Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Quinoa Salad

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warning about the necessity of making rapid changes in order to prevent catastrophic effects of global climate change is sobering.  It is also frustrating, as an individual, to lack control of many elements contributing to climate change.  One thing we can control is how and what we eat.  Agricultural practices relating to meat production lead to large amounts of carbon emissions.  One big reason is because the earth cannot absorb all the animal waste concentrated on large farms.  By eating less meat we reduce the demand for large scale animal farming and create a higher demand for plant production.  These actions, if taken by many people, can have a positive impact on carbon emissions.  That is what I am trying to help along with this blog, by providing ideas for people to prepare meals using less meat.

Quinoa is a high protein grain that can act as the base for a vegetarian entree because it is filling and nutritious.  When cooking quinoa, always rinse it first in a fine mesh strainer, as this will remove some of the bitter coating.  I find that, in salads, quinoa tastes best when combined with some ingredients which have natural sweetness, such as fruit.  This salad is hearty enough to act as a main course, but you could also use it as a side dish.

2-3 cups cooked quinoa (I used leftovers--if making fresh, use 3/4 or 1 cup dried quinoa and cook according to package instructions)
½ yellow pepper, diced
2 scallions, diced
½ orange, pith removed and sections cut into smaller bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 TBS fresh Italian parsley, chopped
approximately ½ cup peeled diced jicama
½ cup toasted pine nuts

1 small shallot, chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander (preferably freshly ground)
freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup orange Muscat champagne vinegar (I use Trader Joe’s)

Toss all salad ingredients together.  Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad and mix everything up together.  Serves 2-3 as main course.

Note:  to toast pine nuts, place in dry cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring, until nuts just begin to turn brown, about 5 minutes or so.

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