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Healthy Living Recipes

Chef Deb Morgan: Summer salad season is upon us! The popular, light salads below are easy to make, save well in the refrigerator, and are very versatile, not to mention nutritious. Serve any of these salads over a nice plate of field greens or even cooked greens with a light soup and/or your favorite whole grain bread. Leftovers can be used the next day to fill a whole wheat or vegetable wrap—just add fresh spinach or lettuce and roll it up. For a gluten-free treat, use a large lettuce or kale leaf as your wrap. Get together with some friends, make these salads together, sit outside—and enjoy.

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Serves four.
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time.

1 cup quinoa
1¾ cup water
½ cup red pepper, diced
2 scallions
¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 fresh ripe avocado
Optional add-ins: organic raw cheddar cheese, cooked black beans, roasted asparagus

Rinse quinoa and drain. Place in a saucepan and cover with measured water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let remain covered for another 10 minutes until all water is absorbed. Remove and fluff with fork onto a tray to cool. When quinoa is cool, add peppers, scallions, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Combine olive oil, water, lime juice, and salt. Toss with quinoa. Garnish with fresh, sliced avocado and any of the other add-ins.

Read John Bagnulo’s commentary: Nutritional Superstars—Avocado and Quinoa.

The quinoa avocado salad offers so much nutritionally. Once maligned for their fat content, avocados are a super food, great at helping reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that simply adding one avocado to an individual’s diet each day had a dramatic effect on blood lipids—without causing weight gain. The fat in an avocado is largely monounsaturated fat and contains a group of phytosterols that reduce cholesterol production and our risk for cancer. Quinoa, a staple of Andean culture, is an extremely nutrient-dense grain, which is rare. A good source of calcium and magnesium, it offers the majority of the essential amino acids, making it close to a complete protein. It is a good idea to rinse your quinoa first, which will remove some of the saponins (these have a laxative-like effect when consumed in substantial amounts).

Exotic Carrot Salad

Serves four.
Prep time: 10 minutes.

2 cups grated carrots
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds, raw or toasted
¼ cup chunked fresh pineapple

¼ cup vegenaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
Grated ginger and fresh cilantro to taste
Pinch salt

Simply mix together salad ingredients and top with dressing.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Serves two (can easily be doubled).
Prep time: 10 minutes with canned beans, 1 hour to cook beans.

1 can (1½ cups) black beans drained (or use soaked and cooked dry ones)
1 ear fresh, cooked corn on the cob
1 small carrot, either grated or small diced
1 stalk celery, small diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar (available in natural-food stores)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon sea salt
Cilantro to taste

Combine cooked beans with fresh, cooked corn stripped from the cob, carrots, celery, and parsley. Mix dressing ingredients and splash over salad. Can be eaten immediately, and it gets even better as it sits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe source: Deb Morgan, Kripalu Kitchen.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.