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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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).