Living in Canada, the weather can be downright depressing at times. Those drab and dreary January days can leave you with little inspiration to create new recipes. Fortunately, all of the amazing food bloggers and Instagrammers of the world can really provide you with a much needed push to get you back in the kitchen and creating some great recipes and food ideas.
Quinoa is a staple in my gluten free diet and it has so many great health benefits. It is one of the very few plant foods that is considered a complete protein (contains all nine essential amino acids). This is very important to consider if you are following a vegan diet. Quinoa contains about double the fiber as most other grains. It’s also full of B-vitamins, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and magnesium. It’s probably the most impressive grain you’ll ever eat. Cooking quinoa couldn’t be easier – just add double the water to the amount of quinoa (i.e. 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa), bring to a boil then simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until done. It’s great warm or cold and comes in a variety of colours (white, black and red).
I created the following recipe using any colourful fruit or veggie I could find in my kitchen. Since quinoa has a subtle, nutty taste, it becomes a very versatile ingredient to add to your kitchen creations.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chopped kale (ribs removed)
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 mandarin orange, sliced
- 1/2 grapefruit, sliced
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh mint
- 2 tbsp flax seed oil (loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp honey or agave nectar (vegan)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cumin
Directions (easy peasy):
- Mix all of the salad dressing ingredients into a large bowl
- Combine salad dressing ingredients and whisk until well blended
- Add dressing to single serve helpings of salad if you want to keep leftover salad for a day or two. Otherwise, toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy!