It’s starting to warm up, fingers crossed the warm spring days are finally here to stay, and I’m craving everything fresh! Could be the warmer weather or it could be this quarantine and all the bread making and baking we’re doing. I wanted to share another simple meal working with what we have on hand now, and what you might have in your kitchen, that’s a twists on what use to be staples in our house. Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salads are usually a go-to lunch or a quick weeknight meal but right now make a perfect meal anytime and are easily adaptable using what you have in your kitchen!
I’m about 2 minutes away from giving up on ordering groceries online! I’m not sure how things are where you are but it’s been a struggle. Usually ordering a week out, having many things sold out, substitutions the I can’t seem to wrap my head around how I got, and produce lately… it’s pretty much an all or nothing. We either get lots of produce that all has to be used up right when it arrives or it goes bad, or it isn’t ripe and we wait and it just goes bad. Getting already moldy berries or pineapple, I cannot understand?! Oh and then there are avocados which I won’t even talk about. Haha. I’m so grateful for having food, don’t get me wrong, but eating healthy and like we did before isn’t happening. Ok rant over!
Things are getting much better! In the last week we’ve gotten 90% of the produce I’ve ordered which has led to lots of berries, peppers, zucchini, spinach, greens, and other things we weren’t able to get for a few weeks.
I had found salad mixes to be a great way to get a mix of produce so I was ordering one of my favorites, Sweet Kale Salad Mix. There are a few different versions but usually a mix of chopped kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage or radicchio. One way to stretch that salad mix out and add nutrition is turn it into a grain bowl, or this Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad!
Using as many staples as we have in the house and adding as many anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods as possible! Trust me it isn’t as hard as it might seem. If you don’t have things I’ll add substitutions here and in the recipe notes.
I used my favorite homemade Turmeric Salad Dressing I use in my other Anti-Inflammatory Buddha Bowls and Salad. Made with extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), apple cider vinegar, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Turmeric is one of the hottest and trendiest superfoods and for good reason. It’s a spice that has been long known for it’s healing powers and supporting vitality. It supports a healthy immune system fighting oxidative stress in the body. High in curcumin, a compound that fights free radicals and helps reduce inflammation.
Garlic has been used for centuries for medicinal and anti- inflammatory properties to help the immune system.
Olive oil is also loaded with powerful antioxidants and is been noted to fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation. It’s one of my favorite healthy fats.
Ginger, gingerroot, is among the healthiest spices on the planet. Aiding in digestion, reducing nausea, help fight the flu and common cold, among countless other things. Anti-inflammatory, helping with muscle soreness and pain, and even help reduce cholesterol, reduce heart disease, and may even reduce chances at cancer. The research on ginger is crazy!
Kale is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory food, potentially preventing and even reversing these illnesses. Beets are a source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Brussel Sprouts have vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Aside from that they also contain folate, manganese, vitamin B6, fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, and so much more.
Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. It is also one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.
IF you don’t have quinoa you can use another grain of choice.
Apples contains anthocyanins, antioxidants that reduce inflammatory responses as I mentioned. Plus there is the age old saying an apple a day!
IF you don’t have apples use blueberries!
Cranberries, and blueberries, I think we all know are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. These berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C.
Pecans, or pumpkin seeds, are both nutrient dense and full of healthy fats and minerals.
Simple and healthy this Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad hits the spot and gives your body much needed nutrition.
Like I said, and if you’ve been following me on Instagram, there is a lot of bread being baked in our house and lots of comfort foods. When possible though I try to add nutrient dense meals like this.
With many people home right now I hope you consider linking up Deborah and me below or sharing what’s happening in your kitchen for Meatless Monday in the comments.
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