Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Healing Foods: Quinoa, Spinach, and Red Cabbage Salad

This is my go-to weekday lunch. I prepare it in the morning while my instant oatmeal is steeping; it takes about 8 minutes to put together. The recipe is flexible--you can change out the spinach for arugula or other dark greens, and the pepper and cabbage for other raw veggies you like. The quinoa adds protein, makes the salad more filling, gives me energy to get through the afternoon, and is incredibly delicious with the raw veggies. The red cabbage gives it a wonderful crunch, and the yellow pepper adds a touch of sweetness that plays off the bitter greens nicely.

I make a pot of quinoa (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water, no salt or oil) store it in the fridge, and then use it all week in this salad.

QUINOA, SPINACH, & RED CABBAGE SALAD

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free. 1 serving for me - adjust all amounts for what you need!)

1/2 cup cooked plain quinoa
1 TBS sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 cup shredded red cabbage (the thinner you can slice it, the better!)
Sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 TBS flaxseed oil (or olive oil, but I honestly think flaxseed oil tastes better!)
1 TBS fresh squeezed lemon
1 - 2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Layer quinoa, green onion, yellow pepper, and red cabbage in bowl or lunch container. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the veggies, then drizzle oil and lemon over the top. Drag a fork or spoon gently through the top layer just to lightly distribute the seasonings (that's what I do, but you can stir it all up together if you want.) Chop and lay the spinach or arugula over the top of that, then close the lid. (In Colorado, I don't have to refrigerate this salad before lunch. It sits in my work bag all morning until I eat it. If you live in a hotter, more humid climate, you might need to refrigerate it to keep the greens from wilting too much.)

At lunch time, open the lid, mix it all together, and enjoy. You can eat the salad immediately after preparing it, but to me it tastes way better after it's had time to sit for a few hours and come to room temperature.)

If you find that the salad isn't filling enough with only 1/2 cup quinoa, try a full cup or more. As I said, this recipe is very flexible! You can pretty much eat as much of this salad as you want without worrying about it dragging you down in the afternoon or making you gain weight, so feel free to double the portions.


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