Thursday, April 21, 2016

Deirdre's Quinoa Salad

I am in Germany at present, teaching and staying at a friend's house which means I can cook with my friends!  The other night we made a Quinoa Salad that was so good, I just had to share it with you. One of the tricks I learned was to roast the Red Pepper in little pieces so it cooks faster. I love Quinoa because it is full of protein so it makes an excellent lunch salad when I am teaching as I don't like to go out. I like that I can make it ahead and I think it tastes even better the second day.  This is a versatile salad and any number of vegetables can be added in. We cooked the Quinoa with some leftover Green Beans, some Red Peppers that we quickly roasted cut up in the oven and some chopped up Arugula and Parsley. The dressing was a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar and a little Coconut Oil. It was delicious!  Be sure to rinse the Quinoa as it will be a bit bitter if you don't and use your imagination when adding new ingredients to the basics of this wonderful high protein Salad.

Deirdre's Quinoa Salad

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
2 cups Water
1 large clove Garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cooked Green Beans
1 Red Pepper, cut into small pieces
a Handful each of Parsley and Arugula chopped fine
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 heaping Tablespoon Coconut Oil*
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Optional: diced Avocado, chopped Tomatoes - fresh or dried, Cucumber, cooked Broccoli, cooked Cauliflower, cooked Corn off the cob, cooked Peas, chopped Radishes, Crumbled Bacon, Feta Cheese, etc.

*You can easily substitute Lemon Juice and Olive OIl is desired, but use slightly more of each.

Add rinsed Quinoa and Garlic to 2 cups water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cover, reducing heat. Cook for 20 minutes.  

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place Red Pepper pieces on a Parchment covered baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, tossing once half way through.  Check frequently after 10 minutes so that the pieces do not burn. Remove and cool.

Mix together the cooked Quinoa with the Green Beans, the Roasted Pepper pieces, the Parsley and Arugula. Stir in the Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, Salt and Pepper.  This salad can be served hot but is even better when chilled and served later as it allows the flavor to meld.  

Five Element Analysis

Quinoa is a seed so it belongs to the Water Element. The Green Beans contribute the Wood Element and is enhanced by the Vinegar. The roasted Red Pepper contributes the Fire Element. The Coconut Oil brings in a little of the Earth Element and the Parsley and Arugula make sure that the Metal Element is present too. This then is a lightly balanced Five Element Salad. To make it even stronger, add in an additional Earth food, like Cucumber, or Corn to make it a fully balanced salad or serve dessert after to make a fully balanced meal!

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