Sunday, May 17, 2009

International Quinoa Salad

I've really missed doing cooking classes this month and sharing with you the fun of plant based nutrition, so I decided to post one of my favorite summer time recipes.

International Quinoa Salad is a cool and light, easy to prepare one dish meal that is low in fat and high in protein. I've been educating myself lately about the best quality plant based protein sources and quinoa is one of them with 20 percent protein. Quinoa is considered a "pseudo grain" because it is actually a seed. Pseudo grains don't contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible, alkaline-forming, and suitable for those with an intolerance to gluten. It's high in lysine and is a good source of iron, potassium and B vitamins. It has a light, fluffy texture and a mild earthy taste. It can be cooked like you would cook rice or sprouted and eaten raw. It takes about 20 minutes to cook which is just enough time to chop up the veggies and toss the remaining ingredients together.

Originally this recipe called for a tablespoon or two of olive oil but because any kind of oil will damage the inner lining of your arteries, I leave it out and instead add the avocado in its place. That way, not only are you getting the oil from the avocado, but you are also getting all the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, photochemicals that nature provided in that whole plant food. Besides, I LOVE avocado and as far as I'm concerned, it can go with anything! I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do!

International Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 - 2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 clove garlic minced
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 small cucumber chopped
1 cup corn
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion (I like using red onion)
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (if using canned, drain and rinse well)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup lime juice
1 avocado diced
salt to taste

Bring water to boil over high heat. Turn down to low and add quinoa. Cook about 20 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and fluff with fork and let cool.
While quinoa is cooking, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Mix in cooled quinoa with vegetables, and mix lightly.
If there is no time to cool, mix in the quinoa while it's still warm. This makes a nice warm salad as well.

I'm hoping to resume my cooking classes the latter part of June so I hope to see you there!
Best of health,

100% Plant Based 100% Nutritious 100% Delicious

Health for Life cooking will demonstrate how to incorporate the wonderful plant foods that nature provides into delicious meals that are rich in phyto-nutrients, protein, calcium, and taste! Processed flours and sugars are rarely used and processed oils are never used! To purchase my cookbooks and find out when my next cooking classes are, visit