Salad is one of those foods that my hubby and I can eat almost everyday for lunch, dinner or both. On most days when I cook I will add a salad as a start to our meal. Actually, I throw together a salad first thing when I get home to keep hubby out of the kitchen while I try to get dinner ready. Hubby always acts like he is starving when he gets home from work so I make a salad to keep him busy and then he won’t hover while I finish preparing dinner. Sneaky right? Yeah, but it works!
Of course having a salad everyday can be a little boring if you just add the basics of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Personally, I don’t care too much for iceberg lettuce. There is no real nutritional value in iceberg lettuce because it is mostly water. I prefer other types of greens in my salads and I often mix them up just so my salads are not boring.
Spring inspired me to make a Rainbow Salad because of the bright new colors of budding trees, daffodils and other vegetation I recently noticed waking up from a too long winter. I love the rich purple color of red cabbage. The pop of orange from shredded carrots and the pale green of Napa cabbage. Mixed together with a few other veggies, Rainbow Salad is a treat for your eyes and tasty to your mouth.
2 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges
1 small Napa cabbage shredded
½ head red cabbage shredded
½ zucchini sliced
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup golden raisins
½ tsp basil
¼ tsp cilantro
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Top with your favorite salad dressing.
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Light, bright soups are fun to make and wonderful to eat. I recently wanted to make a light chicken soup to take away the chill on a cold winter day. I didn’t want to use pasta and thought Quinoa would be a great substitute for noodles.
Quinoa has a unique texture and is easy to use in recipes. I have made salads using Quinoa and even created a Spinach Quinoa Cake that was delicious (check it out at dmariedining.com). Adding Quinoa to the chicken soup definitely kept it light and adding Napa Cabbage helped kick up the flavor and nutritional value.
Next time you have a desire for a quick tasty soup or just want to use the leftover chicken in the frig think about making a nice Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage.
Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage
2 cups chicken pre-cooked
2 cups Napa cabbage shredded
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups Quinoa rinsed
1 bay leaf
½ cup baby carrots thinly sliced
½ cup slice celery
¼ cup red peppers thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup red onion chopped
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp seasoned salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp cilantro
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Cook Quinoa according to package. Set aside.
Place chicken in a small bowl and season with seasoned salt and onion powder. Set aside.
Add chicken broth, onions, peppers, celery, carrots, bay leaf and seasonings to a large pot on medium high heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium then stir in chicken, Quinoa and cabbage. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers.
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