I love pastas… and when trying to do gluten-free for a few weeks, I crave it more and more each day.
We found this new pasta over at Costco – QUINOA PASTA!! I was skeptical at first, but it’s awesome! Cooks just the same and even better, I might add, than Tinkyada Rice Pasta, which for years has been my gluten-free pasta of choice. It withstands being left in hot water better than rice pasta.
This is a great recipe that combines pasta and salad all rolled into one… it’s basically pasta, salad and vinaigrette. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, fast as it takes as long as the pasta takes cooking and even works great for company. I am planning to make this for someone new I’ve been seeing lately. Shhhhhh!!!! But, that’s just between you and me, OK??
QUINOA PASTA WITH BABY SPINACH
2 heaping cups of dry quinoa pasta
4-5 large handful baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2-3 tbs of olive oil
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of ½ of that same lemon
¼ cup parmesan cheese, optional
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook pasta according to the package directions. I usually boil the pasta for about 7-8 minutes, kill the heat, cover the pot and allow the pasta to continue cooking in the hot water.
- In a skillet over mdium-low heat, add about 2tbs of olive oil and the 2 garlic cloves. The garlic will infuse the oil with its taste. Allow the garlic to cook a bit in the hot oil, but don’t fry it, cook it just until it starts to change colors. Take the garlic pieces out and discard them. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest, the juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix together and keep in hold until the pasta is done.
- Drain the pasta and return to the same pot. Add the baby spinach and the olive oil/lemon mixture. Toss well to combine. The heat of the pot and the pasta will start to wilt a bit the spinach. It’s possible you may need to add the spinach in batches, but that’s ok. I like that some of the spinach wilts more than others.
- Add an additional drizzle of olive oil and the parmesan cheese, if using. Toss one last time to combine and serve immediately.
I’ve mentioned to you already how I like to use a produce cleaner like Fit to clean my fruits and vegetables from the chemicals, pesticides and wax companies throw over produce to make them look particularly pretty for display at the supermarkets. They might look pretty, but those chemicals are definitely no good for our health.
But what do you do if you don’t have Fit or any other commercially available produce wash with you??
There are indeed natural ways to clean your fruits and vegetables… using lemon juice, vinegar or a combination of the two.
Grapes are fruits we enjoy a lot – we love to welcome in the New Year by eating 12 grapes to ask for 12 wishes for the new year. And after 10 days of fasting and cleansing your system, the last thing you want is to intoxicate your body with the pesticides and wax non-organic grapes are coated with.
All you need to do is soak the grapes in water and add the juice of 2-3 lemons or limes to the water the grapes are soaked in. Try for the grapes to be submerged as much as possible in the acidic solution. If not possible, then be vigilant and rotate the grapes so at some point they’re all soaked with the acidulated water. If using vinegar, try 2 tsps per gallon of water. Soak the grapes for only 20 minutes to 30 minutes tops. After that, the grapes start to soak the acidic water and they start to become mealy… not a good thing.
The acidic nature of lemon juice or vinegar dissolves and breaks down the wax covering the grapes… Check out this side by side pic of grapes washed in just water and grapes washed in the lemon water.
Knowing this method, we were able to thoroughly wash grapes we purchased right on the streets of Allahabad. Lemons are very common in India and unfortunately, waxed grapes are too.
After the grapes, or any other fruits you wish to enjoy, are cleaned… just dry them off and store as you would usually do – in the fridge or countertop. Or just go ahead and eat them immediately!!!
After a week without eating solid foods, you certainly want to maintain your system as clean as possible. We are encouraged to eat only fruits and salads after we finish our spiritual retreats.
This was the salad I made right after we came back to the “land of the eaters”… it was improvised by what was freshest at the market on New Year’s Day, but it turned out to be so delicious, that we prepared it exactly the same for a few days after because I got so enamored of the flavors.
This is my way to get you enamored with salads too… hope it works!!!!
MIXED GREEN SALAD
2 large handfuls of Baby Arugula
1 large handful of Baby Spinach
1 handful of Alfalfa sprouts
1 Tomato, sliced
¼ cup sliced Almonds
¼ cup dried Cranberries
Lemon Vinaigrette – Lime juice, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Salt and Pepper
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Squirt the juice of ½ a lemon, drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients with your hands to combine well.
- Eat immediately… as the lettuces will wilt if you let this salad sit for too long.
It might seem weird to you that I am posting an asparagus recipe in the Fall… but I had these pictures taken for a few months now, but never got around to write a post about it. And given I have noticed how many readers we have from the Southern Hemisphere, then it should be just as appropriate to post something that goes with their Spring season starting just now.
The asparagus I grew up with were canned and I usually ate them almost exclusively in a party sandwich like these…
But I have come to develop a great love for asparagus, especially when they’re abundant and fresh in season in every farmer’s market near you. This is an easy delicious recipe to snack on or as a side dish…
½ a bunch of asparagus
Salt and Pepper to taste
The juice of ½ lemon or lime
I like to use a grill pan for this… and I like pencil-thin asparagus.
- Clean the asparagus by trimming the end where the asparagus breaks on its own when you bend the stalk. That end will be stringy and not pleasant to eat anyway. You can keep it to flavor some vegetable stock if you want. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and massage the asparagus to make sure they’re all coated and seasoned.
- Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Place your asparagus as flat as possible on top of grill pan. Allow them to cook for a few minutes. Turn them around by rolling them on their side so they get grill marks on various sides.
- When they turn bright green, about 4-5 minutes, they’re most probably done. Turn off the stove and squirt some lemon juice on top. Take them off the grill pan and serve, sprinkling some grated parmesan cheese on top to season.
Sorry that we’re talking about these unsightly symptoms… but if we like to eat, sometimes, unfortunately we’ll eat something that does not agrees with us. It’s life…
I have found that drinking the pure juice of 1-2 limes when I have nausea helps ease the stomach in such a way that it settles in a little while. This is partly the reason why I always like to have limes and lemons in my kitchen.
Lemons and limes are acidic in the outside world… but when ingested, they alkalinize the blood and eases any upset stomach symptom. I am no scientist, but I have used this remedy many more times than I would like to admit. And it works. I squeeze the juice out of the fruit and drink it like a shot – all at once.
Lime juice is also good to stop diarrhea. If by any chance you have “the runs” and they won’t stop… try drinking a shot of lime juice to see if you feel better. I have a friend that took a colon cleansing tea… and afterwards she would not stop going to the bathroom. She was getting worried and drank some lime juice and “the runs” stopped. It’s an amazing remedy…
Hope you never have to use it. But if you do, now you know a natural way, right??