Still going strong! Is it weird that a perfect Saturday night for me is defined as THIS, exactly THIS? Sitting (& lying down, a.k.a. switching up my positions here & there), writing up all my recipes that I whipped up today for meal prep to share them with you guys, in hopes that you guys will:
1) LOVE & ENJOY THEM! &
2) be MOTIVATED to get in the KITCH & MEAL PREP too!
Quinoa is one of my fave sources of plant-based protein! SOOOO… it’s only fitting that today’s meal prep included a quinoa salad!
This one’s made with pomegranate, cilantro, cucumber & my fave sun-sweetened (& no added sugar) Turkish sun-dried tomatoes by Fruit Bliss (They’re sun-sweetened, contain no added preservatives or sugar, aren’t overly dry or hard, have just the right amount of moisture, amazing texture, great taste & SUPER SCRUMPTIOUS!!!).
The dressing is simple & easy: made with just lemon, red wine vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder & YACON SYRUP for natural sweetness (It also contains ZERO sugar & tons of prebiotics, which fuel our gut lining with healthy bacteria & promote their growth & overall gut health!). P.S. To read more about gut health, click here: Everything You Need To Know To Heal Your Gut a.k.a. GO WITH YOUR GUT, ALWAYS.
WHAT IN EARTH’S MIND IS YACON SYRUP, right?
Yacon is a natural sweetener extracted from the roots of the yacon plant. It’s a bit thicker than maple syrup, but not as thick as raw organic honey – IT FALLS SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN!
It ranks very low score-wise on the glycemic index & has a high concentration of indigestible inulin (a type of carb)! It’s great alternative NATURAL sweetener for diabetics & for those looking to reduce sugar consumption or kick a sugar addiction! You can use it for baking, smoothies, desserts, sauces, dressings & marinades! AND THIS QUINOA SALAD!!!!
One of the things that makes this syrup an enticing sweetener alternative for men s the fact that it contains a high % of fructooligosaccharides, which are PREBIOTICS! They pass through the upper part of the GI tract & remain undigested. When they reach the colon undigested, THE GUT MICROFLORA FERMENTS THEM, increasing bowel mass & promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. This is why it can be helpful for this who deal with certain digestive issues, such as providing natural constipation relief or treating diarrhea.
Basically, the prebiotic nature of the fructooligosaccharides help stimulate selectively the growth of two friendly bacteria (bifidobacteria & lactobacilli) in the gut & thereby, increase the body’s digestive process & its natural resistance to invading toxins & pathogens.
AND, if all that wasn’t good enough, in general, when we consume prebiotics, it promotes a positive modulation of the immune system, overall improving the resistance to infections & decreasing allergic reactions!
These same indigestible carbs also increase calcium absorption in the body, which can in turn help build stronger bones.
BTW, I may have cheated the 5-ingredient rule with this one… BUT NOT BY MUCH! The salad only contains 5, BUT THEN… What’s a quinoa salad without the dressing, ya dig? Heck, what’s any salad without a dressing?
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 cup of cooked organic quinoa;
- 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, CHOPPED;
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds;
- 1 cucumber, DICED;
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, DICED;
FOR THE DRESSING:
- The juice of a lemon;
- 1/4 cup organic red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. yacon syrup (You can swap for maple syrup if you prefer or don’t have yacon syrup on hand!);
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. garlic powder (All depending how garlicky you want it!);
- Sea salt & black pepper for seasoning.
SEE, they’re pretty simple!! Admit that means that you forgive me for violating the 5-ingredient rule!! PRETTY PLEASE!
OH & can we discuss how my laptop kept auto-correcting YACON SYRUP for BACON SYRUP. Let me tell ya, YACON SYRUP IS SURE AF A LITTLE HEALTHIER FOR YOU THAN BACON. LAWLZ. Nice try laptop, nice try.
Any who, yo’ girl will shaddap now so we can get down to business.
Now, for that HOW-TO?
- Cook quinoa according to package directions (I used the organic one by Nature’s Intent. I brought two cups of water to a boil, added in 1 cup of quinoa once the water was boiled, stirred it, lowered the heat to a simmer, covered the skillet & let the quinoa cook for about 15 minutes!);
- Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool before adding it to a bowl with your other ingredients so that nothing gets soggy!
- While it’s cooling, MULTITASK – cut your veggies & prepare your dressing ingredients.
- Once cooled, add quinoa to a large bowl with the other ingredients!
- Season in the same bowl with all the dressing ingredients & toss to combine until the quinoa & veggies are fully coated!