I see healthy people…….

Fantastic salad meal with quinoa, purple potatoes and chickenless strips

Ever since my spouse had her surgery in early December of 2009, I’ve had to change my way of thinking about food.  She told me, in a narcotic haze, that she needed nutrition to facilitate healing.  Yes, even in a Oxycodone  stupor, she still talks like that.  Nutrition has always been a nasty word to me.  In my silly mind, nutritious foods always sounded bland, dull and boring.  And vegetarian nutritious food, even worse. Yes, people, I am the worst vegetarian because I don’t cook or eat a lot of vegetables, until now……….  

After getting over my 2 day pout fest about having to rethink how I cook and what I have been feeding us for the past two years, a light bulb went on in my head.  Yeah, just like in the cartoons! I  know how to make things taste fantastic.  Garlic and spices!  Everything tastes better when it is properly spiced.  I also looked at it as a culinary adventure.  This is my chance to perhaps try some vegetables that I’ve never had before or to discover new methods for preparing the old stand bys.   Lilias Folan, a television yoga instructor, used to always say “The joy is in the journey” and boy, was she ever right.  

Oh, we still eat pizza and veggie burgers and fries now and then, but a lot less frequently.  Quinoa and brown rice are our new carbohydrate.  We hardly ever eat pasta and we both have noticed that when we do, we always feel too stuffed.  I try to make sure we have at least one dark green vegetable each night for dinner.  I’ve replaced the anemic Romaine hearts from Trader Joe’s with the dark green Romaine heads for our salads.  There is an awesome kale and carrot salad at the deli at New Seasons Market that I am totally addicted to.  

The other night I came up with the salad meal you see pictured at the top of this post.  It was soooo yummy!  

I cut a purple potato into bite sized chunks and steamed until tender firm.  Set aside to cool.  I steamed some broccoli until still bright green and crisp, then I removed it from the heat and plunged the broccoli into ice water to retain the color and stop the cooking process.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels and set aside.  

I had some left over cooked quinoa in the fridge.  I added the beautiful bright green broccoli to it along with some shredded carrot, finely chopped red onion, some grape tomatoes that I halved, about a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese and a handful of Trader Joe’s Golden Berry Blend ( dried fruit blend of golden raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries) and tossed gently to distribute everything.  

I cut up about half a package of Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Strips.  If you have not tried these, you should.  They are better than the Morning Star Farms brand, also cheaper and much lower in calories, fat and sodium.  Also, the list of ingredients is a lot shorter and all full of natural stuff that we have all heard of and can pronounce!  And they are VEGAN!!!

The first word on the back of the box is "Nutritious!

 Using a non-stick pan, I heated 2 teaspoons of olive oil and when nice and hot, I tossed in the steamed purple potatoes and sautéed them until lightly crisped, then I tossed in the chicken-less strips and a clove of minced garlic and some poultry seasoning.  Once everything had a nice golden look to it, I removed from the heat and set aside.  

Next I cut up several dark green leaves of Romaine and thin slices of red cabbage. and tossed in a large bowl.  

OK, almost ready to plate this wonderful nutritious meal up!  

I made my dressing:  

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil  

1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar  

1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce  

1 tablespoon raw honey  

Whisk together until emulsified.  

I took the bowl with the quinoa mixture in it and tossed with just a little of the dressing, saving the rest for the greens.  

Next toss the remaining dressing with the greens mixture.  

Place Romaine salad on the plate.  

Place a generous position of the quinoa mixture on top of the greens.  

Final step, place the potato-chicken-less saute on top.  

Eat your NUTRITIOUS meal!

5 Responses to “I see healthy people…….”

  1. January 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Uh oh, what else did I say when I as in that drug haze?

    She’s not kidding; I thought she was going to snap at the thought of having to eat vegetables. I never had a doubt that she’d step up and create culinary magic regardless of whether she was working with cheese and pasta or broccoli and brown rice.

    There’s been no lack of flavor or flair coming out of Vampiregran’s kitchen of delights. And we both feel better and better every day. (And our clothes are beginning to get less snug. Woo hoo!)

    Thank you, my Love, for taking such good care of us!

  2. January 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    And thank you for helping me see the value of eating better foods. I never thought I would enjoy this challenge so much.

  3. 3 angel
    January 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    y’all are so cute & the salad looks so yummy, you might even get me to try those Chicken-less/like thingies….

  4. January 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Oh, you will try them and you wil like them, Angel! Well, we first must check to see if they have any wheat in ’em. Thanks for the comment and for checking up on us. We’re looking forward to meeting you guys for dinner tonight. See ya!

  5. January 31, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Ahhhhhhh, my favorite thing: healthy, veggie-packed cooking! (Notice I did not say “baking”…) It’s amazing how much food can affect our energy – and not just “I have so much energy today!” but instead our soul energy. All foods have a vibration, and the more processed a food is, the lower its vibration.

    Unfortunately, I’m allergic to soy (makes my skin break out), so if those chickenless strips are made from soy, I’d have to skip them. The rest sounds fantastic, though!

    Keep at it, and please keep sharing your delicious and nutritious recipes!

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