I’ve combined two of my loves into the same meal: quinoa and bruschetta. This dish is vibrant, flavourful and if you go gaga over the simple fresh taste of basil, tomatoes and garlic, you will be in love too!
I came across these gorgeous local ingredients when I visited the farmers’ market last weekend. I bought heirloom tomatoes, which come in a variety of yellow, purple, orange and funky multi-colours, red onions with the leaves still attached, bush of fresh basil (well not quite a whole bush, but a huge amount that I split with a friend) and a bunch of other freshly picked items.
When I got home my default was to make fresh bruschetta with a LOT of garlic, but I wanted to make a meal so I looked through my kitchen pantry and decided to cook up some quinoa and here’s what I made! This is a one pot meal because the quinoa provides the protein component, your veggies are the carbs (bursting with vitamins and minerals) and the olive oil or goat cheese provides some healthy fats.
Market Fresh Quinoa Bowl
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup filtered water
- 8 small heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 4 gluggs of extra-virgin olive oil
- Decent pinch of good quality sea salt
- Fresh lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
- Optional: Crumbled goat cheese on top.
Combine the quinoa and water into a medium size pot. Bring the water to a bowl and reduce to a simmer with the lid on and cook for 12-15 minutes. Check on it once and give it a stir. Once quinoa is cooked, add all of your chopped ingredients (except the dressing) to the pot and stir together. The heat of the quinoa will nicely warm all your ingredients.
Add your dressing, top with goat cheese if you like and voila! An amazing meal in one pot.
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 very generously.
Now because I’m a nutritionista, I must tell you why eating this meal is SO GOOD for you! I will keep this brief because these nutritional highlights are speckled everywhere throughout my site already:
Tis the season and there are many varieties of basil. In fact, when I was at the market, I sampled both lemon and anise basil. The lemon was lovely.. the anise didn’t do it for me, so let’s just talk about basil.
- Anti-cancer: Studies have shown the flavanoid compounds known as orientin and vicenin, protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and free-radical damage.
- Digestive aid: The volatile oil in basil (strong beautiful fragrance) relaxes the smooth muscle of the intestines, it’s also anti-bacterial and anti-worm.
- Used in Chinese medicine: According to Dr. Michael Murray, basil can be used to treat headaches, kidney ailments and poor circulation.
- Tips: Do NOT store your basil in the fridge. This is why it goes brown so quickly. If you have a large amount, you can always chop it up and freeze it for up to three months. If you have a plant, it can stay alive inside for up to a year if you prune it often. But of course, keep it outside during the summer months.
Lastly, this week I was on Global’s The Morning Show talking about staying healthy while traveling. You can watch the video below if you like. And then you will know what else happened while I was on vacation
Have a joyous day!
Fall Eat Well Feel Well 6-wk nutrition + yoga class
Joy McCarthy, Registered/Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CNP, ROHP, RNCP), and Health Coach of Joyous Health, loves to inspire others to eat well, live well and be happy.
Joy has clients from all over the world and consults via phone and Skype. Contact Joy today and take the first step.