Monday, February 20, 2012

Warm up a Cool Winter Day with Salad!

One of my favorite things in the world is a great salad!  But on a cold winter day a chilly salad can become unappealing.  So here is a fantastic way to enjoy fresh spinach and quinoa in a warm and satisfying salad that's packed with flavor and nutrition.

I've made some notes below to let you know just how amazing this salad can be for your body!

Warm Quinoa Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts
This is such a satisfying way to serve salad on a cool day!  The warm quinoa absorbs the rich and beautiful flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and flavorful Italian dressing, while the fresh veggies add texture and the toasted pine nuts a delicate crunch . . . in other words, this salad is fantastic! Each ingredient adds a distinct layer of nutrition.  Since quinoa is a complete protein this can be served as a main dish salad or as a side dish with Balsamic & Mustard Roasted Chicken, Tempeh or Salmon. 
Yield – 2 main dish or 4 side dish servings

1 1/4 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon Bruschetta Spice Blend
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 
1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts 
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed into a paste
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, rinsed and drained 
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 
6 cups baby spinach

Soak quinoa in pH 9.5 water (or filtered water) 10 minutes then rinse thoroughly and drain.
In a saucepan over high heat lightly toast quinoa.  Then add salt, Bruschetta Seasoning Blend, nutritional yeast, and water and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil to use as part of the oil in the dressing.  Julienne tomatoes and set aside.
Drain the artichokes, reserving packing liquid, then quarter and set aside.
Chop red onions and red bell pepper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, reserved artichoke liquid and reserved sun-dried tomato oil, mustard, garlic paste, salt and pepper until smooth.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Add sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, onion, red peppers, parsley and quinoa, toss until well combined.
Line serving platter with baby spinach, top with quinoa, toasted pine nuts and a few sprigs of parsley.  Serve warm or room temperature.
Nutrition Notes:  Here are a few highlights of what the Real Food ingredients have to offer your body . . .

  • Quinoa is naturally gluten free because it is not a grain, but a seed.  In fact it is related to spinach.  It’s high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin, tryptophan and is the only plant based protein that contains lysine.  These constituents are especially helpful for migraines, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables, including spinach provide more nutrients than any other food.  Spinach is extremely high in Vitamin K and Vitamin A, while it’s also a great source for manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, Vitamins C, E and B2, calcium and potassium, plus fiber.  This makes spinach an excellent food to reduce both oxidation and inflammation, guarding against several sources of cancer.  It’s high levels of Vitamin K prevents excessive activation of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone), and when introduced to  friendly bacteria in our intestines, they convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone, making spinach a powerful force in the prevention of osteoperosis.
  • Artichokes are a good source of Vitamin C, folate and magnesium, as well as fiber.  They also contain significant levels of the phytonutrients Cynarin and Silymarin, which protect the liver.
  • Tomatoes are fantastic sources of Vitamins A and C, lycopene, calcium and iron.  When combined with spinach they increase the uptake of several key nutrients, including iron and calcium
  • Vinegar plays a significant role in digestion by increasing the acid content of the stomach.  This assists in the efficient breakdown of proteins and helps to stop acid reflux
  • To learn more about the remaining ingredients, please consult my cookbook, OMG! That’s Allergy Free!  To purchase your own copy click here.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Dr. P

1 comment:

  1. We had this tonight with just a couple adaptions. I didn't have red pepper so I just left it out. I only eat cooked greens right now so we had it over steamed spinach. It was delicious!! Thanks for sharing.