Quinoa Salad-The Easy Take Anywhere Meal!

One of the most important aspects of healthy eating is planning! This is especially true in the beginning of your health or weight loss journey when you are just learning about what actually constitutes “healthy” eating.  You may “think” you are making good nutritional choices when grabbing lunch at the food court.  However, the reality is, you simply don’t know, what you don’t know.  Your best bet is packing a lunch! I mention lunch specifically because it seems to be the meal that most often slips through the cracks.  Not to mention, making poor food choices at lunch will set you up for that  3 p.m. "crash" that will send your cravings for sweets into overdrive!  Even so, many people complain about taking leftovers to work.  Truth, I’m not really into leftovers myself. My one exception: QUINOA SALAD! I am a massive fan of quinoa salads because they are meant to be cold, you can pack them full of “Superfoods” and even the quinoa itself is nutrient dense and gluten free!  (which for me, means a happy tummy!) So without further adieu, I present you with my favorite recipe! Qunioa and Kale Super Food Salad 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 handful of dried organic cranberries 1 small bunch of organic kale 3 green onions ½ cup of walnuts ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds ¼ cup of gogi berries ½ fresh lemon Dressing: ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar Maple Syrup (to taste) ¼ cup Olive Oil Dijon mustard (to taste) I’ll be straight with you, my dressing is never the same twice.  I just play with it until it tastes yummy!  I personally like this ratio of oil to vinegar, but many people prefer more oil, its really up to you. I recommend adding some organic Tempeh for extra protein! Directions: In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa for 12-14 minutes, until just tender and the germ separates, making a curly Q.  Drain well in a fine colander, then add the cranberries, cover and set aside to cool. Next wash the kale and then pull the curly leaves off by holding the stalk with your thumb and finger and firmly pulling downwards.  Chop the kale into small bite size pieces.  Then take the juice of ½ the lemon and massage the kale until is becomes soft and turns a bright green colour. photo Next simply add the kale to the quinoa and cranberries, toss in the walnuts, chopped green onions, gogi berries and pumpkin seeds.  Add dressing, toss again and voila! photo This salad is even tastier the next day and will last up to 3 days in the fridge! Enjoy and let me know how you like it! Best in health, Ciara Foy  

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