Happy New Year!
I hope you’ve all had a restful break and a wonderful holiday season. I’ve been filling my days with family, friends, shopping, baking (just for the heck of it – no cameras allowed!), and lots and lots of eating. You might say overeating. Definitely overindulging in delicious snacks, turkey dinners, holiday beverages, and tons of sweets.
As wonderful as my month-long carb and sugar coma has been, I’m ready for a change. I don’t have any specific New Year’s Resolutions, so to speak – No Sugar! No Wheat! No Alcohol! etc – but rather am planning to gradually return to my generally healthy non-December diet. All that means is an emphasis on fresh, whole foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and other clean foods.
Based on personal experience, I’ve found that banishing certain foods completely from my diet just makes me crave them. For instance, my husband and I went on the South Beach diet once, which has strict rules around eating sugar, white flour, and full-fat dairy. So what did I crave night & day the entire time I was dieting? A big, fat, gooey cinnamon bun slathered with cream cheese frosting. It’s better to know that nothing is truly off-limits, but simply to strive for a tasty, healthy nourishing diet the majority of the time.
This salad ticks most of the boxes for me. There is definitely some sugar included here, in the form of fresh apples and dried cranberries and mango, but there are no added, refined sugars and it’s crammed full of tons of good stuff. Quinoa, cashews, and hemp hearts round out the ingredient list of this tasty, easy salad. I like to serve it on a bad of greens as well for a crunchy, slightly bitter contrast to the sweetness of the fruits.
I modified this recipe slightly from The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook by adding hemp hearts, whose nutty flavour I adore, and by omitting some raw garlic. I love garlic, but in my opinion the fresh flavours in this salad, especially the bright, mild curry dressing, could be overpowered by the garlic.
This recipe is simple, it doubles easily, and it keeps well in the refrigerator for days. I love making it on Sundays and taking it for lunch all week. I’ve composed everything separately on the plate for photographic effect, which you can certainly do as well, but you can also simply toss everything together in a large bowl to serve.
Whether you’re trying to stick to a New Year’s Resolution or just looking for something tasty to make for lunch this week, I urge you to give this salad a try. Here’s to a wonderful 2015! Thanks for reading.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (I used black)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup dried mango, diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
- ½ cup whole cashews (or almonds)
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- Mixed greens, for serving (optional)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil, curry powder and turmeric. Heat, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add quinoa and sauté for 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.Remove quinoa from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the mango, cranberries, apple and cashews and toss to combine. Add cooled quinoa mixture and hemp hearts and toss until well combined. Serve on a bed of greens. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Source: Adapted form The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook