Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds

I used to wait for cherry season to make this recipe. But then I decided to buy a bag of dried Montmorency cherries from Costco, and the wait was over. I'm happy to see fresh cherries arriving in the stores now that it's spring, so I'll make the salad the "real" way next time. The kids prefer that, but I should have them help me pit all the cherries sometime and see if they think the trouble is worth the taste. 

Oh wait...Trouble? What trouble? 

Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, 
Or a trouble is what you make it....

These catchy little lines from Edmund Vance Cooke's poem, "How Did You Die?," have become a refrain in my brain. The kids and I finally completed our memorization of the poem in its entirety, but it is these two lines in particular that have been tremendously useful as we talk about the inconveniences we face in our daily lives. So if you happen to be looking for some summer memory work for you and your kids, see the whole poem in this post. 

And if you're looking for a summer salad to love, I think this one will please you and any guests you have around (think cookout, picnic, potluck fare). Spent a little time prepping ingredients early in the day, and the salad comes together quickly around dinnertime. Just allow half an hour after you make the salad to let the flavors meld. I love making the bowl of ingredients look like this before I stir everything together.

By far, the kids' favorite part of this meal is the watermelon. I don't know how it started, but it has come to be our tradition that the expected sides with this salad are watermelon and pita chips. As a kid, TJ used to eat a German dish called something that sounds like "raw coucan." He doesn't know how it's really spelled and I'm not feeling Googlish at the moment. So just call it how it sounds and you'll be on target. It's fried dough and watermelon, just those two things eaten together, and that's dinner. It was one of TJ's favorite things to eat as a kid (duh!). Now he is a kid again, as are our kids, when the Stacy's pita chips and watermelon wedges come out. 

Open the PDF below to print the recipe:

Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds