The Main Menu: Beach Book Club pot luck recipes set the stage for summer fun

Quinoa, kale and chick pea salad is on the summer menu courtesy of Beach Book Club members.


The best recipes come with a guarantee from friends that they are their favourites. Better still, if you have a chance to taste them for yourself, you know they will work for taste and preparation.

At a recent potluck of my Beach Book Club, I “recipe wrestled” for these as summer recipes with appeal. Here they are:

Asian Coleslaw

Liz Schumann’s marinated coleslaw is a perfect summer dish – something that can be taken on picnics or camping trips, marinates in the refrigerator for up to a week.
It can be used as a salad or a topping.
It’s versatility both in ingredients and use make it a “must” for easy summer food preparation.


3 cups (750 mL) shredded cabbage (you could substitute nappa or bok choy)
2 cups (300 mL) shredded red cabbage
1 red pepper, sliced
1 cup (250 mL) snow peas or asparagus, blanched and sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) each, dried cranberries, chopped apricots or toasted almonds


1/3 cup (75 mL) light coconut milk
1/3 cup (75 mL chopped fresh coriander or parsley
2 tsp (10 mL) fish or oyster sauce (optional)
2 tsp (10 mL) packed brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp (5mL) each, grated fresh ginger and hot pepper sauce (to taste)

In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage, green and red pepper, asparagus or snow peas, red pepper, onions, cranberries, apricots and / or almonds.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together coconut milk, coriander, fish sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and hot pepper sauce if using. Pour over cabbage mixture tossing to coat ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate for up to a week. May be used immediately or kept marinating to use within a week. Makes about 6 cups (1 ½ L) or 8 servings.

Quinoa, Kale and Chick Pea Salad

Vivien Lepper contributed this hearty grain and chick pea salad ideal for toting to potlucks and outdoor dining.
It makes a tasty lunch or simple supper. Use your own favourite vinaigrette to dress this salad or try the one below.


2 cups (500 mL) quinoa, cook according to package directions
1 bunch kale leaves (4 cups/ 1 L), stems removed
2/3 cups (175 mL) dried cranberries, currants or raisins
1 can (19 oz/540 mL chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red or yellow pepper diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh, chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped green onion

Dressing or use favourite vinaigrette

1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic minced
1 tsp (5 mL) each, curry or cumin and salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh black pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool to room temperature. (This step could be done the night before)
Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces massaging them to improve texture and flavour.
Add the quinoa and kale leaves to a large bowl with cranberries, chickpeas, red pepper, parsley and green onion.
In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, curry, salt and black pepper until well combined.
Pour over the grain and vegetable mixture tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 8 servings.

Fennel Vinaigrette

This was Carolyn Jung’s vinaigrette which she served over a fresh tomato cucumber salad but it can be served over salads of all sorts.
Carolyn also uses it warm over barbecued meat and fish as a sauce.
For best flavour, make a day ahead of serving to allow the vinaigrette to mellow.
The ratio for this salad is one part vinegar to three parts oil.
1/4 cup (50 mL) red wine vinegar or balsamic or white vinegar
3/4 cup (175 mL) olive oil, canola or grape seed oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1-5 shakes hot pepper sauce depending on how hot you like it
1-2 tbsp fennel seeds depending on taste desired

Use a straight sided jar. Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic if using, shake of hot pepper sauce and 1 tbsp of fennel seeds. Shake vigorously.
Refrigerate overnight and shake again before serving over salad.

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