Pomegranate Spinach Salad

P1020239Eating a bit too much chocolate at work? Going out for Christmas lunches, company Christmas dinners, evenings out with friends, and indulging in all things rich, delicious, boozy and associated with the Christmas season? Hell, have you been staying at home to avoid the crowds and eating too much take-out, bags of potato chips, and left over Halloween candy?

You need a salad. I need a salad. So here’s a salad that visually looks like Christmas, tastes delicious, but won’t clog your arteries.

POMEGRANATE SPINACH SALAD

1 pomegranate
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 cups fresh baby spinach
2 oranges, peeled and segemented
1/2 small red onion, super thinly sliced

Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. If you know of an easy way to do this, share it with me. Our kitchen walls, my shirt, our counters, our floor, was covered in pomegranate juice.

In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk.

In a large bowl combine the spinach, orange segments, onion and pomegranate seeds. Toss.

Drizzle vinegar mixture. Toss to coat.

Eat, enjoy, and feel good about yourself.

Quinoa and Apple Salad

Quinoa is a super food. It’s rich with protein, is a good source of fibre, contains essential amino acids, and looks weird. Ergo, it must be good for you.

I tried eating quinoa about a year ago. I boiled some up and ate it plain.  I didn’t feel instantly healthy or impressed.

More recently, I discovered that one of my favourite lunch haunts, Sunterra in Commerce Place here in Edmonton, sells a quinoa and apple salad in their market. I have had it a few times, and it is delicious.

Although buying lunch from Sunterra does not drain the bank account, I said to myself, “I can make this myself”. So I did. And here’s what I came up with:

Quinoa and Apple Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
Granny smith apple – peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
Corn (canned) (I used a little less than one small tin)
Orange pepper – chopped
Green onions, 3 – sliced thin, include the green bits
Parsley, a handful, chopped fine
Lemon juice (just a few squirts to keep the apples from turning brown)
Dry cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
Chili flakes (a few shakes of the shaker)
Garlic (2 cloves – minced fine)
Mint (I use dried mint leaves – one or two tsp)
1/4 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup (a bit less than that) canola oil

Cook one cup quinoa in two cups water per package directions.  Which means put the quinoa and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Leave it alone for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with fork. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile…  chop your apple and veggies, open the can of corn, squirt your lemon juice and mix it all together with lemon juice, cranberries, chili flakes, and mint.

Then…. make a vinaigrette:  I mixed about 1/4 cup white vinegar with a bit less than a 1/4 cup canola oil. Whisk with salt, pepper, and about 1/2 tsp of sugar. Or to taste.

Mix the cold quinoa, apple, vegetables mix and vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Admire the pretty colours.  Eat.  Feel healthy.