Lime Ginger Quinoa: cucumber, mango, avocado ……& some news

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lime ginger quinoa salad avocado mango cucumber radish

Isn’t it crazy how smells can evoke certain memories? I still remember the perfume my best friend and I were both obsessed with back in high school and every time I smell it, I think of her (“Body” by Victoria Secrets in case your wondering!).  I also remember the smell of the gum my husband used to chew when we first began dating  and all the sweet, romantic memories that comes with that smell.  Well, I went to the farmers market today and saw a booth by the “Cucumber Man”.  How could I pass up a booth with a name that cute?! I got home and began cutting this cucumber and instantly, memories of my childhood flooded my memory.  My family is from England and every weekend, cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwiches were a staple in our home.  Very “British” right?! Yes, “cups of tea” were there as well!  Cucumbers with anything seemed to be popular in our home. I remember my brother wouldn’t eat his ham sandwiches without them, no salad would be put in front of us without cucumbers and somehow they always made it onto our pizza (weird, right?!). 

The “Cucumber Man’s” cucumbers were just bursting with flavor, freshness and that beautiful “cucumber” smell you only get from organic, fresh, home grown cucumbers. Its so scary thinking of where our food comes from these days.  I am currently taking a class in Eco-Nutrition at CSNN and we read a book called “The End of Food”.  Yes, sometimes, documentaries and books of this nature are a bit over-the-top, however, it still gets you thinking of where your food comes from, how far did it travel to get to the grocery store, what chemicals were used, why can’t our government approve “GMO” food labelling (WAY TO GO VERMONT!), etc.  

The GMO debate is a big one, but I think we should at least be informed of whats in our food and allowed to make our own choices about what we put into our bodies.  If its not labeled, how will the general public know whats in it?!  If something has been genetically modified, I want to know! There have been no tests on humans since GMOs began so we are basically the human guinea pigs of this world-wide, real life experiment.  Its sad really, that the good ‘ol family farm is slowly losing to the big corporations that use genetically modified seeds with tons of chemicals in order to make higher yields, and yet that vegetable has less flavour and nutrients due to the chemicals.  Man, I could go on about this forever (I just had to delete an entire paragraph ha ha).  My last word on this will be to just start looking into where your food comes from, support restaurants that buy locally, get to know your local farmers at farmers markets (if possible), ask  questions, and seek out information on whether the big companies you buy from use GMO seeds (more than likely if its not organic, they do!).  I’ve got a “biking and bee” tour set up this summer as well as an organic egg farm tour! Can’t wait to blog about those!

We watched a really informative and eye-opening documentary for school: Seeds of Death.  Sounds a bit out there and dramatic, but so much of the information was an eye-opener for me; I encourage you to watch it if you can!  Here are a few great apps I have on my phone that are helpful in determining the standards of certain companies while shopping: “Good Guide”, “nonGMO” and “Buycott”.  Some interesting websites to check out as well:

Slow Food Canada

Slow Food US

GMO Awareness

Food Additives from the “Center for Science in the Public Interest”

Sometimes I hate living in this cold place called Canada, but then there are times like this that I am so grateful I moved here and opened my eyes to healthier living.

radishes

And I digress.

Back to the market!  Not only did I rack up on fresh, local (mostly!), organic veggies from the market, but ironically, one of my best friends living in NYC had just sent me a photo of her lunch: a summer cucumber-mango salad.  I knew I had to give it a try….plus an Anise touch!

quinoa ginger lime salad cucumber mango avocado radish

If you’re a pasta-lover like me, then you’ll love this with soba noodles! I’ve made this salad with soba noodles instead of quinoa before and it was ah-may-ZING! However, I was out of soba noodles and the quinoa does provide complete protein that you would normally only get with animal protein.  Give it a try and let me know which way you like it!

P.S. My news…

This was never a message I wanted to send to my readers.  I’m actually procrastinating writing this part of the blog post.  Sadly, this might have to be my last blog post until I am finished with school.  Health is so much more than nutrition: its taking care of our mental health as well.  Its learning when to say no and taking time for ourselves.  My stress has gone up significantly the last couple of weeks due to school and its only going to get more intense until I graduate in July.  I have learned to stop committing to so much so that I don’t feel overwhelmed and can still give 100% to my education, which is the most important thing right now.  Well, not committing also means not committing to taking a break haha.  I’m not going to say that this will be my last post until I graduate, but it very well might be.  I love blogging and sharing my thoughts and recipes with my readers; and the photography is a great way for me to break away from studying for a few hours.  However, realistically, I need to concentrate on school and my health first.  I want to get the very most out of my education at CSNN and I feel as though I may be spreading myself too thin.  If this is my last blog post until I graduate, I can’t wait to come back at the end of July with new recipes and nutrition tips as I will officially be an R.H.N!!!!  Please don’t forget to take care of yourselves as well: nutritionally, physically and mentally.  All my best,

 

SIGNOFF-A

 

 

 

Lime Ginger Quinoa: cucumber, mango, avocado
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
GROCERY LIST
  1. 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in a sieve or 1 package of soba noodles
  2. 1/2 a cucumber, cut into chunks
  3. 1/2 a mango, sliced and cut into bit-size pieces
  4. 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  5. 3 radishes, sliced thin or cut on a mandolin
  6. micro greens or pea shoots to garnish
Dressing
  1. 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (approximately 5 limes)
  2. 2 ½ Tablespoons sesame oil
  3. 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 ½ Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced thoroughly
  5. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  6. 3 teaspoons honey
  7. 3 Tablespoons chiffonade fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa: In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/3 cup of pure water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add quinoa, reduce to low heat, and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes then check the quinoa. If the water is absorbed, taste to make sure it is cooked through. If not, add a bit more water and continue cooking until it reaches desired consistency, although 15 minutes should do the trick. After water is evaporated, let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. *If using soba noodles, cook the soba noodles according to package instructions, rinse in cool water, and set aside.
  3. While the quinoa or soba noodles are cooking, prep your vegetables and make your dressing. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine lime juice, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, ginger, soy sauce and honey. Stir in mint and set aside.
  4. Once the quinoa or soba noodles have cooled, add cucumber, mango, avocado, and radish. Toss with some of the dressing and garnish with micro-greens or pea shoots.
Love & Garnish — A Nourishing Kitchen http://loveandgarnish.com/
  • Brooke - Um yum! I love cucumber sandwiches so the idea of a healthier (and more beautiful) version is totally appealing. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • bennet - As the Mum, who bought those English cucumbers,washed them and served them up on everything…I quite agree!ReplyCancel

      • Love & Garnish - You would love these! The smell is intoxicating! I bought far too many so have been eating them nonstop!ReplyCancel

        • Bennet - Cucumbers are also delicious hot..I know sounds weird
          but just skin and chop into squares and put in a stir fry type dish. They take on the most wonderful flavor!ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - I’m sure there is an elevated cucumber sandwich we could come up with?! They are sooooo delish!ReplyCancel

  • Naomi - I LOVE the cucumber man as well. We won’t eat any other kind of cucumbers. Thankfully he is now selling his delicious cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers at Amaranth on 4th St. So I don’t have to wait until Thursday to get them at the market!

    Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. Nothing like that CSNN course. I know all about your stress (definitely the most concentrated course I’ve ever taken!) and it is important to take care of yourself. I’ll miss your great recipes but can’t wait for all that new inspiration once you graduate.ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Oh yes! Gotta love that CSNN! Almost over though! I really want to take everything in that I possibly can!ReplyCancel

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