Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quinoa Salad

If you are looking for a refreshing salad, this is it! My whole family enjoyed it. I'm not a big quinoa fan, but this one won me over. I think it's because I loved the colors all coming together.  I usually buy the white quinoa but this one was a black quinoa that I bought at Whole Foods. And it was gorgeous. I couldn't stop enjoying the little sprout that popped out, a light color against the dark hull.

Ingredients
1 cup dry quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
1/4 cup diced bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
1/2 cup diced cucumbers (seeded)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup raisins (unsweetened)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice


Directions
Rinse quinoa in cold water using a mesh strainer
Boil 1 1/2 cups of cold water, add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes (you can also use a rice cooker for this0
When done, fluff with a fork and cool.
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add pepper and no salt seasoning to taste.


Yields about 4-6 servings






Coach's Oats

Breakfast choices, for me, have to be simple. I love to lounge early in the morning and then do my chores so spending a lot of time in the kitchen is not a priority. That means that breakfast, while on the 6 week challenge (and otherwise I suppose) consists of either oatmeal (steel, Coach's, or rolled) or smoothies.
I read an article last night that said all oats are created equal (of course this does NOT refer to the packaged just add water and wait 10 seconds because all the sugar in me makes it go FAST kind). I was a hard ruled steel cut only kind of gal and then I read this and felt much better. So this morning I was happy to make me some Coach's Oats (thank you, Costco). And because we are out of bananas I decided to change it up a bit (love bananas on my oats, especially at Jamba Juice). I added some chia seeds (yay for my omega 3's), raisins and dried unsweetened cherries during the cooking portion and then put a plop of cashew butter on top (thanks to the make your own nut butter area in Whole Foods), my new favorite additive. The raisins and cherries (both purchased at Trader Joe's, no additives whatsoever) plumped up nicely and offered just the right amount of sweetness. The chia gave the oatmeal a slight crunchiness but it wasn't too distracting.  I did start with a little bit more water knowing the chia would thicken it up. And it did. Just right.

 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Miso Sesame Dressing

After last night's successful salad/dressing combo Hail to the Kale, I wanted to continue showing off by offering my family another dressing choice. They were ready to put the hail to the kale dressing on everything besides kale! It went on cucumbers, cabbage, and a few fingers.
This afternoon I finally got to make a miso sesame dressing that I have had tabbed on my browser for at least a week! I was just waiting for the inspiration to make it. Gena, blogger of Choosing Raw, posts some of the best recipes!

Here is the recipe:

(It makes a lot. You could probably cut it in half and be fine)
1/2 cup mellow white miso
1/3 cup agave nectar (or 3-5 dates)
1/2 cup tahini
3-4 tbsp tamari
1/2 - 1 inch fresh ginger
1 1/2 cup water

1) Blend all ingredients together on high. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

I ended up using dates rather than agave nectar and I thought it turned out great. The next time I make it I think I will add more fresh ginger. I did have to add more water, probably because of the dates.
I was so excited at how good it tasted that I grabbed my iphone to snap the pictures. I was afraid that if I left to go get the "real" camera, the salad might disappear!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Kale is My New Best Friend

Tantadadan!! Today, ladies and gentlemen, is the VERY first time, IN MY LIFE (over half a century mind you) that I ate raw kale. Knowingly, visibly, in its live state. Oh, I stick it in my morning smoothies and as such it isn't even noticeable. But Chef AJ has inspired me and I am here to say I LOVE HER (shhh, she's my friend on Facebook, too). She, along with Julieanna Hever, the plant based dietician, just put out Episode 23 of The Chef and the Dietician.
But first, short story long...
I have kale in my garden and despite seeing TONS of recipes online for using kale in salads, raw, the only way I use kale is in a smoothie (raw but pulverized beyond recognition) or maybe in a stew. Maybe. But I was inspired when I saw Chef AJ's video. And since today is the beginning of the new 6 week challenge for me and my friends, I decided I need to broaden my salad horizons! So I made:
HAIL TO THE KALE
YES!
I made the dressing. I chopped up the kale (tore it actually). I poured the dressing over the kale and mixed it up. And then I tried a piece of kale. And then I went to the fridge to grab more kale.
But the real test was when my husband came home for dinner. I said, "I made a new salad today and it's called Hail to the Kale." He said, "As long as it's not called What the Hail is This it's all good." HAHA! He's funny on his first day of the challenge. Good sign.
Okay. Story is almost done. He said that it was SO GOOD and that he could put that dressing on ANYTHING and it would be good and could he just have some so he could put it on the mega salads that he could eat if he had that dressing.
Fresh from the garden and ready for dressing

Ta-dan!

Can you taste the yummy goodness?