except Parmesan in medium sized bowl; set aside. 
2. In bowl or measuring cup, whisk together vinegar and juices; add honey and continue to whisk until well blended; add salt, pepper and citrus zest; slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing thickens; adjust seasonings if needed.
3. Pour enough dressing over quinoa salad to moisten, about 1/2 cup; the quinoa will absorb some of the dressing immediately; add more as needed; stir in Parmesan; transfer to container with tight fitting lid.  

Serves 4

Fresh Greens with Strawberries and Goat Cheese


2 cups tightly packed spinach leaves
2 cups tightly packed arugula leaves
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup goat cheese (Chevre) crumbled
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp stone-ground mustard
1 Tbsp liquid honey
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 fresh mint leaves, chopped


1.Mix salad greens and red onion in bowl/container with tight fitting lid; top with sliced strawberries and pumpkin seeds; crumble goat cheese over top.

2. In bowl or measuring cup, whisk together vinegar, mustards and honey and continue to whisk until well blended; add salt and pepper; slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing thickens; stir in mint; adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve dressing on the side.

Serves 4

These salads pair well with any protein, including fish, chicken, beef, sausages...quinoa salad is a great option for vegetarians, as it is a grain that also contains natural protein.


  1. I love this menu Marlies! Perfect for outdoor dining - in fact I may just have to make this for dinner tomorrow here in Ucluelet!!

  2. Thank you Lyndsay - you are in the perfect location right now to enjoy a meal Al Fresco! Bon Appetit!