Monday, January 30, 2012

Rainbow Salad and Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms and Eggplant

Rainbow Salad

Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Portabello Mushrooms, Eggplant, and Pumpkin Seeds

Vegetarian diets in general have a more cooling effect on the body.  However, using an oven to cook your meals can add a more of a warming quality to your food than steaming or simmering.  It also enhances sweet flavors.  Concentrated proteins, such as the goat cheese in this dish, are deeply nourishing and also add more heat to the body, building resistance to the cold- even in January! 

This meal features quinoa, sacred grain of the Incas.  It was believed to have been brought from heaven by a bird.   According to the Baby Boomer Diet by Donna Gates:
"During the European conquest of South America, quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as   "food for Indians" and even actively suppressed.  Because it imparted so much energy and strength, growing it was forbidden, on pain of death.  Instead, the Spaniards introduced rice, wheat, and barley.  Fortunately, quinoa still grew wild in the higher altitudes, where it could be hidden from the Spaniards, and small amounts were consumed in secret.  But its ban had an irrevocable impact on the Incan culture.  The grain fell into obscurity for centuries." 

Salad Tip:  For wonderful salads all week, make a few cups of shredded carrots and beets in your food processor and then store in an airtight container to use any time

Rainbow Salad: 
Mesculin Salad Greens
shredded carrot/beet mix
thinly sliced red or white onions
dried cranberries
raw goat feta cheese
a sprinkle of dill and black pepper

Cold pressed sesame oil mixed with Balsamic Vinegar to taste with a little honey if desired

Instructions:  Toss the salad.  Add the dressing.  You're done!

Quinoa Pasta:
one box of quinoa spaghetti
your favorite spaghetti sauce
2 portabello mushrooms
1/2 of a medium sized eggplant
1 leek
pumpkin seeds

Step 1:  Follow the instructions on the box to make the quinoa pasta.  Place in a serving bowl and add a dash of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. 

Step 2:  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Slice the portobello mushrooms about 1" thick.  Slice and quarter the eggplant into 1/2" thick slices.  Slice the leek into 1/2" slices.  Then, mix all the vegetables together in a roasting pan.  Lightly coat with melted ghee, coconut oil, or palm oil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes (but keep an eye on 'em!), stirring once during the process.  

Step 3:  Layer the pasta, tomato sauce, and roasted veggies.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and fresh, chopped parsley.  

Step 4:  Enjoy your beautiful meal.  

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