On 4th of July my extended family gets together at my mom’s house for a barbecue, then we watch fireworks from the backyard patio. My mom and her husband, Arnie, provide the main dish and delicious home made ice cream. The rest of us bring side dishes and appetizers. This year was especially fun, because some of my cousins were there that I rarely get to see. I loved watching our kids play together, like we did when we were their age! Emily made gluten free cupcakes to add to the dessert, and I made this Simple Quinoa Salad.
Quinoa is considered a superfood by many. It is gluten free, as well as high in protein and fiber, making it a great option for diabetics. Paired with raw nuts, veggies, and a little cheese this salad can really turn into a full vegetarian meal. You could also add some black beans if you want more protein and fiber!
I could talk about the health benefits of just about every ingredient in this dish, but today I’d like to focus on the cilantro. Dark green herbs, like cilantro, are known for their detoxifying effect on the body. More specifically, cilantro helps rid the body of heavy metals. It also is high in antioxidants and may be helpful in managing blood sugar levels and can help you get a good night of sleep. It seems to me like researchers have just touched the tip of the iceberg on the helpful qualities of cilantro! Eat lots of it! If you want to know more, check out this article.
You can really use any kind of cheese that sounds good to you in this dish. I used paneer, which is a really tasty Indian cheese that can be found at Sprouts (and probably other stores, but that’s where I found it). The one I bought was unsalted, so I added some sea salt as I chopped it up. If you want to make a vegan quinoa salad simply omit the cheese. The walnuts, avocados, and quinoa should have plenty of protein to make this a complete meal without the cheese.
Before I get to the recipe for the Simple Quinoa Salad, I’d like to invite you to join with others who are making healthy changes! Let me walk alongside you on your journey towards wholeness and health! Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May you find freedom from food habits that are destructive to a full life!