My regular readers may have noticed that nowadays my recipes are leaning more and more towards healthy cooking. The reason is that just recently I was told that my A1C is rising (due to asthma medications) and that if I want to avoid getting full-blown diabetes, I have to eat super-healthy food. Of course, this came as terrible news to me but it gave me an incentive to make some major changes to my diet – I have reduced my carb intake drastically (extremely minimal use of all-purpose flour, white rice or potatoes) and I have cut out all sugar. The only sugar I am taking is through a bit of natural honey, vegetables and fruits – these too I have restricted to 3 servings a day and through all organic sources. But my bottom line is that I am not compromising on taste – instead I have taken to enhancing the taste of my dishes with the use of lots of fresh herbs and also a variety of citrus zest. So today’s experiment was to make a salad with quinoa (which has a low glycemic index and that is why great for those trying to cut out carbs from their diet). I combined it with two of my favorite fruit – grapefruit and avocado. I added a bit of the zest of the grapefruit and a few leaves of fresh mint to give the salad extra flavor and zing – absolute heaven in a bite!!!!
1. One cup of organic white quinoa
2. One organic grapefruit
3. One organic ripe avocado
4. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
5. ½ tablespoon of honey
6. ½ tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
7. 15-20 toasted almonds
8. Salt and pepper to taste
9. A small bunch of fresh mint leaves
10. One cup of chicken broth (if you want it all vegetarian, you can omit this and use water instead).
1. Wash and rinse the quinoa under cold water
2. In a small sauce pan add the washed quinoa and one cup of water and one cup of chicken broth (if you want it all vegetarian or vegan you can use only 2 cups of water or one cup of vegetable broth) and heat over medium heat. When the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes (till quinoa is cooked). Then take the quinoa off the heat and let it cool and come to room temperature. Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl.
3. Using a sharp knife roughly chop the toasted almonds.
4. Wash and roughly chop the mint leaves.
7. With a sharp knife peel the grapefruit and then carefully cut the fleshy sections out of the grapefruit and add them to the mixing bowl.
8. With your hands, squeeze the remaining bits of the grapefruit into a small bowl and take all the juice out.
11. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and fruit and then gently toss with a large spoon.
12. Serve the salad immediately so that the grapefruit and avocado are fresh and don’t get bitter or lose color due to the oxidation process. Enjoy!!!