Summer Quinoa Asian Flavoured Salad

With summer well underway, finding new salad recipes are a must on my to do list since I am constantly making the same one! 

Since my diet has predominantly been Paleo since Feb 2013, I backed away from cooking non-paleo items such as quinoa. I do however eat it every so often when going out. (if you are not sure about the Paleo diet is about, read this article)

Recently, I picked some up at Bulk Barn and made a batch of it.  I threw plain quinoa in a couple salads and then found Dr. Oz's Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies - OMG, to die for!

Anyways, at dinner last weekend, my partners parents and best friend came over and we each contributed a few dishes. Since I have been on this quinoa kick, I decided to make an Asian inspired version.

This recipe is very easy, however is a bit labour intensive due to the cutting of all the ingredients (I recommend doing this while chatting with friends or watching your favourite TV show).

The Asian dressing is simply delicious and so easy to make...just make sure you have all the ingredients on hand! 

Quinoa Salad
Yields: about 6-8 servings

3 cups quinoa, cooked
2 cups carrots, shredded
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cucumber, cubed
1/2 shallot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 kale leave, finely chopped
1 apple, chopped into small cubes
1 1/2 tbs toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Cook quinoa and let cool. 
(Place 3 cups of water or chicken stock in pot and bring to a boil. Add 1.5 cups of uncooked quinoa to pot, bring to a boil again, reduce to a simmer and add lid. Cook for about 10-15 mins. To check, take off lid, stir around quinoa and check to see that all liquid absorbed. If not absorbed, put lid back on and wait a couple more minutes.)

Cut remaining ingredients above and add to bowl.

Add cooked quinoa and dressing (see below) to ingredients cut above and mix thoroughly. 

Place in fridge for at least 60 minutes to allow flavours to mix and quinoa to cool down. 

Asian Dressing
Yield: about 1/3 cup

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar 
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 teaspoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon pureed garlic from jar (or freshly minced)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tbs water (to thin out)

Place all ingredients into a small bowl and stir together until smooth or into a jar with a tight lid and shake well.

- You can make this up to a couple days in advance, the flavours will mix beautifully

- If you don't have time for the quinoa to cool in fridge for 60 mins, cover with saran wrap and stick in freezer for 20-30 mins before serving. Ensure you mix it one more time after removing from freezer.

Easy paprika carrots

I came home the other night and the only fresh vegetable I had on hand was a bag of carrots. I could have eaten them raw, but that was not that enticing, especially at dinner time, so I decided to make something up on the spot. 

I have a lot of nice sounding spices in my cabinet, but to be quite honest, sometimes I don't know what to do with them and it comes down to trial and error when making meals. My goal in creating this recipe was to keep it simple

You can roast most veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and it will taste delicious. I took this recipe to another level and added garlic (pre-grated) and hot smoked paprika to the mix. After 30 minutes, they came out beautifully cooked and absolutely flavourful. 

Paleo Choco Love Cookies

These are my favourite Paleo cookies and I have made them time and time again. The weather in Toronto has been pretty poopy lately and the lack of sun really has affected my mood. The other morning before going to work, I decided to whip up a batch. These babies take around 10 mins to prep and 12 mins to bake. They are a great treat when you are looking for an gluten free, processed sugar free alternative. They are firm on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.  I promise when you eat them, they will make you feel as happy as I felt after making them. :) 

Bliss Balls: Playa Coconut

Lately 'Bliss Balls' have been on my radar for a fun and easy treat to make. For those of you who have never heard of them, or really don't know what they are, they are raw, naturally sweet, dessert balls. Bliss Balls can be eaten as a great afternoon snack or a light dessert when you feel like something sweet, or even before a workout when you need that extra pick me up.

Since they are raw, they are full of live enzymes, a great source of fat, antioxidants and make a great energizing snack.

Your family, friends, guests, will love this decadent treat (which was proven this past weekend when I served them at two parties)! The recipe below is vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and very easy to make!

Fruity toast for breakfast

My toast has almond butter, banana, cinnamon, blueberries,
goji berries and pumpkin seeds.
We all enjoy toast for breakfast, but we are usually in such a rush, or too lazy to make it fun, tasty, and to be quite honest, filling.

Try out this fruity toast which has a balance of the macronutrients we need to provide us energy! These macronutrients are fats, protein, carbohydrates and amino acids.

After toasting your bread (I recommend bread that has no preservatives or fake ingredients), the extra steps to make this fruity toast takes less than two minutes. And the best part, you can use any combination of ingredients you have in your kitchen so you don't have to buy each listed below! Best news ever!

To complement this breakfast, a green 
smoothie will round it out leaving you full
for hours!