Monday, March 24, 2014

Vegan Monday ~ Warm Spring Salad


Welcome to Vegan Mondays! This is the first Vegan Monday blog and my own spin on the Meatless Monday movement. 

Why did I decide to have a Vegan Monday? It seems I am constantly looking for new, delicious and simple vegan recipes.  I need more vegan dishes that not only will my husband and I enjoy but also our grandkids. We use to eat about 75% raw and vegan, but now that is up to around 90%.  I found our health and energy levels improved with less dairy and meat. Fewer issues with inflammation, better sleep and healthier weight have all come with eating a mainly vegan diet. Don’t get me wrong we eat fish once or twice a week, a little organic dairy and occasionally organic meat. When I say occasionally, I am talking a few times a month.  There are times when I feel a need for an organic bone broth or chicken soup. When that moment arises I listen to my body and partake of what it needs.  

To be honest, if we could afford more organic dairy and meats, we might eat more of it. But on the flip side I truly believe that as an American, we eat too much red meat and too little fruits and veggies.  For us meat is the side dish, not the main course. That brings me back to the need for vegan dishes! So starting today I will be hosting Vegan Mondays which will feature vegan dishes for you and your family to try. ENJOY and remember to eat your veggies.

Today's recipe is a Warm Spring Salad (from Oh She Glows). It is delicious. Because of the addition of Quinoa, the salad has lots of protein. Where I live, my choices for finding many healthy staples are limited and nothing is in bulk. I currently purchase my Quinoa from Amazon (who is an affiliate of mine). The price is good and I can get it in 4 lb bags.

Warm Spring Salad ~

•1 cup uncooked quinoa
•1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
•1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
•3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
•1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
•2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
•3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
•1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
•lemon zest, for garnish
1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.

This is also delicious served cold ~      Recipe and image from Oh She Glows.

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