Monday, July 7, 2014

Meatless Monday Zesty Arugula-Quinoa Salad with Parmesan Cheese

The concept of eating healthy is akin to married men remaining faithful to one woman. Everyone knows that it is the right thing to do but secretly covets another woman. Think about it.. and you will find evidence everywhere..

That's my rant for the day. Let's now  get back to eating healthy. On July 4 th, we went over to my friend's place to watch fireworks from her terrace. I wanted to make a salad for her as she too wants to "eat healthy".
So that afternoon when I went to the farmer's market, I bought some arugula, fresh radish and some fruits. Being that it was Friday, it was laundry day and I had to get that done before leaving to their house. By the time I got that done and gave the kids their dinner , I had just enough time to wash an dry the arugula leaves. Back it went into the fridge. I just packed the washed fruits in a nice little box and took it for her. Guess what we had for dinner??? Chinese!!!! Luckily her thoughtful husband ordered some Chow fun with lots of vegetables for me with some eggplant dish. Funnily, we thoroughly enjoyed the rice noodles!

So there was the arugula sitting in my fridge, which I decided had to be demolished tonight or else it was going to go bad. I hate to waste good food! I sliced up red radish, diced some cucumber, chopped a few apricots,added leftover quinoa, made a lime dressing and topped it with some toasted almonds, cranberries and Parmesan cheese. Voila! A wholesome dinner was ready!

Now the recipe in detail:

Servings: 2


Arugula: 1 small bunch, washed & ,leaves separated.
Cooked Quinoa: 1 cup
Red radish: 3 medium sized, cleaned,sliced thin.
Cucumber: 1 medium, peeled and diced.
Apricots: 4, sliced lengthwise
Lime juice: 3/4tbsp, from one small lime.
Rice vinegar: 1/2 tbsp
Olive oil: 4 tbsp( I used extra virgin)
Sea Salt: 1/8 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp, freshly ground.
Parmesan cheese: 2 tbsp, grated/ powdered.
Almonds: 2 tbsp,toasted and slivered.
Craisins: 2 tbsp.


In a salad bowl, take arugula leaves, cooked quinoa, diced cucumber, sliced radish and apricots.

In a small jar, take  lime juice, rice vinegar,olive oil, salt & pepper . Close the jar and shake well.Add this to the salad and mix well.

Top it with Parmesan cheese, slivered almonds and cranberries.

Serve immediately.

Cooking made easy:

This salad can be served by layering the ingredients: make a bed of arugula, place the quinoa on top, then the cucumbers and radish , pour the dressing and  top it with apricot, almond, cranberries and Parmesan cheese.

If the marinade is mixed in the salad, it is best to serve the salad immediately for this kind of salads. The other option is to serve the dressing on the side.

You could substitute strawberries for the apricots ,walnuts for the almonds and feta cheese /blue cheese instead of Parmesan cheese.

Tip for healthy living:

Salads are healthy only as long as the dressing is healthy. Eating a salad defeats the purpose if you top it with calorie-rich dressings like ranch, Caesar, blue cheese etc. Opt for a simple low calorie dressing like some kind of vinaigrette or basic lemon juice-olive oil dressing.

Food for thought:

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt