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Jeweled Quinoa Salad with Brussel Sprouts, Kale and Pistachio
by Chef Rebecca Frye
 
  
This is a delicious and satisfying grain salad, packed with nutrients from the deep green kale, and fresh brussel sprouts, as well as a great source of protein and essential amino acids from the quinoa. Quinoa is one of my absolute favorite grains, it is nutty and subtle in taste, and goes well with almost any flavors. Add fresh spices and herbs, and nuts or seeds for some crunch, and you have a delicious and healthy side dish or lunch.
 
The recipe calls for massaging raw kale. This is a way to break down the kale and make it more digestible, without cooking it, therefore keeping the enzymes and nutrients better intact. The salt, oil, and acid from the vinegar break down the kale with the massaging action, and result in a vibrant green addition to the salad. Top with antioxidant rich goji berries, for a sweet finishing touch.
 
    •       1 tablespoon coconut oil
    •       ¾ pound brussel sprouts, trimmed, thinly sliced
    •       2 medium leeks white & green parts, thinly sliced
    •       2 cloves garlic, minced
    •       ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    •       ¼ cup goji berries
    •       1 bunch kale , stemmed, thinly sliced
    •       2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    •       2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    •       1 teaspoon sea salt
    •       1 teaspoon ground coriander
    •       3 cups cooked quinoa
    •       ¼ cup pistachios , roughly chopped
    •       ¼ cup cilantro
 
Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet. Add leeks, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in brussel sprouts, garlic, coriander, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until sprouts have softened, add goji berries, then continue to saute for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine kale, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. Massage kale with hands for 8-10 minutes until softened and bright green in color. Add cooled brussel sprout mixture, quinoa, cilantro, and pistachios to the bowl and stir to combine. Add second tablespoon of olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, and pistachios, and extra goji berries if desired.
Serves 4-6
Kale: Kale is a member of the cabbage family, and is a highly nutritious food. Kale is rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, and much more. Kale has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerous properties. 
Quinoa: Although the texture and taste of quinoa is very similar to other grains, it technically is not a grain. Quinoa is a great staple food for vegetarians as it is very high in protein and is almost a complete source of essential amino acids. These properties are fairly uncommon in plant foods. Quinoa is gluten free, and contains magnesium, folic acid, iron and phosphorus.
 
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About the Author

Rebecca Frye: I grew up in Northern California and have always been very close with my parents and my older brother. Growing up, I always loved cooking and baking, and I was raised on a standard omnivorous diet. Unfortunate health scares with both my mom and dad prompted me to start researching nutrition in my early adulthood, in which time I realized my true passion for cooking and the benefits of a plant-based, whole foods diet. I then sought out education at Bauman College to further educate myself on the subject, and enhance my culinary skills. I now work to educate people through in-home and public cooking classes, personal chef services, and more. My main goal is to educate people that a plant-based, whole foods diet is not only easy, but delicious, fulfilling, and healing to the body, all the while sustaining to the earth. I believe that it is easy and worthwhile to prepare all-natural, homemade food everyday. There is something so wonderful about a delicious meal, prepared with care, from high quality, nourishing ingredients, and it can be done easily, any day of the week. I am also a member of the Slow Food Society, as I firmly believe in supporting local businesses, farmers, and sustainable, organic farming.

 

 

 

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