yellow squash, snap peas, peppers and mint quinoa salad

Hot and Hotter: our ten day forecast shows high’s in the 90’s or 100’s, two of those days expected to be record breaking at 107F. That’s too hot for me! With an overnight low of 70F, the house and I don’t have a chance to cool off much. Early morning is clearly the time for me to get my food prep done, also walk my dogs, and water the garden.

Early yesterday morning I harvested from the garden too, before the excessive heat took its toll: lettuce and broccoli, yellow crooked neck squash, snap peas, basil and mint. One blessing of the heat is that my tomatoes and hot peppers will ripen so I can start to enjoy those too! For today and tomorrow, I’ll make some light cool and cooling meals from the garden– complemented with cooling hot peppers, mint and lemon. Ahhh…



  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1-2 medium yellow crooked neck squash, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1-2 stalks celery, chopped thinly
  • 2-3 shallots, diced
  • 1/2 medium Serrano pepper, diced
  • 1 t fresh ginger root, diced
  • 4-6 medium mint fresh leaves, diced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • walnuts or feta cheese


Rinse quinoa well, cover with a generous cup of fresh water and dash of salt, bring to boil then simmer covered over low heat about 18 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Saute chopped shallots in 1-2 T butter or olive oil for 2-3 minutes until just starts to lightly brown, then transfer to casserole dish with airtight lid. Using same pan, saute chopped yellow squash for 3-4 minutes, then add the diced ginger root and Serrano pepper with a couple tablespoons white wine (I used an open bottle of Pinot Grigio), cover and simmer until the squash softens a bit, but is not mushy, about 2 minutes. Remove squash to casserole dish. Turn the heat up a little and saute the chopped yellow pepper for about 2 minutes, just until it brightens. Add to casserole dish, mix all together well, and dress with juice and pulp of lemon. Refrigerate. I served this chilled over a bed of lettuce, topped with walnuts and sheep feta, with a cool glass of Pinot Grigio for dinner, then with fresh mint infused water for lunch the next day.



4 thoughts on “yellow squash, snap peas, peppers and mint quinoa salad

  1. Only yesterday I was reading an article about rising temperatures in the northwest of the U.S. and how people have to buy AC units nowadays. No place on the planet is spared. I hate it when it gets above 90, so your cool recipe is really welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have hard data on it, but anecdotally, a large percentage of older houses and apartments in the Pacific Northwest don’t have AC. Especially not older low to moderate income housing. Historically it hasn’t been needed but for a few days a year. Fortunately Portland does have municipal and nonprofit organizations that open cooling centers for folks when heat is excessive…. How about where you live? And do you have some favorite hot weather- minimized cooking recipes to share?

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the center of France, where I come from, it didn’t use to get as hot as now, or for so many days at a stretch. Air conditioning is still a rare thing, although this too is changing. Thankfully we have thick brick walls, well insulated windows, and wooden shutters to keep out the heat. The drawback is that in very hot days we end up in the dark except for the North side… Whenever we can, however, we head for Brittany, the western most part of France where it never gets too hot or too cold, and where our middle son lives with his wife. He was very lucky to have his job transferred there! Not only the temperatures stay reasonable, but the scenery is stunning. Not unlike in the Pacific NorthWest, it rains more than the French norm; but how would the beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables grow if it wasn’t for the rain?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oops… Carried away with Brittany, I forgot to tell you about our favorite cool recipes: mixed salads, of course, hard-boiled eggs with chick peas, tomatoes, olives, and tuna, my “macédoine”… I can’t think of anything else at the moment. What I try to do is stay ahead of the game by checking the weather forecast, and preparing quiche-type dishes that can be eaten cold the following days.

        Liked by 1 person

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