Summer Cucumber Quinoa Salad

 
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Summer timeeeeeee and the living is easy… or rather this recipe is easy! The weather has been extra hot lately, so anything I can do to reduce time cooking is a huge plus! This recipe is perfect to pack away for work lunches or a day hike. It’s delicious cold and thanks to the quinoa and queso, it will fill you up.

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I tend to make small portions, but as always multiply the ingredients list to your hearts content. For a more vegetable heavy dish, cut the quinoa in half- to stretch the vegetables, add more quinoa! This recipe is infinitely adaptable, so use the base I’ve provided and experiment away! Some of my favorite add-ins are diced peppers and dill.

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Classic Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve never believed in a plain oatmeal cookie. What is a cookie without the chocolate? I would suggest that it is nothing more than a sweet biscuit.

However I happen to love someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and when asked what kind of cookie he desired most it was: a classic oatmeal cookie. [Insert eye roll emoji here]. Despite my own sweet tooth, I set about to developing a lower sugar, classic oatmeal cookie recipe for this wonderful, strange man I love.

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I wanted to stay far away from anything too “grandma’s cookie” here. What I mean by that is crunchy, full of raisins and flavored mostly by cinnamon. Instead, I opted for browning the butter and pairing that with lemon zest for my primary flavor agents. The majority of time this recipe takes is spent on browning the butter, everything else is quick and easy.

I made a few batches before I rested on this recipe. In my first attempt I used only one cup of whole oats. These cookies were softer, and somehow more buttery. They were great! But. They just didn’t quite scream OATMEAL COOKIE. For my second attempt I actually cut down the butter and doubled the oats. Presto! Classic Oatmeal cookies with just the slightest hint of brightness from the lemon.

I of course split the dough in half and folded in chocolate chips to one portion. I will admit that despite my die hard love for chocolate, I do like the plain classic cookie better. The chocolate ends up masking the delicate lemon and I quite like the simplicity of the small oat drops.

Bake away dear friends!

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Pictured Left:  The final recipe  Pictured Right:  My first attempt. I still recommend it if you prefer a less oaty cookie.

Pictured Left: The final recipe Pictured Right: My first attempt. I still recommend it if you prefer a less oaty cookie.