Two Salads For Sunday Lunch

LettuceIt’s 37 degrees again today! I thought it would cool down in March, but Autumn seems so far away yet. After successfully sprouting quinoa, I decided to make some cool salads with it. Something refreshing, crunchy and tasty! I wish I added some chopped parsley in this green salad, but oh well, I didn’t bother going down to the veggie shop today. Too hot for me >.< I also decided to make some pasta salad for Daniel, as well, with sweet potato, sage, green onions and sardines.Sweet potato pastaSprouted Quinoa Salad


1/2 cup of sprouted quinoa
2 cups of lettuce
1 cup of grated zucchini
1 cup of chopped cucumber
50g of feta cheese
1/2 cup of chopped green olives
1 tsp of dijon mustard
1 tsp of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of e.v.o.o
pepper to taste

Wash and tear the lettuce leaves into bite sizes. Mix them with sprouted quinoa, grated zucchini, chopped cucumber and olives, crumbled feta cheese. For a mustard vinaigrette, mix dijon mustard, vinegar and e.v.o.o in a small bowl and drizzle over salad before serve. I just used pepper to taste because olives and feta cheese are salty enough.

Pasta and SaladSweet Potato Pasta Salad


a cup of cooked pasta
1/2 cup of diced sweet potato
1 bunch of sage
a stalk of spring onion
a tin of sardines in spring water
a tsp of nutmeg
a tsp of coconut oil
a tsp of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in a boiling water with a touch of salt for 9 minutes or follow the instructions on the packet. Cook diced sweet potato with coconut oil in a pan. Season. Add sage leaves and chopped spring onions into the pan. Once sweet potatoes are cooked and sage leaves crisp up, take them off the heat and place them in a mixing bowl. Then drain the sardines from tin and cook in the same pan to crisp up outside (you can lightly crumb the sardines). Drain cooked pasta and add into a mixing bowl. Gently combine pasta and sweet potatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Put on the serving plate and top with crispy sardines. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta and Salad2

Sprouting Quinoa

Quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. This “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. Quinoa is also a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) which is necessary for proper energy production within cells.

Same as soaking your nuts, sprouting has many nutritional benefits. Sprouting is a process that germinates grains, seeds or legumes which in turn makes them more easily digested and produces additional vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin B and Carotene. Another benefit to sprouting and soaking is the resulting decrease in phytic acid. Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor, which means that it blocks the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can also cause poor digestion and an unhealthy gut. If you do eat grains, it’s best to soak or sprout them first.

Sprouts belong to the highly alkaline good group along with alkaline water, Himalayan salt, green vegetables (grasses, cucumber, kale, kelp, spinach, parsley, broccoli) and low sugar fruits. The opposite end of the spectrum, highly acidic food group, has alcohol, coffee, black tea, artificial sweeteners, all meats, seafood, dairy, processed foods, jam, miso, soy sauce, vinegar and yeast.

If your body is in an acidic condition from eating acid-forming foods, getting stress, a lack of sleep and anxiety, your body tries to return to pH balance by using up reserved alkaline minerals: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. This results in the depletion of alkaline minerals from your body. Eating alkaline foods helps to bring your body’s pH into balance. Acid foods aren’t necessarily always ‘bad’, they just need to be balanced with a good dose of alkalising foods. The recommended ratio is 80% Alkaline to 20% Acidic. To be honest, I don’t follow an alkaline diet or meal plan. To me, having more nutritious foods in your diet, having a good night sleep and being happy is more important than being picky with alkaline vs acidic foods.

You can sprout legumes (like lentil, chickpea, mung bean, soy bean), cereals (corn, rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, oat) or oil seeds (sesame, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, linseed, peanut).
Sprouted QuinoaI don’t have a sprouter at home, so just use a strainer instead, which works okay for me. Here is how I do at home.

  • Rinse quinoa seeds thoroughly and soak in water over night
  • Use a fine-mesh strainer to rinse the quinoa while draining the soapy water into the sink
  • Transfer the quinoa to a tray or plate and move to a dark area at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Cover with a cloth.
  • Rinse and drain the quinoa every few hours for a couple of days. You will see the little roots coming out. Amazing! It might take less or more depending on temperature and humidity.
  • The quinoa should eventually sprout into a plate full of spiral-shaped roots that are at least one-quarter inch in length. Let the quinoa sprouts dry out for up to 12 hours before you store away in an air-tight container or a sealed plastic bag.
  • Keep them in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
  • You can lightly cook sprouted quinoa or use as it is. Mix with salads, make healthy bread, sprinkle in your smoothie bowl, etc.

Raw Radish Noodles

I grew up with white radish, commonly named daikon, in Korea. You should get to know them if you are not familiar with this delicious and nutritious white veggies.

Health Benefits

  • It contains antioxidants associated with fighting free radical damage, a known cause of cancer.
  • High in vitamin C. It offers great immune system support and helps prevent illness such as the common cold. The leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C than that of daikon roots.
  • It helps to combat bacterial and viral infections.
  • High levels of vitamin C and B helps to prevent chronic inflammation in the body which can lead to problems such as arthritis and heart disease.
  • Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrates.
  • A natural diuretic, it may also be helpful in treating urinary disorders.
  • The leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.

There are so many ways of using them. In Korea, we dice them and make a Kimchi, stir-fry julienned radish with salt, pepper and sesame oil for a side dish, braise with fish, add into the bone broth soup, pickle them with a bit of wasabi and wrap with raw veggies or meat, etc. Countless! Eating raw Korean radish is quite sweet, fresh and crunchy, but I find Australian ones taste a bit bitter. So you will need to add a dressing or sauce. This recipe is so refreshing, perfect for summer.
Radish noodlesIngredients

1 white radish 1/2 cup sliced green beans
a bunch of coriander
a tsp of brown sugar
a tbsp of apple cider vinegar
a tsp of amino soy sauce
a tsp of sesame oil
a tsp of sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Use a veggie spiraliser or peeler to make radish noodles. Place the noodles in the pickling liquid (brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce) for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Slice green beans and roughly chop coriander. Mix with pickled radish noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle sesame seeds and drizzle sesame oil before serve. Serving suggestions? I served with steamed bok-choy and semi-boiled eggs. Pan-fried tofu 0r grilled fish or chicken breast will go really well together, as well 🙂
Radish noodles2