Shaved fennel, carrot and quinoa salad

quinoa fennel saladThe past few days we’ve had a heat wave of sorts, with above 80 degree temps that, when combined with the stronger sun we get up here at 6,200 feet, sucks the life out of you.  Or rather me, since I have a five degree comfort zone that does not include temperatures above 73 degrees.

So.  It’s warm.  And we went for the first long mountain bike ride of the season Sunday.  Star Lake Connector to Armstrong via Freel Pass. Twenty nine miles plus 3500 odd feet of climbing coupled with the heat and the fact that it is still sort of early season here meant that we were pretty tired yesterday.  That I managed to make the fatal mistake of assuming that just because a bike shirt has long sleeves it has SPF protection (note: unless it clearly states an SPF number, don’t assume otherwise) only added to the fatigue.

The idea of actually cooking last night was intensely distasteful.  All I wanted to do was to sit outside in a lounge chair in the shade with a cold cocktail.   My laziness inspired dinner.  A salad with quinoa avoids the effort that actually cooking requires.  So I busted out the mandolin – and hand guard, since I can’t seem to even look at this without cutting a finger – and sliced a fennel bulb and a few carrots, added some mixed greens, a handful of pumpkin seeds and some diced mozzarella I had on hand to the quinoa, and tossed the whole thing in lemon vinaigrette.

Both it and the gin martini were a refreshing end to an otherwise un-refreshing day.

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