I was in a mood last night. A productive mood!

First up was the almond butter. Seriously people, I don’t know why I don’t make this all the time. It’s so easy. Just pour in some raw almonds into a food processor and press ON. Then wait about 12 minutes; the almonds go through stages of releasing their oils so patience is key. In the first few minutes you start to think that maybe processing isn’t going to work because the almonds get crumbly for a while, but then it starts getting creamy and oily and all is right with the world. THEN the butter starts to get crumbly again and you wonder where you went wrong and if you should’ve quit while you were ahead. And just when you think the processor might just up and die on you (mine starts to get hot), the butter turns creamy again. So there you go: make it and love it.

Then I decided that I needed to do something with the leftover quinoa and brown rice I made earlier in the week. I thought maybe something Greek inspired that I could eat on top of a salad for lunch this week. So I chopped up half a red bell pepper, halved some cherry tomatoes, and tossed in a spoonful of herbed feta and mixed everything along with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. The result is a flavorful salad that I can’t wait to enjoy for lunch today. I thought after the fact that chopped red onion would’ve been a nice add – next time!

That salad was inspired by a trip to Pasta and Co., a local joint I can only describe as a type of deli (actually the website calls it gourmet take-out, a good description), though whatever you buy they can plate and serve to you in-store if you would like, as they have some seating for customers. They have all kinds of salads: pasta salads, vegetable salads, rice salads, you name it! Plus, there are free samples everywhere: yesterday we sampled two different cheeses, a house-made granola, and the best white chocolate raspberry cheesecake I’ve ever had. Really, if you’re in Seattle (or Bellevue), you’ve got to go!

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