Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Peppers


Quinoa salad with smoked salmon, avocado, and peppers by Tiny Chili Pepper

A wholesome salad makes a great power-booster lunch. The other day, I was in the mood for quinoa. So, I combined it with a mix of sliced avocado, smoked salmon, red bell pepper, and cayenne pepper that I dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and a little bit of honey. The taste of smoked salmon mixed with creamy avocado, crunchy peppers, and nutty quinoa blended well with the tangy and sweet vinaigrette. What a party in a salad bowl!

Quinoa by Tiny Chili Pepper

Mix the avocado, smoked salmon, and peppers TCP

Here’s my ingredient list:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon (sliced)
  • 1 cayenne pepper (chopped)
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of honey


  • I followed the quinoa cooking instruction on its package: bring it to a boil with two cups of chicken stock and lower the heat to let it simmer for 15 minutes in a covered pot
  • In a medium bowl, I whisked lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and honey together to make the dressing
  • Mixed the avocado, salmon, and peppers with the dressing. Cover and chill in the fridge
  • Let the quinoa cool down for a bit, place in a salad bowl, and topped with the avocado, salmon, and peppers

Serve two

Great for bring-lunch-to-work menu (keep it chilled) or as a meal after an exercise.

Have a great weekend, all!


A Favorite Summer Salad

Salad, Vegetable Recipes

Hi all! I hope you are having a wonderful summer wherever you are. Doesn’t it seem like the season is evaporating so quickly?

This summer, I found a favorite salad combination: arugula, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, walnut, peaches/apples/nectarines (pick one or use all of them), with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice- based dressing mixed with olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, green onions, and cayenne peppers.

Summer Salad by Tiny Chili Pepper

Arugula has this wonderful peppery taste that I like so much. The selection of bountiful summer fruits add natural sweetness to the bite. Salty feta cheese, crunchy walnut, chopped green onions, and cayenne peppers liven things up with their distinct flavors. Oh, and the dressing! It enhances the peppery, tangy, sweet, and refreshing taste of this salad. Such a great companion for grilled fish/shrimp/sea scallops, turkey sandwiches, or even steak.

Summer Salad with Grilled Turkey Sandwich by Tiny Chili Pepper

Here’s the list for the salad (serve 2):

  • 3-4 cups of arugula (you could also add radicchio or other greens that you prefer)
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup of walnut (chopped or not, you decide 🙂 )
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 peaches/apples/nectarines (sliced)

For the dressing, mix the following in a bowl:

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ½ tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 2 green onions (chopped)
  • 2 cayenne peppers (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper

Optional: you could also add a little bit of dill to the dressing

Combine the arugula, walnut, cheese, and fruits in a big bowl and mix with the dressing. Serve immediately. My mouth is watering as I type up this recipe 😀

What’s your favorite summer salad? Do share.

Thanks for reading!

Recipe inspiration came from: Arugula, Watermelon, Feta Salad by Ina Garten

Mini Mascaporne, Hazelnut, and Honey Cup Loaf Cakes

Baking, Dessert

A good and descriptive storytelling could really captivate an audience attention and inspire her to try something new. My friend Leena and I would engage in a food talk once in a while. We’d discuss…well…good food, restaurants and their cuisines, and recipes. Recently, she talked about her favorite cupcakes in such great details that images of cupcakes started to float around in my mind. For days! And I wasn’t even a cupcake person. She’s really good, that Leena :). It was a sign for me to bake again.

So I studied a few recipes and combined the two that I liked the most. I wanted something that had a great combination and wasn’t too sweet. Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis’ Spiced Apple Walnut Cake (that she turned into a cupcake recipe in her Weeknights with Giada book) and Mascaporne Mini Cupcakes, I present my latest baked goods: Mini Mascaporne, Hazelnut, and Honey Cup Loaf Cake sans frosting.

Jeff and I simply love the firm and nutty texture of the cake. The aroma and taste of honey and hazelnut are just delightful. These little cakes make a perfect pair with morning coffee. Watch them disappear quickly from the tray 🙂

Here’s the ingredients list:

  • 8 ounces of Mascaporne cheese (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup of chopped hazelnut (or Filbert)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line two 24-mini muffin tray with paper baking cups.
  • In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, mix Mascaporne, eggs, and vegetable oil until they become one creamy mixture. Add brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix all wet ingredients well.
  • In another large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  • Mix the combined dry ingredients with the wet mixture. Fold the chopped hazelnut.
  • Using a spoon, scoop the batter to fill the mini cups well below the rim
  • Bake for 15  minutes. The cakes will have this beautiful light golden shade. (To make sure the cakes are done, I insert a skewer into the cake. When it comes out clean, I know the cakes are ready to cool down.)
  • Let the cupcakes cool down for 20 minutes before serving.

Make 48 mini cup loaf cakes