Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quinoa-Corn Basil Salad & Retreat Photos

Last weekend, I cooked for a yoga retreat with Pedro Franco and Chrisandra Fox at Harbin Hot Springs. Here are some shots of our first meal. The weather was HOT and dry, so I kept it summery and fresh for us... using the last of the summer tomatoes!
heirloom tomato, cucumber plate with basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, s&p

add baby spinach (dress as you'd like style) plus quinoa-corn basil salad (RECIPE BELOW!)

served right in the kitchen!

It was a weekend of grounding, soulful yoga + soaking in hot springs + good, clean food. YUM.

I'm always amazed how much a few days of really clean eating (no meat, dairy, added sugar or processed foods - all fresh stuff from scratch, baby) can reboost and cleanse my body. Even though I aim to eat well all the time, I'm far from perfect.

If you're feeling a little heavy or clogged up, pick a weekend to set aside to feed yourself delicious, fresh and clean foods and take extra-special care of yourself (relax, massage, walks, quiet time with people who raise you up). You deserve it all.

Quinoa Corn Salad with Basil
This salad is a delight to make in the summer when fresh basil and corn are in abundance. If you’re a newcomer to quinoa, this is a good recipe to try as an introduction because it’s tasty, quick and easy. You’ll have time to prepare the basil, red peppers and onion while the quinoa is cooling. For a striking presentation, serve the salad inside hollowed-out beefsteak tomatoes.

1 1⁄2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn (from about 4 ears)
1⁄2 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers
1⁄2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil (try playing with flavored varieties!)
3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

In medium saucepan, combine quinoa, salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking and cooling, prep your corn, roasted red peppers (I've used sun-dried or fresh tomatoes here instead with great results), onion and place in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

When your quinoa is cooled a bit (this salad is great warm or chilled – I often just use leftover quinoa), scoop into the same mixing bowl, top with basil, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. It should be enough to give the salad a distinct lemony edge. Season with salt to taste, garnish with a few whole basil leaves. Serves 4.

AND BEYOND: I've found this to be a great starting place to playing with grain salads. Sub in other veggies, herbs, vinegars, nuts and seeds, olives, even fresh or dried fruit.

Take this recipe idea and run with it – use this to make the stuffed peppers, tomatoes, squash or eggplant OR collard green wraps below!

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