Life is full of contradictions. How can a house that’s been a residence for 117 years be the only one on the block not zoned as a residence? How can a salad you can make at the last minute have an ingredient it takes about two days to make? I will tell you how. What appear to be contradictions are actually opportunities to see into the true nature of things: that a house is a residence and a home, no matter the zoning, and that all things that seem to happen suddenly have a slow moving component that we either don’t recognize or dismiss.
This salad came into being within the space of 5 minutes, when I discovered I was still hungry after eating a Sprouted Buckwheat Sunshine Burger and a carrot after poking around in the yard. I literally threw it together. The dressing was something I had toyed with in my mind, but not actually made yet. The sprouted quinoa was one of my successful science experiments.
Last Minute Chopped Salad with Sprouted Quinoa
1 chunk of banana (about 1 tbs)
1/2 teaspoon chickpea miso (can also used soy based miso)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin.
Put all the dressing ingredients in the bowl you’ll eat your salad in. Mash them together with a fork until the banana and mis are combined and have a smooth consistency.
The salad ingredients:
2 big fistfuls of baby kale
at least a cup (or more) of chopped romaine hearts
a wedge of apple, chopped
one green onion, chopped,
half a carrot, julienned
a sprinkle of garlic granules
about 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
2-4 tbs of sprouted quinoa
Other add-ins: cooked brown rice, cooked red quinoa, pumpkin seeds, chopped dried apricot, more ground cumin to taste
Place the fistfuls of baby kale in your salad bowl with the dressing at the bottom. Massage the kale into the dressing. Add the chopped romaine, apple, onion, and chickpeas. Toss everything until coated with the dressing. Sprinkle on the sprouted quinoa. Dig in.
Note: If you don’t want to embark on an adventure with sprouting quinoa, you can use cooked quinoa instead.
How I Sprout Quinoa
My method for sprouting quinoa is strongly influenced by this one at Sprout People. They know all about this sort of thing. Here’s a video about sprouting beans that demonstrates some good general practices.
Some other sources say to use filtered water. Some say you don’t have to soak quinoa very long. Since it’s so dry here, and I do everything in slow motion, especially if I have a lot of balls in the air like I do these days, I soaked my quinoa for about 24 hours in Spring water, then rinsed it well several times and let it sprout for another 24, rinsing once sometime in the middle of that. You could also change rinse water once in the 24 hours. Sometimes I do that too.
It’s basically pretty foolproof. Although you can buy screens and sprouters, you don’t really even need the cheap plastic sprouting lids I bought for less than 5 bucks. All you need is a wide mouth quart mason jar, a piece of cheesecloth to cover the top and a rubber band or a canning lid ring to secure it in place. You can prop the jars at an angle with a towel in a pie plate to help drain after rinsing.
I haven’t been very fussy about it, everything has sprouted and I’m getting to have some fun new taste and nutritional experiences. Generally speaking, the sprouts are lighter and easier to digest, but higher in protein than their unsprouted counterparts. Good in busy times like the ones I’m having now. And you can cook ‘em if you want to, or eat ‘em raw. I do both.
Since I’m moving, and gardening continuity will be disrupted at both the old and the new house, I’m really enjoying sprouting things every day on the kitchen counter. I’m loving the adventure of new shoots and new starts to go with my new house adventures. And my old house has always loved to help plants, animals and people grow. I’m as happy as can be to say that I’ve accepted an offer from the perfect buyer, who will continue it’s fine traditions in her own special style. Contingent on the rezone, of course, but the great news about that is the city planner in charge is recommending approval and encouraging me on every step of the way. We should be done by mid June instead of mid July. All signs point to wonderful new beginnings all around. More details to come at some point, once I have been able to absorb them myself. Keep those good thoughts for positive results coming–they’re working!!
But for now, enjoy the contradiction of a last minute salad with a two day ingredient in it. Life is just that way, almost all the time. Might as well dig in.