sprouted quinoa and yam salad
Sherry, my beloved friend from Montana, sent me this healthy recipe, which I improved on. It literally sings in your mouth!
I learned about quinoa from a woman who healed terminal illnesses with food; she was on my sister’s prayer team many years ago. People from all over the United States were going to Jeanette for her healing ministry with diet; thus, her culinary wisdom became a gold mine for my sister Maureen and me. Many things that I now recommend originated with her.
We learned that sprouted quinoa was considered the number one power food on planet earth. Eggs and quinoa are the only foods that have all the amino acids, thus making them a complete protein.
I was a vegetarian for six years in my twenties. Back then, much of my knowledge for healthy eating came from the marvelous cookbook by Francis Moore Lappe, Diet for a Small Planet (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971). These recipes utilized balanced combinations of plant foods and dairy; the combining of their differing amino acids complimented each other to make complete proteins. For instance, its memorable Indian Pudding called for a balance of cornmeal, soy grits, milk, and eggs to form a strong protein; how I relished it hot, with rich vanilla ice cream melting around the edges, and I still do.
I was quite skilled in cooking this way in the 1970’s. Just prior to moving to Tokyo in the fall of 1981, however, I began eating meat once again. My father gently reproved me, for waiting until this move to do so, because beef was exorbitantly expensive in Japan, while being relatively cheap in America. My thinking was that I needed to be prepared for gracious Oriental hospitality.
Recently I made my friend Sherry’s simple recipe for quinoa and yam salad; nevertheless, I tweaked it. Its food value is amplified by using what I learned from my sister’s prayer partner, the healer Jeanette. Here I sprouted this ancient grain from Peru, which increases its food value dramatically. Also I worked with the colors of the foods (color is real important); I incorporated red raspberries, purple sweet potato, and orange carrots. Another important recommendation is the use of coconut or avocado oil, which is critical, as olive oil is a carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.
This healthy salad is dynamite! Make an abundance of it for leftovers.
To learn the differences between sweet potatoes and yams, go to African Nkyemire; for another great recipe using this tuber, go to Sweet Potato Pie, 2016/12/19.
Sprouted Quinoa and Yam Salad Yields: 4 servings. Total prep time 2 days (for sprouting quinoa)/ active prep time: 1 hr.
1 c quinoa, sprouted (Sprouting directions are below; make 2 days ahead.)
1 tsp oil (Coconut or avocado oil is best; olive oil is carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.)
1 med yellow onion, cut in even 1/8-inch slices
1 1/2 c yams, peeled and cut in 5/8-inch cubes (Organic purple sweet potatoes are ideal; sweet potatoes and yams are just differing names for the same vegetable; they are interchangeable.)
2 med carrots, cut in 5/8-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, cut in 5/8-inch cubes
4 lg garlic cloves, chopped fine (For easy preparation, may use 2 frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s.)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (Available in any health store.)
1 tbsp real maple syrup
3/4 tsp dried cumin
Spinach or lettuce leaves
Fresh raspberries or dried cranberries, for garnish
Agave-roasted nuts (See recipe in ‘Healthy Green Salads’, 2016/08/15.)
- Soak quinoa in ample water for 8 hours; drain well and let sit for 1-2 days, rinsing about every 8-12 hours. The sprouting is complete when legs are at least 1/4 inch long. (The sprouting may be done in a special sprouting jar, a bowl, or on a tray-if your choice is a tray, use parchment paper both under and on top of the grain.) Note: this process brings the enzymes alive and increases food value dramatically. For more details on sprouting see wikihow.com/Sprout-Quinoa
- For saving sprouted quinoa, place it in a sealed storage bag or jar, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Optional: if you are not ready to use the sprouts immediately, you may, with the use of clean parchment paper, spread them on a tray or large plate, to allow excess moisture to dry from sprouts (be sure not to rinse again before you start this drying process). They should dry in about 12 hours; this aids in long-term storage.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over med/low heat; add onion and caramelize, cook slowly until deep brown in color. Stir every few minutes until onions begin sticking to bottom of pan and color just starts to turn; then, stir every minute, until dark brown. For more detail on caramelizing onions, see Caramelized Onions and Carrots (2017/06/19).
- In the meantime, spray vegetables with an effective, safe solution (combine 97% distilled white vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle); let sit for three minutes; rinse really well. This kills parasites and cleanses inexpensively.
- Rather than peel carrots, scrape them with a sharp knife, to preserve vitamins just under the skin. Peel yams. Cut all vegetables into small, 5/8-inch cubes, set aside.
- Combine lemon juice, Braggs, maple syrup, and cumin in a large bowl; set aside.
- Add vegetables to hot caramelized onions; stir well to distribute oils. Place 1/4 c water in with vegetables and cook covered, over medium heat, for about 15 minutes, or until yams are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Blend fresh garlic into vegetable mixture; sauté only until you can smell the herb, about 20 seconds (if you are using frozen garlic, cook just until it thaws, stirring well).
- Place yam mixture and quinoa in bowl with salad dressing, mix well, chill several hours.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce or fresh spinach.
- Top with fruit and nuts.