Special Dish for the Week: Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa

Not feeling like eating much lately (which I know is hardly believable, but true), I was happy to have my appetite revived by seeing some awesome super salads at a healthy restaurant I recently snacked at, and by a friend’s suggested recipe for this week’s Special Dish for the Week:

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Ingredients

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Ingredients

The rainbow salad is really quite life evoking! Loving my black for my clothing, in my food I do love my colour, and this dish certainly provides plenty. My 2-hour preparation adventure begins with laying out the fabulous ingredients.

I also make the dressing for this salad in advance. Using generous amounts of grated garlic and ginger, three types of mustard (organic Canadian Dijon, authentic spicy French Dijon, and semi-authentic French dark mustard from London’s Saintsbury’s), authentic French herbes de Provence, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and two types of oil: cold pressed virgin olive oil and unrefined toasted sesame oil, I manage to whip the dressing without making too much of mess of my kitchen this time! I am learning to do the whipping of oil and herb containing dressing with my electric whisk inside my sink, and to hold tight onto the container (after a couple of previous kitchen disasters).

Rinsing and putting on some tri-coloured quinoa in my rice cooker, I begin chopping my veggies. I commence with chopping some onion and cilantro stems, which I sautée together in some virgin coconut oil, adding a little salt and black pepper. I also thinly slice some red cabbage in preparation for a few minutes of steaming, as I am not too fond of entirely raw cabbage.

I julienne my four colours of peppers: green, yellow, orange, and red. I shred some carrots, for more orange, and because I love carrots! In the meantime, I roast in my toaster oven some raw green pumpkin seeds. I continue chopping more cilantro, and slicing half an avocado. I open an organic can of chickpeas, for some more protein, and prepare a handful of alfalfa sprouts.

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa

I assemble these, in turn, on my plate, in a rainbow arrangement of colours, with the quinoa as the base at the centre. Counter-clockwise, the assortment presents: whitish green alfalfa sprouts; green peppers; yellow peppers; orange peppers; red peppers; purple cabbage; beige chickpeas. White onion and green cilantro stems bring in the full outer circle to the whitish green alfalfa sprouts. The top layer continues with mostly greenness from the cilantro; green pumpkin seeds; avocado; and the pièce de résistance carrots. These are all generously sprinkled with the sweet and sour garlicky-gingery-maple-syrupy dressing.

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Dish

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Dish

I thoroughly enjoy this diverse sensation of textures and flavours. At last, after some days / weeks (?), it is a dish I feel like eating! A French Longue-Dog red wine enhances further the superbly flavourful dish, and once more I rejoice at the feeling of company that my Santé, machine à manger wine glass brings me. While I savour these flavours and the memories that the glass inspires, I listen to oldies but goodies from the “Songs for Maggie – Luvafair Favourites” CD. I am feeling quite alive!

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Melange

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Melange

For the left overs, I make a rainbow mélange of the veggies and dressing. The bowl does not allow for mixing in the left over quinoa, so I mix in some of the dressing in separately with the quinoa. These will make for some awesome lunches and dinners throughout the week. I am already looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch: it is so pretty! Joy and life bundled in pyrex, sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Lunch

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Lunch

Tonight, though, my meal ends with a cup of Pau d’Arco Tea that I unearthed on the weekend, and half a slice of French apple tart (a little too sweet for the body, but decadent for the soul!).

French Apple Tart and Pau d'Arco Tea Dessert

French Apple Tart and Pau d’Arco Tea Dessert

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Encore

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Encore

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Encore

Within about a month, I crave this colourful and tasty salad again. I am also curious about how much time and effort I can save by using my electric chopper (blender) for some of the veggies. I use the chopper for my carrots and onions, but get stomped on the cilantro—it seems to mangle it but not reduce it in size, so I now need to chop the mangled cilantro by hand. Perhaps it needs to be dry to chop? The carrots turn quite to mush, so I return to hand chopping of the cabbage, the peppers, and avocado.

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Encore Dish

Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa Encore Dish

I slightly vary the ingredients from the original salad: I omit the alfalfa sprouts and reduce the number of colours in my peppers. I also mix the veggie ingredients together and add the dressing to the veggie mélange before serving over the  tri-coloured quinoa. Otherwise, I follow the original salad recipe, and marvel in its deliciousness once more for another week. A cheerful yellow gerbera accompanies my meal, beeswax candlelight, and a glass of red wine (naturally).

2 thoughts on “Special Dish for the Week: Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa

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