Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beachside State Park Oregon-Heaven on the Coast

Site 64-lots of sun and beach !

We left Seattle early Thursday morning, May 2nd.  The skies were that bright summer blue and the sun was shining - a perfect day for traveling.  We decided to stay on I5 for most of the trip instead of taking Hwy 101. We figured if we took 101 we would make a zillion stops along the way-which is what we usually do, but we just wanted to settle in at the Ocean and relax.
Once we hit Albany, OR we turned off onto Hwy 34.  We had never been on that road before so we didn't know what to expect. It is a beautiful road. Narrow and winding. Cutting through green forests  and open farmland.  Lots of curves, lots of climbing, but oh so beautiful.  Driving slow you feel the coolness rise up as you pass a tiny waterfall to your right coming down off the hillside. The cool air fills Ruby and smells fresh and green like the earth after a rainfall.  There is always something so familiar about Oregon.  We only lived there for a year but yet it feels like home.  Peacefulness settles over me when we are driving-whether it’s along the coast or through the forests or in the high desert-it just feels right.

We started beach walking Thursday night and by Sunday we were up to 5 miles a day and loving every moment

We were as excited as two little kids when we saw the sign for Beachside State Park. When we pulled in Thursday afternoon it was only about ½ full and our favorite site #64 was just waiting for us.  Gorgeous view of the ocean, a little windbreak of trees to the right-yes we love it here.  I would have to say that so far in all of our traveling, Beachside is in the top 3 of our favorite campsites. We quickly unpacked Ruby-so easy to do-hook up the water and electric; unload the beach chairs, set up the Nespresso (my one indulgence for Ruby) and put the cooler of beer and water in the shade outside. 20 minutes later we are sitting in our lawn chairs, enjoying the gorgeous view and having a cold beer.
I made a special (healthy) dinner for our first night. Kale, quinoa, edamame salad with tomatoes, avocado and mango along with grilled Rock-fish.  I marinated the fish in chopped basil, minced garlic, a little lemon juice and olive oil-oh so delicious.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  We mixed the left over fish in with the left over  salad and we will have fish tacos for lunch on Friday. I found the fabulous recipe for the salad over at Ambitious Kitchen 

Recipe below

The sunset was beautiful tonight-we couldn’t be more blessed and are so grateful for the life we get to enjoy. Peace.

Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (cook according to package directions)
 1 1/2 cup edamame beans, cooked and cooled
 3 cups finely chopped Tuscan kale, ribs removed
 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
 1/2 red onion, diced
 1 mango, pitted and diced
 1 avocado, pitted and either sliced or diced
2 tablespoon toasted almonds or pumpkin seeds, if desired

For lemon vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
 1 garlic clove, minced
 1 teaspoon sugar 1 large basil leaf, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

To make dressing: place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, basil, and salt in blender or food processor. Blend/process for 10-15 seconds; set aside.

In medium bowl toss quinoa, kale, and edamame together; add lemon vinaigrette and toss so that the salad is fully coated. Place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to let flavors soak in.

Before serving, toss salad again and add tomatoes, onion, mango, and avocado. Garnish with toasted almonds or pumpkin seeds if desired.

Monique from Ambitious Kitchen says 2-4 servings,it's more like 4-6.

Marinade for the Rock Fish- 4 filets
You can use this for any white fish
3 tablespoons crushed garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together inside a large ziploc bag. Place the fish inside the bag. Toss them around inside the bag to ensure all the filets are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. You can use 1-2 tablespoons of olive -oil heated in a non stick skillet.  Add the fish 2 at a time,cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until opaque and browned.  Or you can place them directly on a grill and grill them until opaque. Serve with the above salad or over brown rice.  Either way,delicious !

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