After a weekend of more home made breads (french loaf for one house, rolls for another and blueberry almond ricotta muffins for both) I was definitely in need of a healthy dinner. I have lots of vegetables from the farmers market this weekend and wanted to get them in my body! And with the heatwave in LA, I wanted to make something that didn't require too much heat in the kitchen.
I started perusing my recently purged cabinets and found a bag of quinoa that I hadn't opened yet. Quinoa is one of those grains that has become popular in recent years... it is used a lot of vegetarian and gluten free diets because quinoa has lots of fiber, vitamins (especially thiamin, folate and B6), minerals (especially iron and magnesium) and protein that can sometimes be lacking in specialty diets. When you combine quinoa with some fresh diced vegetables and a delicious low fat dressing, you've got all you need for a great well-rounded dinner.
While the quinoa was cooking, I searched around my kitchen to see what I had to add. Cucumber, cilantro and carrots sounded like a nice combo. I made a southwestern dressing of olive oil, lime juice, minced shallots, cumin, Spike and salt and added all ingredients to the quinoa. What a great concoction! Next time I make this, I would add avocado for another layer of flavor, color and texture and maybe even some black beans and corn to let the southwestern theme shine through.
Quinoa, brown or wild rice, farro, and really any grain can be the base for a healthy dinner as long as you add a variety of vegetables and herbs/spices. Play around with flavors and let me know what you come up with!
What kinds of foods are you trying to add to your meals to give you a more well rounded diet? Feel free to share here.
Chow for now! :)