Asian Coconut Milk Dressing

Heyyy there! Long time no post!

I have lots of new recipes to post and I’m going to start with one that I used for a school assignment. We have snack demos during class that each student is responsible for twice during the program. We just bring in a snack and provide the recipe and nutritional benefits for everyone. My fellow classmates have made some delicious recipes like hemp blueberry oat bars (tasted like oatmeal cookies!) and raw rainbow wraps with peanut sauce (these were like fresh spring rolls filled with marinated tofu, avocado, mushrooms, rainbow chard, and peppers). Needless to say I love snack time! When it was my turn last week I brought this fresh quinoa salad with a creamy coconut milk dressing. I make this dressing all the time and use it on salads, noodles, & as a dipping sauce. It may seem like the dressing has a lot of ingredients but once you have them in your pantry they’ll last a while! I love this recipe because it’s good warm or cold and is even better as leftovers. Enjoy!

Fresh Quinoa Salad with Asian Coconut Milk Dressing

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Ingredients:

  • 2 c soaked & cooked quinoa
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced & roasted
  • 1 c kale, torn & lightly steamed
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & diced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, plus more for garnish, chopped
  • 2 green onions plus more for garnish, sliced
  • ½ cup soaked almonds, chopped

Coconut Milk Dressing:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¼ c bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1-2 T sesame oil
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T almond butter (could use peanut butter or tahini)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • ½ t cayenne, or to taste

Instructions:

  1. After cooking quinoa, sweet potato, and kale, mix all of the salad ingredients together in a  large bowl.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour dressing over quinoa and veggies and toss to combine. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, and chopped almonds. Enjoy!
Quinoa & roasted sweet potato, mushroom, and kale with the coconut milk dressing

Quinoa & roasted sweet potato, mushroom, and kale with the coconut milk dressing

Nutritional Benefits

Coconut Milk:  Contains health-promoting medium-chain saturated fats.  Make sure to purchase whole fat canned coconut milk and not non- or low-fat because it is usually stripped of the beneficial medium-chain fats. Also a source of  selenium, zinc, and manganese.

Quinoa:  The seed of a plant, but considered a grain. Rich in magnesium, manganese, vitamin B2, and vitamin E. Also source for minerals: iron, phosphorous, copper, and zinc. Great source of plant protein and dietary fiber. One cup of quinoa  contains about 8 grams of protein.

Sweet Potato:  High in carotenes (the darker the color of the potato, the more carotenes) and good source of dietary fiber. Also source for vitamin C, vitamin B6,  vitamin B2, manganese, copper, and biotin. Sweet potatoes contain root  storage proteins which can have antioxidant effects in the body. They can also help stabilize blood glucose levels.

Kale:  Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and superfood. It is nutrient dense and high in vitamin C, carotenes, vitamin B6, chlorophyll, and manganese. Source of minerals including calcium, copper, and iron. Has anti-cancer properties like other members of  the cruciferous family.

Ginger:  Ginger is both an intestinal spasmolytic (a substance that both relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract) and a carminative (a substance that prevents the formation of intestinal gas). It has been shown to aid problems such as nausea, inflammation, and gastrointestinal distress.

Cilantro:   Known to be anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and can be used as a digestive aid.

Source:
Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Book

Healing Ginger Squash Soup

Don’t you just love it when you cook something from whatever random ingredients you happen to have in the fridge and it actually turns out delicious? That happened to me this week when I created this squash soup. Can you tell I’m loving me some winter squash right now? Anyways, I threw this soup together using some leftover roasted kabocha squash (halved and roasted with a little oil & water at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes).  If you’ve never used kabocha squash before I highly recommend it! It’s great just roasted or in soups and stir fry’s. Here’s what they look like:

http://www.tainongseeds.com/kabocha-squash/

I’ve been lucky enough to not get sick yet with the changing seasons but my sister is and I thought of her as soon as I tasted the soup. The squash is creamy and hearty and the ginger & cayenne spice clear the sinuses 🙂 I brought her some and will definitely make this again next time I get sick! You could use any type of winter squash and broth for this but I really liked the kabocha squash and the miso ginger broth from Trader Joe’s (it’s vegetarian!).  I also think this would be delicious with a can of coconut milk added to it for a creamy touch!

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Healing Ginger Squash Soup

Ingredients:
1-2 T coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch piece ginger, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1/2 roasted kabocha squash
1T rice vinegar (optional)
4 c ginger miso broth (or any broth of your choice)
cayenne to taste
salt & pepper to taste
coconut milk, for garnish (optional)
cilantro, for garnish

Using a medium sized pot, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium heat. Stir & cook 5 min. Add ginger and carrots, cook a few minutes longer.

Add squash and broth, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add spices to taste and blend the soup until smooth using an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches).

Garnish with cilantro & coconut milk (which I forgot to add before taking the pic below)

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Enjoy!