Kale, Beet, and Baby Bella Quinoa with a Spirulina Balsamic

quinoa-with-steamed-vegetables-photo.jpg

The husband and I were at a terribly fabulous wedding this weekend in Cashiers, N.C. As you know we recently moved, so this was in so many ways, an official send-off. Needless to say, it was also a weekend of over indulgence. In fact, the only thing we didn’t get enough of was sleep. I have no regrets, including when I cried like a svelte baby at the sight of the blushing bride. I was so filled with emotions, I was unable to spit the words “congratulations” out. Oh emotion, don’t you just wish you could control when it surfaced?

Quinoa is the ideal food when you’re in the market for a good detox because it’s a built in protein source so that you stay fuller longer when you’re trying to behave. I did a roasted beet recipe yesterday, but today I thought I’d try and steam the beets so they would retain even more of their nutrient density. Beets are also great for detoxification because they have a phytonutrient called betalains. Betalains are what give beets that deep red color.

When you’re looking for intensely healthy fruits and vegetables, one of the most obvious clues is found in the deep pigment. Consider the super dark green found in kale and Spirulina or the bright purples found in purple cabbage and plums. Remind yourself that when a food in saturated with color, it’s also saturated with antioxidants.

I added a deep green hue to a simple balsamic vinaigrette with a scoop of Spirulina. I wrote about Spirulina last week over at Discovery Fit & Health. Spirulina is 60 to 70 percent protein by weight and contains a rich source vitamin B12, vitamin A, and iron. It’s also particularly useful for those with poor digestion and assimilation, poor vitality and anemia, those who are overweight or obese, and those with active, high energy life styles.

Kale, Beet, and Baby Bella Quinoa with a Spirulina Balsamic

1/2 beet, skin removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups roughly chopped kale, stems removed
1 cup, chopped baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup Spirulina balsamic vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Method

1. Add beets to the steamer and cook for 20 minutes or until a fork easily punctures the skin. Add in kale and mushrooms and steam for five minutes.

2. Prepare the quinoa at the same time. Add 1 1/2 cups of cold water to a 2 quart pot. Add in quinoa and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and with the top on, cook for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Top with a generous portion of the Spirulina balsamic.

Spirulina Balsamic Vinaigrette

2/3 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp Nama shoyu
1 tbsp stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp Spirulina

Method

1. Whisk all of the ingredients except for the Spirulina together. Remove 1/4 cup from the mixture and add Spirulina to the smaller portion.

Recipe adapted from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine

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More on Detoxing
Rethinking the Smoothie: The Green Goddess
Liver and Intestinal Cleanse: Dried Daikon, Kombu and Shitake
6 Days and 6 Ways: Total Yoga Detox

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Sara Kovak
Welcome to Serene Kitchen, your destination for tasty meatless eats and mindful living. My name is Sara Novak and I'm a health and wellness expert for Discovery Health and TreeHugger.