Wednesday, February 22, 2012

115. Warm Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad


This is a constant topic in our family.  Our conversations range from Cheeto's to Quinoa and everything in between.  Just the other day I explained to the 5 year old why we eat corn chips with 4 ingredients over Cheeto's with way too many for her to count.  Why this is a once in a blue moon treat and not an everyday snack like fruit and veggies are.  My hubby was rolling his eyes through this whole conversation (he bought the Cheeto's…LOL) because he thought I was talking over her ability to understand.  The chat lasted less than 1 minute.  

She looked at me with her little orange fingers and lips and handed me her baggie of HUGE orange puffs. 

I said, "no thank you."

She said, "Here.  I need a healthy snack."

My husbands jaw hit the floor and he chuckled.  He said that I handled that really well and even he wanted to take the orange puffy chips back to the store.


Kids do understand nutrition.  They want to make the right decisions.  The want to be informed.  As a parent I feel obligated to teach, explain and educate my daughters and son on what is necessary for our bodies to function well.  
I am not a strict parent, ask our extended family.  They think we are hippies…LOL  (I am kind of joking)  I believe in giving our kids the information and guiding them through their young lives.  They must learn along the way about what makes them feel good and what makes them feel bad when they eat.  

I don't regulate how much of anything they can eat and not eat.  We have taught them portions, to read labels and to listen to their bodies.  It has worked for us.  We also have encouraged all things in moderation.  This includes: orange puffy chips, butter, whole milk, sweets, candy, meat and soft drinks.

The teenagers get it.  The 5 year old, not yet, but we are close.  Heck I still struggle and binge at times.  I believe this is from my own childhood and the fact that times were different.  Eating, food, nutrition and healthy diets were not such a big deal where I grew up.  We just ate…and ate…and ate.

In my quest to eat healthy and teach my kids healthy habits, they should be exposed to all types of food.  Wild rice and quinoa are two things I really enjoy.  My kids had a hard time eating these two grains separately when I have made them before.  I had a thought of combining them.  This is not an original thought on my part…lots of bloggers, chefs and cook book writers have done this. 

Until you try the combination together, it's hard to imagine the flavors of the two combined with the other ingredients and then toasted slightly.  I admit, I was nervous.  My first taste brought a smile to my face.  It worked.  I was excited for dinner to start so that my family could enjoy this warm salad as well.  We all agreed that this will be something we will make again…that's a big deal in my family…LOL  We rarely eat anything twice in one year.  ENJOY

Recipe:  Warm Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad

1 small box of wild rice, make about 3 cups
1 small box of quinoa, make enough for 3 cups
1/4 cup of finely chopped or julianned green onion
1/4 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 whole zucchini, julianned or shredded
1 tsp of Braggs liquid amino  (optional)
1 egg (optional for protein)
2 T. fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to toast salad

Make your quinoa and wild rice according to the directions on your box.

While they are cooking, prepare the veggies and add them to a large bowl.

When rice and quinoa are done add roughly three cups of each to your veggies.  

Stir to combine.

When you are ready to serve the salad, heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and add a batch of rice.  Toast salad for about 3-5 minutes, stirring gently a few times.  You can see the toasted quinoa in the picture below. 

I served this salad with fried eggplant and ranch dressing.

Just a little bit of fun with the rice and quinoa.

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