I think the most sacred part of food is that it has the ability to heal. And not just in the cure a hangover (bring on the grease!) or help you get over a bad breakup (hello, chocolate!) kind of way. I mean really heal us, from the inside out.
If you remove all the flavors and aromas that come with food and think about its purpose, what I’m saying makes sense. We eat food for fuel. It’s what helps keep our cells and organs working, and without it we wouldn’t be here.
So when / if you find yourself reaching for that bag of chips or extra cookie (and trust me, I’ve been there quite a few times…), think about this: Everything we put into our bodies either helps or hinders how we function. Wouldn’t we want to make sure that we’re eating the best possible ingredients we can source?
As this idea continues to grow and gets more attention in the media, we as consumers are getting smarter. And luckily for many of us, this type of food is becoming more accessible to us everyday. Eating healthy isn’t as scary anymore. It’s embraced.
I had a couple of goals when I started putting this detox quinoa salad together:
- It had to be full of foods that detoxify your body
- It had to be a salad that was allergy friendly (this has no: gluten, dairy, meat, egg, corn, soy, nuts, shellfish or sugar)
- The ingredients had to be easy to find (read: anyone can make this)
- It had to use fewer than 10 ingredients
- You have to be able to make it in less than 10 minutes
The first was where I needed to do a little homework. I started researching foods that promoted detoxification and found this list. It guided me in the right direction and from there I was able to check off the rest of my goals. (It’s always nice to check things off, right?)
While perhaps not every ingredient in this salad is detoxifying, many of them are. From that list (and a few others), I chose to include:
- Beets. Beets not only contain many vitamins and minerals (like zinc, iron and magnesium), but they also support both the gallbladder and the liver. Both organs are critical to our health as they help break down food and remove toxins.
- Lemon. Lemon is often on the forefront when we talk about detoxing; and really, who doesn’t love a little lemon? Lemons are alkaline-forming, meaning they help to balance out the acidity of many of the other foods we consume. Not only that, lemon also stimulates enzymes that help to convert toxins into a form that our bodies can more easily release.
- Garlic. Garlic is known to repel monsters, right? Well it works the same with toxins. It’s an antiviral, an antiseptic and an antibiotic. It all helps with detoxification.
- Arugula. Arugula is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables (think broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.) which means it’s high in fiber and antioxidants. The fiber helps keep you regular which keeps your tummy happy and your digestive system in track.
And on top of it all, this detox quinoa salad could not be easier to make. Really, you just toss the main salad ingredients into the bowl – arugula, steamed beets, chickpeas and quinoa – then whisk up the dressing and toss it all together.
It makes a quick lunch, a perfect side dish or could even be eaten as a main course! Any which way you choose to whip it up, I think your tastebuds and your tummy are going to be quite happy!
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup cooked beets (preferably organic), diced
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon coarse mustard
- 1 tablespoon water
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour of the salad and toss until everything is combined.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes (optional) or serve immediately.