Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use. Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

To cook quinoa, place 1 cup rinsed quinoa in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let it cool down to room temperature before making the salad. You can see more on cooking quinoa here.

SERVES: 6     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green whatever you have on hand), chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced into rounds
  • 2 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut into halves
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

 

For Dressing:

  • ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • A pinch of black pepper or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup (optional)

 

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Direction

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Experiment with different combination of vegetables and dressings of your choice.

 

 

Rainbow Salad

Rainbow salad Optm

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup beets, grated
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red radish, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fennel, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouts (mung or alfalfa)

 

For Yummy Ranch Dressing with a Twist

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (add a little extra water if using greek yogurt). Click here for Homemade yogurt recipe(you can leave out yogurt for the vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro (or flat parsley) – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Blend ingredients of dressing and store in a small jam jar. Will stay fresh in fridge 4-5 days.
  3. You can use any dressing of your choice with this fresh and beautiful rainbow salad.

 

Cabbage Pomegranate Slaw

A quick dish for the beginning of spring! Winter is almost gone and now is the time to reduce fats and proteins, and start going for more raw vegetables and salads.

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cabbage pomegranate Optm    Cabbage Pomegranate slaw1 Optm

Directions

  1. Mix cabbage, pomegranate, orange, carrot and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour.
  4. This dish can be made a day ahead of time.

Variations: This is a versatile recipe. You can use any combination of vegetables like purple cabbage, cucumbers, onion, beets and jicama. If you like to make the dressing a little spicier try using olive oil and minced garlic or ginger along with some fresh lime juice.

Cabbage Pomegranate slaw Optm

Raw Chocolate Truffles

PREP TIME: 20 minutes    MAKES 15 – 25 truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • Water (to mix)

Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, raw sugar, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love

Direction

  1. Mix cashews in a food processor until a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
  2. Add maple syrup to cashews and pulse to process.
  3. Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
  4. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
  5. Form teaspoon or tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!

Raw Chocolate trouffles Optm

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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While we love to eat French fries we all know they are not really healthy for us. Not only they have carbs but also artery clogging trans fats. Does that mean we can’t enjoy them once in a while? Sure we can!

How about having a healthy alternative?

PREP TIME: 15 minutes     BAKE TIME: 30 – 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized firm and smooth sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp organic corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Spices: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika and 1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)

 

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Direction

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and peel sweet potatoes.
  3. Cut them into fry shaped pieces. Try to cut them in equal size for even baking.
  4. Sprinkle with corn starch and toss them to coat evenly.
  5. Add olive or coconut oil and toss again.
  6. Season with salt and spices if using. Mix them well.
  7. Pour the prepared sweet potatoes into a non-stick baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes and flip them, and bake another 15-20 minutes or until they are done and turn crispy.

 

Easy Lemon Pickle

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This pickle can be made with just lemon and salt, however, adding spices makes them more interesting! You can use any kind of lemons, my favorite is Meyer lemon. I usually get them fresh from the farmers market.

The following recipe is very forgiving as long as you have lemon and salt ratio right, which is 5 to 1 by weight. For example, if you have 500 grams of lemons, use 100 grams of salt. You can use any spices of choice, most common spices for lemon pickle are red chili (or cayenne) pepper and turmeric. Adding ginger and green chilies makes them not only tasty but also great for digestion.

Wash and pat dry lemons with a paper towel and cut them into small pieces like this…

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It’s worth repeating that salt should be 1/5 of the amount of lemons. This is the most important step. The lemon pickle will keep for years if the lemon and salt ratio is correct.

Mix lemon pieces with salt and leave them covered for at least a day.

These are the spices we will add to the salted lemons.

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Heat up a pan and dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately. Mustard seeds will take 2-3 minutes and fenugreek seeds 1-2 minutes.

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Crush roasted mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in a mortar and pestle. Cut green chilies in rounds and chop or grate ginger.

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In a pan add 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, 2-3 tablespoon water to dissolve sugar. Stir and reduce flame to simmer once the sugar starts melting, it will take less than a minute. Add rest of the spices and ginger. Turn off heat once sugar dissolves completely. It will take another minute or so.

Add the cooled spice mixture into salted lemons.

And the last step is to jar them and cover the lids properly. Now wait for at least a week to enjoy them. Pickle will taste better after 3 weeks and will stay good for years.

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Easy Meyer Lemon Pickle

Ingredients

  • 1815 grams (4 Pounds) lemons
  • 365 grams salt (coarse grey Celtic sea salt preferred. Salt should be 1/5 of the amount of lemons in weight)
  • 1 cup sugar (organic is preferable)
  • 6 Tbsp red chili or cayenne pepper
  • 4 – 5 star anise
  • 4 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 4 – 6 inches of ginger, cut into small pieces
  • 10 – 12 green Thai chilies or jalapeño, cut into small rounds

Method

  1. Wash and cut lemons in small pieces. Add salt, stir to coat lemons with salt, cover the bowl and leave at least for 1 day.
  2. Heat a pan and dry roast mustard for 2-3 minutes and fenugreek seeds for 1-2 minutes. Crush them coarsely in a mortar and pestle.
  3. In a pan add 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, 2-3 tablespoon water to dissolve sugar. Stir and reduce flame to simmer once the sugar starts melting, it will take less than a minute.
  4. Add red chilie pepper, ginger and star anise. Turn off heat once sugar dissolves completely. It will take only about a minute or two.
  5. Add roasted and crushed mustard and fenugreek to the pan. Stir to mix.
  6. Let the spice mixture cool down.
  7. Add the cooled spice mixture into salted lemons and jar them.
  8. Pickle will be ready in 2-3 weeks. Enjoy with rice, bread, khichadi, chapati or paratha.