Quinoa Veggie Salad (Cleanse)

I’ve been feeling the need to purge lately.

Over the past six months I have tried to eat as healthy as possible under my circumstances. My husband, who has been doing all of the cooking has been pretty good about making me healthy meals. We’re not quite on the same page all the time when it comes to food, but he knows how important it is to me. It’s certainly been a challenge not being able to cook for myself due to my temporary situation and that, in combination with my complete lack of movement has led to some weight gain and muscle loss.

This however, is starting to change. I am more and more able to move, make my own meals and help out in the kitchen. And I gotta tell you it feels absolutely amazing!!

So now with my increased movement (physio, walking and I tried a yoga class this morning, yay me!) I have decided it’s time to get myself back on track. Although I am not a fan of harsh detoxes and cleanses I do believe that gentle cleanses are important. So what I did this week was stop ingesting processed sugar as much as possible (it’s really a sneaky ingredient). I also stopped drinking coffee and switched to water and loose leaf tea. I also stayed away from dairy which wasn’t hard since I don’t consume dairy other than a small amount of cheese and once in a while I may have a little yogurt or cottage cheese.

With that, I made a wonderful Quinoa Veggie Salad which is full of vitamins, minerals and ingredients that are helpful in cleansing the system.

You can, of course enjoy this salad while still enjoying your regular healthy diet. I don’t recommend a lot of restrictions as a rule. I find that strict cleanses and detoxes are too hard on the body.  That being said, it is important to rid the body of excess toxins and harmful ingredients while also including foods that will help heal and cleanse on a regular basis.

The most important thing to remember with this recipe or any recipe that is meant to cleanse and rid the body of toxins it is very important to use ingredients that are pure, unprocessed and / or organic. The purpose after all is to rid the body of toxins not replace them with something else.

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa, rinsed and strained (I used the red variety, but you can use the white also)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
Quinoa Veggie Salad1 avocado, diced (optional, but I highly recommend it for its healthy fats)
1 handful of cilantro (I find cilantro overpowering so I use it sparingly. It is great for cleansing heavy metals from the body)
1 handful spinach, diced
1 handful kale, diced
Salt to taste

Note: You can add just about any other veggie or green that you want. Build it to your taste. When it comes to the greens add as much or as little at you prefer. I tend to measure by my handful.

Dressing

1/2 cup good quality olive oil
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (NOT the stuff in the bottle!)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp pure honey (NOT store-bought) (Click the link for a great source of pure honey as well as apple cider vinegar)
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbsp good quality apple cider vinegar

Directions:

For the salad:

  • Rinse the quinoa overnight and when ready cook one cup quinoa to two cups of water. Cook on high until boiling and then simmer for 15 minutes. Rinse, drain and cool in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl combine the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • When the quinoa is cooled off add to your bowl of veggies.

For the dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients and let sit 5 minutes so the flavors will intermingle with each other.
  • Pour over the quinoa salad and mix together. Allow to sit for another 10-15 minutes so the flavors with continue to mingle.
  • When ready pour into a bowl and enjoy!

The ingredients in this recipe are highly cleansing with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As mentioned above it is important to use high-quality ingredients to get the benefits of this wonderful recipe.

This salad if combined with a healthy, clean diet while staying away from sugar, dairy, and caffeine for just a few days, will allow your body to release toxins and detox the body of chemicals you may be carrying in your system unknowingly. You may find your body starts to flush out what it has been holding onto for some time. You will find yourself feeling less bloated, more energetic and healthier all around.

Much Love,
Jennifer

 

Basic Quinoa

Preparation

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use. Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
seasonings to taste

Directions

  • Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear.
  • Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered; fluff with a fork.
  • Season as you like.

For a delicous toasted flavor, dry roast for 5 minutes in a saucepan before adding liquid. 

Adapted from: The Institute For Integrative Nutrition