By Cat, May 2010 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
A cousin of amaranth, quinoa is not really a grain, but is often included in that category. It is actually a relative of green leafy veggies like spinach and chard, in the Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae family. Its seed is very tiny, has a fluffy, creamy and slightly crunch texture, and tastes a bit nutty when cooked.
Because it’s high in complete protein (about 30 grams per cup), it is valued by vegetarians and vegans, but it’s a tasty treat for anyone. It’s also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and copper, but only if sprouted (germination releases minerals from the phytates that bind them in the seed).
Avocado & Quinoa Salad
This recipe is adapted from Extraordinary Health magazine, Volume 9 (2010), and serves 2. The magazine included this recipe in an article titled “Inflammation Cooling Recipes.” In this case, several of the ingredients fit this bill, including avocado, cayenne, garlic and onion.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 cup red quinoa (raw or sprouted over 1-2 days)
- 2 organic avocados, ripe
- 1 medium tomato
- ½ red onion (approximately)
- 2 fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne
- juice of 2 limes
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- sprouting jar
- baking sheet
- medium serving bowl
- small bowl or jar with lid
- Optional: Sprout quinoa (2 – 3 days before making salad).
- Salad: Peel avocado and remove pit; cut flesh into wedges, and each wedge into 4 – 6 pieces; transfer to bowl. Cut tomato into wedges and each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces; add to bowl. Dice onion to make ½ cup and add to bowl. Crush basil and add to bowl.
- Bring quinoa and 1 ½ cups cold filtered water to a boil in medium pot. Cover with tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to simmer and rest until water is fully absorbed – about 15 minutes if unsprouted or 2 minutes if sprouted. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes with lid on, then allow to cool.
- Dressing: Meanwhile: Mince garlic, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, then crush with the flat blade of a knife until it forms a wet paste; transfer to small bowl or jar. Add remaining ingredients and whisk or shake covered jar to mix. Adjust seasoning.
- Finish: Add cooled quinoa to the veggie mix. Pour dressing over and toss. Chill, then serve.
- Extraordinary Health magazine, Volume 9, 2010, page 25; see pdf version of magazine: transformyourhealth.com/extraordinaryhealthmag/EH%20Magazine_Vol9_Final.pdf