A marathon/hurricane catch-22. That’s where I’m at right now.

You see, my preoccupation with having to run 26.2 miles IN A ROW in less than seven days has prevented me from taking any logical, rational, and/or reasonable hurricane related precautions.  And so while everyone else at the local grocery store was buying water and pretzels and pumpkin beer (you know…logical, rational and/or reasonable shelf-stable items)…

…I bought cheese.


SO not logical, rational, reasonable.

And/or shelf-stable.  I’m doomed.


And then there were all of the things that I was supposed to do to prepare for the marathon that I just because I was too busy watching and rewatching every press conference and news special on the hurricane.

I can recite Mayor Bloomberg’s speech to you right now. Word for word.  Not kidding.  But do I have throwaway clothes to wear as I wait for four hours in the cold in Staten Island (if it still exists after the storm surge)? Or an iPod playlist to get me through four hours of running?  Or five pounds of pasta cooked and ready for consumption over this week?

I’m not even going to dignify my rhetorical questions with an answer.


The one thing I do have?

This quinoa salad. And…it’s awesome.

Stuffed full of roasted cauliflower, a creamy broccoli pesto, almonds, avocado and goat cheese, it’ll fill you with a sense of calm during these crazy times so that all you’ll be able to focus on is how happy your taste buds are.

Amidst all of this insanity and utter uncertainty…it is logical, rational and/or reasonable.  And sometimes…that’s exactly what you need.


Broccoli and Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese
Serves 4-6, adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 cups broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 big pinches of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled


  1. In a small pot or pan, heat the quinoa, two cups of water, and a few pinches of salt.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.  Drain any extra water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.  Place cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and roast for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower starts to brown a bit.
  3. Barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer.  Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli.  Cover and cook for a minute.  Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking.  Set aside.
  4. To make the broccoli pesto, puree two cups of the broccoli, 1/2 cup of the almonds, the parmesan cheese, salt and lemon juice in a food processor.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse to combine.
  5. Just before serving, toss the quinoa, the remaining broccoli florets, and the cauliflower with the dressing.  Top with avocado, goat cheese, and remaining almonds.

I’m submitting this to Souper Sundays which is hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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71 Responses to Broccoli and Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese

  1. simply Life says:

    Hope you’re staying safe!

  2. Ummm…I’m gonna have to go ahead and say that cheese is always rational. I mean, can you imagine if you actually do get trapped and all you can do is think “what if” scenarios in your head. You know, “what if I had just bought that cheese”…”what if I had just eaten that cheese”…etc, etc. You knew exactly what you were doing. ;P But really- stay safe!!

  3. I’d be happy eating this through the hurricane!

  4. Nice one, Joanne. It is a shame you cant get a rain check for running a marathon. I hope it isn’t too rainy for the big day, either!!

    I am stocking up on avocadoes, bring on the rain! 🙂

  5. Oh girl, I hope so much that the storm passes quietly and that you are all safe and sound. XO This is perfect comfort food – so healthy and nourishing and flavorful. Be safe, luv! XO

  6. Beth says:

    Good luck to you, and let’s hope the storm is much lighter than expected. It’s frightening hearing the news reports, and at times like this, comfort food is probably the best refuge. Take care.

  7. Kim says:

    Stay safe. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as they are saying. And, I totally agree with Heather. Cheese is always a necessity, much like peanut butter!

  8. Stay safe in NYC! And, hey, you may not have a stockpile of batteries but this quinoa will definitely keep you full and happy during the storm!

  9. Despite not having Starbucks open, at least you have this to chow down on! 😉 Stay safe!

  10. Megan says:

    Looks like a hearty dish to get you through the storm!

  11. Lynn says:

    I wish I had some of that right this minute. YUM!

  12. Jenn Kendall says:

    there is so much deliciousness in this dish! sounds fantastic!

  13. This sounds interesting, so much broccoli and cauli.
    I hope you will stock up on all the essentials such as butter, sugar and eggs.
    Stay safe.

  14. Oh I have some quinoa…and I do like it cold in a salad better than a hot side dish! It looks wonderful. I still have my hurricane prepaired box ready to go, in Florida it’s just what we do in June…then in December we start making recipes using soup, pasta, peanut butter, and spam! 🙂

  15. Sounds delicious Joanne! Stay safe with this storm! I live in Florida now and have experienced 3 hurricanes in 12 years so it’s nothing to take lightly. Hope you don’t have too much damage and that the power stays on as long as possible!

  16. kelsey says:

    Better to stay inside, away from the storm, and eat this all day no?

  17. Stocking up on cheese is never wrong, in my opinion. Stay safe and dry! 🙂

  18. Danielle says:

    I love the avocado and goat cheese on this. Stay safe – my family is all in the NJ/NY area and I have been glued to the tv.

  19. Jessie says:

    I’m with you on this one, Joanne — a gal’s gotta eat, especially when she’s running all over the gosh-darned island! Besides, cheese won’t go bad as fast as, say, everyone’s tempers when all they have to eat is pretzels and pumpkin beer.

    Stay safe!

  20. I’m so mad I had to run on the treadmill today rather than outside! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who worries about running when storms hit: when I can run, where I can run, and how I should modify my eating.

  21. Stay safe, Joanne! This dish should keep you full during the storm. Hopefully you made a huge batch and have lots of leftovers for the next couple days!

  22. Marcia says:

    This looks delicious! Just my kind of food. But anything with goat cheese and avocado. And I love the winter…been buying broccoli and cauliflower by the bucketful.

  23. The salad looks great! Good luck in the race, and don’t freak out! I’m sure the whole storm is getting blown out of proportion (Get it? It’s a pun).

  24. london bakes says:

    So long as you have quinoa (and cheese) I reckon you’re ready for every eventuality. Stay safe!

  25. Gloria says:

    I love cauliflower, look delicious!!!

  26. Ashley says:

    This sounds amazing. There’s no such thing as too much cheese. What better comfort food??

    Stay safe out there! Hoping it doesn’t hit us too bad, know, because we wouldn’t wanna lose any cheese or anything like that. 😉

  27. Pam says:

    The salad looks amazing! Take care of yourself!!!

  28. Stay safe Joanne – I hope you don’t lose power and can keep cooking and watching news coverage. Cheese is a necessity to have on hand when you are stuck in the house!

  29. Amy says:

    I remember last week there were a bunch of jokes flying around about the storm…but nobody is joking anymore. It’s supposed to be a whopper. Be safe, my friend. BE. SAFE.

  30. Pam says:

    The salad does look amazing!

    Stay safe & good luck with the marathon!!!!

  31. I think a fantastic looking salad definitely counts as hurricane preparedness! Be safe, friend!

  32. I need more broccoli in my life and this is just the recipe for that! Perfect taper week meal!

  33. La Liz says:

    Thank you! Your very comforting recipe will get us through this SANDY/HALLOWEEN/MARATHON triple-witching week. We’ll be rooting for you on Marathon Sunday, Joanne! xox

  34. This pretty much has all of my favourite ingredients combined – yum! Hope you stay safe during the storm!

  35. Please stay safe during the storm! And there is not a single thing I DON’T like in this dish. SO GOOD!

  36. Goat cheese and avocado can be rational – those great fats can go a very long way for energy. Whatever, you are nailing it if you ask me!

  37. marie says:

    7 days, yikes!!! The countdown has begun huh? Yet another reason I can’t run a marathon, wasting clothes, whew, that was close.

  38. Jeanette says:

    Stay safe during Hurricane Sandy! This would have been a great salad for me to make ahead of time (hoping we don’t lose power).

  39. I would totally be doomed too. I’ll take cheese any day over anything sustainable like granola bars or bottled water. This quinoa sounds perfect to me, right up my alley!

  40. the avocado and goat cheese is what has me loving this dish! Hope you are staying safe with the storm! Will be praying for ya

  41. Hotly Spiced says:

    Good luck with the hurricane. I do hope it passes over quickly and that the damage is minimal. And, that it’s well and truly over before your marathon. xx

  42. Guru Uru says:

    You are in my thoughts my friend, my best during the hurricane!
    Your dish is simply delicious 🙂


  43. Katerina says:

    Hope everything goes well with the hurricane! Saty safe and eat this delicious salad!

  44. Melissa says:

    Yum I love all of these ingredients! I will definitely make this soon. Good luck preparing for the marathon!

  45. Melissa says:

    Yum I love all of these ingredients! I will definitely make this soon. Good luck preparing for the marathon!

  46. Stay safe, Joanne! Sandy looks like one nasty gal. I could eat avocado every day – delightful salad!

  47. Hoping for the best for the east coast. Be safe! This does look like delicious comfort food for waiting out the storm.

  48. Hope you stay safe through the storm!
    Love that you used cauliflower in your salad.

  49. Reeni Pisano says:

    If my electric goes out I’m heading right for my cheese drawer and I’m stress/boredom eating until I’m so full I can’t move. All in the name of not wasting food of course. If I had this wonderful salad I’d be munching on that too! Stay safe my dear friend.

  50. Julie says:

    You’re in my thoughts! Stay safe!!!!

  51. Blond Duck says:

    I hope everything is ok. Be careful!

  52. Kari says:

    I have been monitoring your hurricane news with a considerable amount of concern – and it did cross my mind that your marathon wasn’t ideally timed! I hope it passes without too much damage and you can get back to thinking about more than the weather 🙂 This salad looks like just the thing to get you there, and far better than pretzels in my view!

  53. Christine says:

    Here’s hoping the freakish thing passes with little damage and you excel in your coming run! You’re in my thoughts!

  54. Well, I have to say that cheese is way more important than batteries and water…at least for morale. My husband (so weird to say that) is also running nyc and he’s paranoid they’re going to cancel it…hope they don’t! Anyway, hope you’re staying safe and dry.

  55. daphne says:

    haha hey, cheese has protein so it is a good choice! That is the kinda meal I will dig any day. Full of veges and protein!

  56. jhay says:

    this is a different salad for me but it looks delicious! be safe madam 🙂

  57. Roz P. says:

    My thoughts turned to you last night as we watched the storm hit Jersey and NY. I hope that you have made it through safely!!!!! Please let us know. PS as an aside: love this healthy salad that I’m always on the search for more creative salads! Be well Joanne!


  58. Tandy says:

    Thanks for the quinoa inspiration, which I need!

  59. Shannon says:

    this looks incredible!! especially topped with avocado and cheese… yum 🙂

  60. Cathleen says:

    Wow, what a hectic time! This would definitely make things easier to deal with, this looks fantastic!

  61. I was thinking of you when I heard about the storm! Hope you are doing okay 🙂

  62. I had no idea what to stock up on for the storm and I ended up with a lot of chicken (stupidly)…I was lucky that we didn’t lose power!

  63. Marcella says:

    Love the dish. It’s got like.. almost ALL of my favorite things in it. Thanks and good luck!

  64. Dana says:

    I literally just ate an entire plate of french fries for lunch and I’m so wishing I had eaten this instead. 95% of the time I choose healthy. Not today…

  65. Stay safe, Joanne! And I love how pumpkin beer is bought in preparation of a hurricane. Now this salad – uh, amazing! You’ve seriously incorporated all my favorite things into a single bowl!

  66. Laura says:

    This is unlike anything I have ever tried and I pretty much want some RIght Now. Hope you’re staying safe, dry, warm, etc.

  67. I am glad you ended up safe. I think with bottled water and batteries, cheese qualifies as a necessity in cases like this. 😉 I love all of the ingredients in this salad–hearty and good. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  68. Cate says:

    Made this last night — sooo good.

  69. Travelinjewel says:

    You listed 3 garlic cloves in your ingredients but then didn’t use them anywhere in the directions. I will assume they go in the broccoli pesto?! Please let me know…making for Christmas Day!

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