Real Men Don’t Eat Quinoa!
“Quinoa! Quinoa? Real men don’t eat quinoa!” Max Kendall, owner of Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, is living in a culinary time warp. He likes his Folger’s black and his steak drowning in A-1. Veggies? Give him a baked potato. But Daisy Moon, his new chef and romantic nemesis, is changing the menu—and Max! Although the hunky pilot still complains about Daisy’s “bistro-dized” food, at night he’s raiding the refrigerator for leftovers.
Wild Man Lodge Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups veggie broth (follow package directions for cooking time)
1 cup cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 cup tomato, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
4 green onions sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (add or subtract per individual preference)
1 tsp chopped jalapeno
¼ tsp cumin
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1-2 TBS fresh lemon or limejuice (start with 1 TBS, taste, add more per individual preference)
Salt to taste.
Optional ingredients: black beans, rinsed if using canned. Diced orange pepper. Can add or subtract ingredients, as you like. It’s hard to mess this up!
Cook quinoa, let cool. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, serve cold or room temperature. Make the day before and all the flavors will blend. Yum!
by Maggie McConnell
by Maggie McConnell
GENRE: contemporary romance (romantic comedy)
Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a "bit of trouble" at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy's sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.
Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.
"Don't look so surprised," she said. "I know I'm not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that's being kind," she responded to Max’s smile. "But I'm an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen."
Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like...concupiscence.
"Do I know what men want, or what?" Now Daisy smiled...at herself.
Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.
"Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who's difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell...and next time it won't be a cross-dressing felon."
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.
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