Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coachella spurs Health Nut

Returning from a 3 day binge of pizza, chicken wings, fries, bratwurst, burgers, tacos, and beer really brings a whole new truth to the saying, "You are what you eat". Yes, Coachella was amazing. Yes, I ate like a pig. Yes, I am paying for it now. And no, I don't think I'm alone.

As I have slowly begun to get my life and body back together, I felt it would be a good time to introduce the healthy side of Spoondles. Which means a new series called Health Nut. This particular series will be written by my sister who is currently attending Bauman College, a Holistic School in San Francisco and who graduated from Cal Poly with a BA in Nutrition. The series will feature delicious healthy recipes, the low down on the worlds healthiest foods and a variety of tips and tricks on how to improve and maintain a sustainable and health conscious diet.

Spring Quinoa Salad with Pink Tahini Dressing

This Colorful spring salad is jam-packed with minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. This is a nutrient dense dish meaning high proportion of nutrients to calories.

*Health Facts:

· Garlic, herbs, and kombu- booster foods. Provide the body with minerals and amino acids

. Quinoa- contains all nine essential amino acids and is a good complex carbohydrate. It doesn’t spike blood sugar like white rice. Contains fiber, vitamins and minerals.

· Beans and quinoa- great source of protein

· Olive oil, tahini, walnuts- Great source of essential Fatty Acids


Ingredients for Salad:

  • 2 cups white navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch piece kombu
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 ¾ cups water or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh peas (about 1 ¼ lbs in pods), use frozen and thawed peas if fresh aren’t available
  • 2 bunches asparagus, about 2 lbs, trimmed and cut inot 1 inch segments
  • 2 medium carrots, small dice
  • 1 large bunch chives, chiffonade
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chiffonade
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped

Ingredients for DRESSING

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 small red beet, roasted, about ¼ lb
  • 3 medium lemons, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil



1. Roast the beet ahead of time in a 400 degrees oven for about 1 hour. Peel and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350

3. Add the navy beans to a pot with the 4 cups of water, garlic cloves, bay leaf, and kombu. Bring to a boil and then cover. Turn down the heat so that it is simmering cook for about 45 minutes, until tender but not mushy. When cooked, strain the beans and remove the garlic, bay leaf, and kombu. Set aside in a bowl and toss with salt and 2Tbs of the olive oil.

4. At the same time add the quinoa, 3 ¾ cups water of stock, and salt to a pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Quickly add the peas to the pot and then return the lid. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave the quinoa covered for 5 minutes to steam. Transfer to a sheet pan and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool.

5. While the navy beans and quinoa are cooking, add the cut asparagus to a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes. When the asparagus is done, remove from the oven and toss with the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Set aside to cool.

6. DRESSING: Add all of the ingredients, except for the oil to a blender. Blend until smooth. With the motor running on low, drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Taste and adjust if necessary.

7. In a large bowl combine the quinoa and peas, roasted asparagus, carrots, chives, mint, and walnuts. Toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss until the salad is coated. Before serving, gently fold in the navy beans, being craeful not to over mix so that they retain their color. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper

8. Garnish with lemon zest

By Sita Lindner

Recipe courtesy of Bauman College

For those of you looking at this recipe and thinking, "ummm, a 15 ingredient recipe is not gonna happen... " I feel you. Just because your lazy doesn't mean you have to be unhealthy. Today I made my go-to immunity booster fave that is super quick, nutritious and delicious. I often make it as a side dish or add it to my pasta sauce for a healthy addition. The main ingredient is Kale, one of the best foods for your body. If you don't know what that is then click here because it's about time you do.

Caring Kale Recipe

  • ½ head of kale
  • ½ of a lemon juiced
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • Spike seasoning (optional)


1. Wash kale, remove stems, and break up kale into smaller pieces

2. Add ¼ of water to a sauté pan over medium, low heat. Add kale and drizzle with olive oil then cover.

3. Sauté kale until leaves begin to wilt and soften (5-10 min). Add more water or oil if pan dries up

4. Add lemon juice and salt to taste

5. Sauté for a few more minutes until kale is tender and the seasoning tastes correct.

Serve and enjoy as the kale replenishes your body with goodness.

P.S. To all the Coachella-ers who brushed their teeth with beer, missioned it to Mickey D's for 3am fries and haven't had a vegetable in days, this is for you. I love you all!

P.P.S. Muse, LCD Soundsystem, XX, Hot Chip, Gorillaz, Jay Z. MGMT and Pheonix, you made my weekend!


  1. Great post!!! love the quinoa salad..

  2. That is a long list of ingredients and too much work for someone suffering from a three day hangover..........

    I mean, I guess it's cool if you want to impress your hipster friends after a long fix gear bike ride on a sunday afternoon...... but if your knees are weak from tearing up the dance floor at Phoenix and your insides feel like biodegradable urinal cakes, you probably don't want to play Iron Chef.

    So.......Lets start with a little cottage cheese in a bowl, grade a plethora of beets on top. Then add some graded carrots, sunflower sprouts,micro greens and your favorite salsa to taste. And if this still isn't curing whatever is ailing you, just start drinking again........

    -Johnny Appleseed

    Ps. Don't play with knives when your hungover!

  3. Looks like a wonderful time. I heard from a friend that the security was a real hassle. Fantastic dish...beautiful colors. Cheers!



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