Monday, May 16, 2011

The Superfood Salad Bar

When we have guests visiting I usually run out of meal ideas pretty quick. I usually want something fun and tasty but also affordable when I am feeding a group. This meal idea really came out of necessity- we needed food fast!

I started pulling veggies and herbs out of the fridge wondering what I could do with them- a head of romaine lettuce, half a red cabbage, some carrots, green onions, parsley, red onions- and then inspiration hit- why not have a salad bar? Everyone has things they don't like or need to avoid, so this makes it super easy to deal with multiple food restrictions- be it dairy-free, nut-free, or gluten-free. The kids also love it because they get to participate in making their own meal.

I quickly cooked up some quinoa on the stove and in the 15 minutes until it was ready, we chopped, diced and grated our way to one of the most amazing salad bars we've ever had!

It is definitely a superfood salad! You can use a variety bright and vibrant-coloured veggies, full of vitamins and nutrients. Add in some good quality protein sources, including quinoa, nuts and cheese and you are good to go with your own superfood salad bar!

Superfood Salad Bar Ideas
Quinoa was a fabulous basis for this salad bar but any grain would be nice as well. You can serve a variety of salad dressings but my favourite with this combo is lemon juice and olive oil in equal amounts with just a touch of dijon mustard and some sea salt. Any leftovers can be throw into one container and served as a great leftover salad! You can serve with some grilled crostini if desired.

Quinoa, cooked: rinse and bring 2 cups quinoa and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with work.
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Carrots, grated
Red cabbage, chopped
Green onions, sliced
Parsley, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Sweet peppers, chopped
Cheeses: crumbled feta & grated cheddar
Seeds or nuts: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Sprouts: mung bean (see my recipe!) or sunflower sprouts