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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sprouting 101 - My video tutorial (plus a great salad recipe!)

I don't have time to blog everyday!  But I MUST share the delicious and SIMPLE salad that I made today.

I'm not sure if it was the avocado, or the avocado and dressing together, or the fact that I made it and drizzled the dressing at 7:00 am but didn't eat it until 1:00 (giving the flavors lots of time to blend)... but for me, it was a magical combination! In fact, it was sooooo good, that I came home from work and made another.  Isn't it pretty!

So.. here's the recipe:

Strawberry Spinach Salad (see... you just know by the title it's going to be easy!)

1 1/2 (or so) Cups fresh spinach leaves, torn (organic if possible!)
 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved (organic, if possible!)
2 or 3 T fresh red onion, diced
1/2 ripe avocado
scattering of freshly sprouted quinoa (don't quit because you don't have this!)

2-3 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
pinch of sea salt

Honestly, I'm making up these dressing quantities because I just grabbed bowl and dumped a little of each.  Shake or stir it vigorously.  Drizzle on your salad.

I really can't begin to tell you how delicious this was!

OK - regarding the quinoa... I used it because I had it - which is really how all salads are born!  This salad would not taste any different without the sprouted Quinoa.  But is was SUPER nutritious with it!

Did you know that Quinoa is one the best staple foods for weight loss? It is very low in fat calories and contains high levels of fiber and proteins. One cup of cooked quinoa is less than 200 calories with only 3 grams of fat. What’s better is that almost all of the fat in quinoa is unsaturated and is beneficial for your health.

Quinoa is less starchy than wheat or rice. Its carbohydrate content consists mostly of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Each cup of cooked quinoa can deliver more than 1/5 of your daily fiber needs.

Quinoa beats most other grains in terms of protein concentration. One cup of cooked quinoa gives you about 8 grams of protein. The further advantage is that the proteins in quinoa are made up of all varieties of essential amino acids, including lysine, which is not found in wheat or rice.

If you've never seen it, it looks somewhat like couscous.  It has a very mild, if any flavor - which means you can put it in anything! If you choose to cook it, I've had the best success by boiling it for 20 minutes and letting it stand for another 5.  Use it in place of rice, or in soups, on salads, etc...  I've made many cold quinoa salads by adding peppers, tomatoes, onions....

In this recipe, I did not cook my quinoa - I sprouted it.  (As noted in yesterdays blog!)  Quinoa sprouts very quickly - about 48 hours.

Quinoa can be purchased anywhere these days, as it's quickly gaining notoriety!  I've seen it at Meijer near the rice. It can also be purchased at any natural food store.  It about triples in size when you sprout it.  So, if you start with 1 cup of quinoa seeds, you will end up with about 3 cups (maybe a little less) sprouted quinoa.  It doesn't get huge and fluffy..

Because so many people have private messaged me asking for more info about sprouting, I came home from work today and made my own little video tutorial. Please try not to get fixated on my muffin top, as I did when I previewed the video!  It'll be hard.. but please try to focus on the message! :)  There are two parts - because I ran out of storage midway through.  So watch them in order.

Enjoy the video and GET SPROUTING!!

Part 1

Part 2

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