Can you believe March is coming to a close? It baffles me that this year is already three months in; I feel like I was just counting down the minutes to the New Year. I was warned about fleeting time in my girlhood; but I thought it was merely a tool that “older’ people used to scare the younger generation.

Turns out they were right.

By no means do I consider myself an advocate for summer diets; however, being on April’s doorstep definitely reinforces that the hot season of the year is right around the corner. And with that comes scantily clad behavior of all kinds; namely, summer dresses and bathing suits.

This also happens to be the time where I begin to swap heavy, winter meals, in favor of lighter weight fare. The beauty of a grain, such as, quinoa, is that it provides that sought after full feeling, without weighing us down; but quinoa is often misunderstood. It is, in fact, a seed- I myself have even been found guilty of calling it a grain; but you could say that quinoa is a seed in grain clothing.

But I digress- which I tend to do a lot.

This salad is brimming with nutrients, fiber and, of course, flavor; perfect for those who desire to lose the winter bloat. I decided to use the crimson variety of quinoa for this purpose, as I find that it provides a heartier bite; and the flavor is milder and less nutty than its khaki colored counterpart. This salad already has so many flavors going on, I thought it best not complicate things with yet another aroma; I can be reserved like that sometimes!

In any event, this salad is the type that gets better with age; you could call it the George Clooney of salad. When given two or three days to espouse, you, my friends, have got yourself a religious experience.


Asian Style Red Quinoa Salad with Tofu

Serves 5

2 tbsp sesame oil

3 tbsp Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, warmed

3 tbsp organic tamari

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp raw honey

2 red chilies, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

1 ½ cup red quinoa, cooked according to package instructions

1 cup snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced

6 oz firm tofu, cut into 1cm dice

4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425oF.

In a bowl combine coconut oil, sesame oil, tamari, vinegar, honey, chilies, ginger and garlic. Adjust to taste with extra tamari if need be. Divide the sauce in half.

Toss the tofu with half the sauce, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa, according to direction. And then toss in a large bowl with the remaining sauce; set aside.

Toss tofu into quinoa, along with snow peas and half the amount of green onions. Divide into bowls and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and the remaining green onions.