Tag Archives: salad

Spinach Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a complete protein that is very versatile. When paired with spinach, kale, or mixed greens it can become a satisfying main dish salad that provides protein, fiber, Omega 3’s, and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

 

Quinoa, like risotto, is a great way to use up small amounts of vegetables that you have left in the kitchen.  If you cook the quinoa ahead of time, you can sauté vegetables to create your desired flavor profile and add some cooked quinoa at the end of the cooking process.

 

In this dish I used okra, onion, garlic, zucchini, and sweet potato. Experiment with the flavor profiles that you prefer, perhaps trying a new vegetable in a small portion in a dish like this to see if you like it and wish to add it to your repertoire.


Enjoy this YogaLean recipe after a workout. Pair it with a Gluten Free roll or crackers. For a beverage, water with lemon or herbal tea (hot or cold) would be a nice pairing with this salad. Read other YogaLean Gluten Free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations.

 

Base Recipe Serves 2:

I Cup COOKED QUINOA

3 Cups Evenly Diced Vegetables…the smaller the cuts the better  

4 TBSP Olive or Walnut Oil

1 Cup Vegetable Broth (low sodium)

4 Cups Baby Spinach

 

Garnish:

Basil, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Dried Fruit, Seeds or Nuts

 

Instructions:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I like to substitute low sodium vegetable broth for half of the water.

Evenly dice the vegetables and sauté them in chosen oil.

Add the broth and let the vegetables steam until the broth is almost absorbed. This leaves the vegetables el-dente if you cut them thin enough.

Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine.

Rinse the spinach and pat dry. Divide evenly between two plates.

Top with the quinoa mixture in the center of the bed of spinach.

 

Serving Suggestions:

Garnish with seeds and nuts for added crunch if you wish.

Add dried fruit for a sweeter garnish.

Add tomatoes if you wish a touch of acidity.

Top with basil or rosemary, if you desire, for additional flavor.

You can top with oil and vinegar or allow the moist quinoa mixture to flavor the salad.

 

Red Cabbage Salad with Vegetables and Basil

It is much easier to eat a Gluten Free and maintain a YogaLean lifestyle if you plan ahead. Salads can be a great meal or side dish but can be a detriment as well if you do not make good choices. They need not be laden with heavy dressings to be appreciated. Opt for seasonal vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins or nuts to be the star of the dish rather than a dressing.

 

Salads do not have to be constructed with a base of lettuce. Many other “greens” can be used as a base. According to studies, cabbage is a great vehicle to use as it provides the body with Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. It is a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.

 

I like to include a variety of colors, textures, flavors, and food groups to my salad to provide a satisfying meal or, if a smaller portion is served, accompaniment to a meal.

 

My inspiration for cabbage salads began with the idea of modifying coleslaw. I appreciated the intricate dice and the firm texture of the cabbage but did not particularly enjoy the dressing. At home I began experimenting with the diced cabbage with an oil and vinegar dressing and was hooked.

 

Cabbage comes in both green and red varieties. I look for a firm head of cabbage when I go shopping. Experiment with either red, green, or a multicolor cabbage salad next time you wish a salad as a meal or a side dish. Enjoy this Gluten Free YogaLean recipe as you look to make healthy food choices while keeping up an active lifestyle.  More Gluten Free recipes can be found on my blog at http://healthyrecipevariations.blogspot.com/.

Red Cabbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base Recipe for a Side Salad (double and add protein if being used as a meal):

1-1.5 Cups of Diced Cabbage

1 Cup of Diced Seasonal Vegetables

2-4 TBSP Oil and Vinegar Dressing

 

Optional Ingredients:

2 TBSP Fresh Basil (used here) or Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1 TBSP or to taste)

2 TBSP each of any of the following: Sesame, Pumpkin, or Sunflower Seeds

Red Cabbage 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If converting to a meal …. PROTEIN additions:

1 Cup of Nuts

1 Cup of Lean Meat (thinly sliced)

1 Cup of Tofu (I prefer pan fried)

1 Cup of Cheese

1 Hard Boiled Egg


Dressing Options (use 2-4 TBSP):

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Pesto

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Sriracha

Oil and Balsamic Vinegar + Honey Mustard

Red Cabbage 2

Spinach Salad with Figs, Walnuts, and Brie

A salad can be an accompaniment to a meal or can be a meal itself. The portion size determines everything – salads are a great way to incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables into your meal. If you are making your salad and entrée, make good choices to ensure you have a balanced meal and include protein and carbohydrates.

 

I find the keys to success with a salad include bold flavors, multiple textures, and a variety of food groups.

 

This salad can be a meal or a side dish. If using as a meal, you may wish to serve gluten-free crackers on the side or gluten free cornbread. If the figs are very ripe and juicy, you may not need salad dressing. If you do need dressing, I suggest a simple oil and vinegar so that the flavor of the fruit and brie stands out, not the dressing.

 

Figs are a great find when they are in season. They are low in calories while high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Research shows the chlorogenic acid helps lower blood sugar levels and control glucose; an important factor for those with adult onset diabetes.

 

Base Ingredients:

Spinach

Fresh Figs

Brie

Walnuts (another soft nut like pecans can be used instead)

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Optional:

Oil and Vinegar Dressing

Add diced dates for flavor and texture


Enjoy this YogaLean recipe and other gluten-free recipes at Healthy Recipe Variations