Traveling & Eating


Summer SaladA wonderful part about traveling is planning to eat at great restaurants at your destinations. We usually walk away with a great experience AND ideas.

After eating at New York City’s The Polo Bar, Matt walked away saying it was one of the best steaks he ever had, and I walked away wanting to redecorate our home in hunter green and equestrian art… maybe my mom has an old bridle I could hang on the wall?  But, that’s for another post!

Travel is the only thingIt’s true what they say, traveling is one of the the only things you buy that makes you richer. One common thread I noticed at many of the places we dined was the innovative summer salad.

Ditch Plains in the VillageDitch Plains, in the West Village, is a stylish “fish shack” evoking a piece of Montauk in Manhattan. It features lobster rolls, “Ditch Dogs” (hot dogs covered in mac & cheese), and delicious summer salads. The chef, Marc Murphy, released a new cookbook Season with Authority that highlights many of his famous dishes using only 5-6 ingredients. The best part is, they are ingredients I have heard of and didn’t have to google!

I adapted one of his recipes for a GRILLED ZUCCHINI AND RED ONION SALAD with QUINOA and added beets as a topping since I had such a delicious salad with beets in Rhode Island. It turned out great, was easy, and is healthy.

Summer Salad Ingredients


2 Beets (rinsed and trimmed)
1/4 Cup of Quinoa (rinsed)
1/2 Red Onion (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
3-4 Zucchinis (cut on an angle into 1/2 inch slices)
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/4 bunch of Fresh Parsley
1/4 bunch of Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Jalapeno (seeded)
Juice from 1/2 of a Lemon
Goat Cheese
for topping

  •  Wrap the prepared beets in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  You can prepare the rest of your dinner while these are baking.
  • Bring a salted pot of water to a boil, add the rinsed quinoa, reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Once it is finished, removed, drain, and allow it to cool.
  • Toss the sliced zucchini and red onion in some olive oil and black pepper and saute lightly for 3-4 minutes. You could also grill them for a nice char.

Saute Red Onions and Zucchini

  • Transfer the vegetables and quinoa to a bowl and toss together.
  • In a blender, combine the olive oil, parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice. Combine until smooth; this is the dressing.
  • Dress the vegetables to taste; salt and pepper to taste.I grilled some chicken breasts and baked sweet potatoes while I was waiting for the beets to finish.  Once the beets are finished, use paper towels to peel them so your hands aren’t stained. Sadie helped me cook!


Dice the peeled beets. You could drizzle a bit of natural honey on them for a nice sweet touch.

I allowed my guests (my mom and my husband, LOL) to add the beets and goat cheese to their liking as not everyone likes beets! I bet adding walnuts or almonds would give the salad a nice crunch, too.

This was a perfect, colorful summer salad to enjoy during the holiday week. And, everyone cleaned their plates! Thank you vacation!


An easy summer dinner



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