I'm not saying I want to become a vegetarian - I still love nothing better than a big, fat, juicy steak with a bottle of great red wine (or perhaps a Manhattan or two...) But now I will be having steak less, carbs in moderation and including more fresh vegetables and whole grains as a part of a healthier, happier life.
Staying healthy does not mean giving up flavor however; here are a couple of healthy, but delicious recipes.
1 cup quinoa
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup diced cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, as needed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch chili flakes
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rince with cold water. Drain well.
- Bring 1/1/2 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Stir in the quinoa and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat, cover with tight fitting lid and let stand for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the quinoa with the tomato, onion, cucumber, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with chili flakes, salt and pepper.
Curried Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 large head broccoli, cut up
1 bunch spinach washed and trimmed (or 1 bag)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a medium pot with canola oil. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger and jalapeño to the pot with a generous pinch of salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the curry powder and paprika and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Cover the vegetables with 8 cups water and bring to a simmer.
Add the broccoli and cook the soup for another 5 minutes before stirring in the spinach leaves. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh squeezed lime juice. (For a cooling twist, add a dollop of Greek style yogurt)