I don’t know what to call this meal! I hate calling it a “salad” because salad implies a certain boring-ness and a ton of lettuce.
This meal is something I created after the cleanse because I felt so good I just wanted to come up with more tasty dishes that would support my health. I needed something I could quickly make and pack for my lunches but it had to meet the following criteria:
1. Be satisfying
2. Be high in protein
3. Be full of veggies
4. Contain good fats
5. Be gluten free
6. Be good as a meal on its own OR spooned over a bed of greens
7. Above all else, be TASTY!
I am really proud because I achieved that!
Thanks to the kale and cucumber I snuck those veggies in and you can hardly tell they’re there! The beans, quinoa and spelt berries make it high in protein, the walnuts add healthy fat and the apple and cranberries make me feel like I’m eating a salad at a 5 star restaurant!
Before I get to the recipe I want to share the end results of my cleanse. After 3 weeks of no sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol or animal products I FEEL GREAT!
I have chondromalacia in my knees which causes a constant crackling and popping when I walk up or down stairs or do anything that requires my knees to bend. The crackling is pretty much gone and my knees feel great!
My energy is always good, but I have been waking up earlier and not feeling sleepy in the morning.
And the biggest and best change: my neck is PAIN FREE! I have a chronic neck injury that will always be something I have to live with. But after the cleanse I actually have full range of motion in my neck and it DOES NOT HURT!! This is huge because it has not been pain free in almost a year. Woo hoo!
Since being off the cleanse I really haven’t been craving sweets. Even though I am free to eat whatever I want sweets just don’t sound as good.
I have had a little bit of coffee but there is no way I will go back to consuming as much as I had been prior to the cleanse.
Ok, that was a lot of words. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Pumped Up Superfood Salad
(Why pumped up? I don’t know. Im just feeling pumped!)
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups spelt berries (for directions on how to cook these keep reading)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large cucumber, peeled, sliced long ways into quarters then sliced thin
1 green apple, sliced thin into bite sized pieces
1 cup walnuts, broken into pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped kale (about 2-3 stalks, leaves only, no stem)
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons hemp oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a very large mixing bowl combine the kale, onions, lemon juice, oil, garlic, mustard, agave, vinegar and salt. Add in the sliced cucumber, apple & cranberries and stir. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate everything. You are ready to get pumped up!
How to cook quinoa, spelt berries or any other grain. Rinse and drain the grain. In a large saucepan cook the grain in water in a 2:1 ratio. 2 parts water for every 1 cup grain. So, 1 cup dry quinoa in 2 cups water. Grains about double in size when you cook them. So 1 cup dry quinoa will yield about 2 cups cooked. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cook until the water is all absorbed. It can take 20-40 minutes. Or better yet, invest in a rice cooker ($20). Any grain can be cooked in a rice cooker and it just makes life SO easy! Spelt berries however must be soaked for about 8 hours prior to cooking. I know, that requires some planning ahead. Just soak them the night before you plan on cooking them. I always make a ton of grains at once and freeze the leftovers in 1.5-2 cup pre-measured baggies. It makes cooking so fast!