Molly Sims’s Go-To Holiday Side: Carrot Quinoa Salad

12/12/2013 at 12:05 PM ET

Molly Sims Holiday Entertaining; Inset: Michael Kovac/WireImag

Thank you, Molly Sims, for showing the world that being a model and being passionate about food don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The busy mom to a toddler also writes a cooking and entertaining blog, develops recipes for Woodbridge wines and fills up her Pinterest account with cool food finds (well, there might be a Zac Posen dress or two on there as well). Her hometown board on Kentucky, which has recommendations for bourbon, burgers, ice cream, and sushi, will make you want to fly south for your next vacation.

Sims, who recently shared some of her favorite tips from her upcoming book, The Everyday Supermodel, suggests setting a festive atmosphere for a winter party by simmering a deliciously scented drink like mulled wine before people arrive. She also plans kid-friendly activities for her son and his buddies, like a group scavenger hunt to find the items that will make up the centerpiece. And to honor her Southern roots, she’ll set up a mashed potato buffet and let guests add their own bacon, veggies, and cheese.

When it comes to selecting the menu, Sims lets her friends be her inspiration. “My good friend Kishani is a vegetarian, and when she comes for the holidays I always make sure there are veggie options she can enjoy, like my honey-roasted carrot quinoa salad,” she says.

Sims has shared the recipe for this tasty, simple side. It’s a versatile dish that can either be served family-style or individually plated over greens and topped with cubed mozzarella.

Frankly, we’re impressed that Sims can plan such fun and creative parties given how busy she is juggling work, family and travel. Maybe she can blog about her time-management strategies next?

Honey-Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad
Serves 4-6

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine-mesh sieve
2 tsbp. apple cider
2 tsbp. honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium carrots (about ½ lb.) peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 tsbp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsbp. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil plus more for baking sheet
½ cup pickled beets, cut into matchsticks
2 tsbp. coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn, or a few handfuls of fresh arugula, optional
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Cook quinoa according to package directions, until tender. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

3. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Whisk cider and honey in a large bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add carrots and toss to coat.

4. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spreading into a single layer, and roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

5. Whisk vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in ¼ cup oil until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add beets, dill, carrots, and half of vinaigrette to quinoa mixture, toss to coat, and serve.

Optional serving idea: Arrange lettuce among serving bowls, top with quinoa mixture and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Top with mozzarella cubes, if desired.

—Lexi Dwyer

FILED UNDER: Food , Molly Sims , Recipes , Vegetarian

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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