Toasted Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Rainier Cherries, Raisins, Red onion. vegan gluten-free fat-free recipe

Toasted Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Rainier Cherries, Raisins, Red onion | Vegan Richa 

‎”The idea that it is funny to see wild animals coerced into acting like clumsy humans, or thrilling to see powerful beasts reduced to cringing cowards by a whip cracking trainer is primitive and medieval. It stems from the old idea that we are superior to other species and have the right to hold dominion over them” ~ Dr. Desmond Morris

My eyes are shot today after a crazy weekend. Lots of house hunting, finishing up house work, playing with chewie, eating out.. Lately we have been eating out a lot. You cant blame me, a gal needs a break from all the cooking 😉
Almost all of last year I did not go out and eat because of my anxiety and hence the resulting balance issues. My balance(that is the capability to know where I am in space by the coordination of signals from my body, skin, eyes and brain) is usually off anyway(I am on a boat all the time), but I have learned to live with it. However, if i am anxious for any reason or cannot find a decent stable place, like a seating place in a restaurant, i keep trying to feel stable and that makes me dizzy. This year, (touch wood), my anxiety is under control, so I have been eating out and enjoying places with decent seating which wasnt there at the new Veggie grill. The food was alright(I took some out to the car to eat 😉 , but then my tastebuds expect more because of the deliciousness at Plum bistro and Sage Cafe in Seattle.
I also have been rambling a lot more on the blog. My posts used to be short, sometimes informative, but not much personal last year. I am never sure about how much of me to put in a food blog.:)
I started some integrative Yoga therapy for my balance issues recently. We found my “Shavasan”, which is not the lying down and a relaxed state for me. For me, I sit on the floor, with the back supported on the wall and a heavy folded quilt twisted on my lap, and pillow behind my head. That is my relaxed state. That is how I usually sleep too. Stabilized lower body and head. I have a few exercises to add to my routine to help agitate the balance and learn. One of them is pushing the wall and rising on my toes. It bothers my head for sure.
Let me know if you want me to stop rambling about myself, the therapy et all :)
Vegan Richa:Toasted quinoa salad
I think Quinoa and red onions are a match made in food heaven. If you havent tried them together, you are missing something. This is a simple salad that I have been making variations of all this season. Some fluffy quinoa, red onions, chopped fruit of the season like cherries and some dried fruit like raisins.
You can also use Sprouted Quinoa for the salad. Sprouted quinoa pictures on the Sprouted quinoa tomato flatbread here.
Rinsed quinoa
Cooked, salad ingredients added and served.
Toasted Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Cherries, Red onion, raisins.
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Gluten, soy, sugar, oil free. Easily multipl-ed for a larger batch
1/2 cup rainbow quinoa
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon agave/maple syrup or sweetener
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup pitted and chopped cherries (I used Rainier cherries)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste
Cilantro or Parsley for garnish
variations: add large coconut flakes, almond slivers, red bell pepper.
Wash and drain the quinoa.
Heat a medium pan on medium heat and add rinsed quinoa. Roast it for 3-4 minutes.
You can skip the roasting and directly cook the quinoa in water as well.(for a larger batch, 2 cups water for 1 cup quinoa)
Add water, salt and maple to the pan. Mix and cook on low-medium flame for 18-20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Stir once in between.
Fluff the quinoa and keep ready.
Chop up the veggies and add to the warm quinoa. Add more or less fruits/veggies to preference.
Add in the cumin, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Toss well. Garnish with cilantro. Serve
For variation: add tomatoes, coconut flakes, almond slivers, red bell pepper, chopped up greens, black beans, avocado, and anything that you find :)
Add balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, vegan ranch, or other favorite dressings.
Use Sprouted Quinoa instead of cooked. To sprout Quinoa. wash and rinse well. Soak in 3 times the water for an hour. Drain, rinse and Keep damp in a container covered lightly with a towel overnight. Use, or rinse every 6 hours until desired sprout. Rinse, Mix in the veggies/dressing and serve. Sprouted quinoa doesnt need to be cooked.
Another favorite Quinoa salad at home is this Kachumbar salad.
Add chopped red onion, cucumber, tomato and green chili to cooked quinoa. Mix in salt, pepper lemon juice and cilantro.
I was looking for something interesting to post with the recipe.. a chart , a fun message, just something. I happened upon Veganomaly’s post about companion animals. And I had to mention it. Unnecessary killing in shelters is one of reasons why I connected the wrongness of it all to animals on the plate. I cant imagine my puppy ever being on death row. But I know that my fosters were. Those sweet faces, with no major behavior or medical issues, highly adoptable breeds, were to be “euthanized” as all shelters put it, the same day or the next day, before they were luckily picked and were flown to Seattle.
Euthanasia is the act of ending a life of another(person or animal) painlessly, to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.
Unless they call shelter life an incurable illness, and the death painless, this term down not apply to what we do to the animals in shelters. (The process is not painless with the dogs and cats dragged to their death to gas chambers, in some shelters, where it takes them half an hour to die a painful death).
To put it simply, We kill them.
For no reason, not for food, not for leather, not for medicine, but because someone keeps breeding them and we keep buying and dumping them like we would clothes.
Think about it, before you buy a puppy.
1 life every 8 seconds.
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  1. says

    Ramble on, Richa. I think a lot of people can relate. I hope you continue to live an anxiety-free (or a close approximation thereof) life. This dish sounds fantastic, I am just now coming around to sweet fruits in otherwise savory dishes. Especially with cumin – it’s an entirely new world and I like it a lot :)
    Be well

    • says

      i hope so too Maud:) i love the sumin in the quinoa salad. with the smoky cumin, salt and pepper and the sweet/savory, additional dressing isnt needed.:)

  2. says

    i agree. quinoa and red onion is a match made in heaven. the salad looks delicious.

    i was the same way for a while about eating out. i just don’t trust anyone. but sometimes you just have to give up control and trust that someone can feed you a vegan meal. and, sometimes food you don’t make yourself tastes better 😉 sit down and be served.

    i had no idea about your imbalance issues. you are such a strong and amazing woman. the yoga practice sounds intriguing!

    • says

      we have some really good vegan restaurants in seattle and eating there has spoilt me:) i expect too much from any new ones now:)
      finally this year i am taking time to figure out some good therapy. i need to fly around and visit people:)

  3. says

    I totally agree with on the quinoa and red onion Richa! This salad looks divine. Keep on with the yoga, and I hope the balance stuff gets sorted in short order!
    It is always tough to know just what to share, thanks for letting us in on this little piece of your life :) xo!

  4. says

    I love getting to know you through your blogging Richa and so happy to hear that you have found a yoga practice that is right for you.

    I have a really hard time eatng out, my expectations are so high that if I know I can make t better at home then why go out? we have a limited moutn of veg friendly joints in my area…although I did find this amazing asian fusion restaurant that grows alot of their own food and buys almost exclusivy local that is amazing!!!

    …shelters break my heart, the whole situation I just don’t understand how peopel view their puts as disposable – our furbabies are family members, thankfully our local shelter is no kill and NH has one of the highest placements for pups :)

    • says

      I dont make the usual burge and pizza fare much at home. and the vegan places are pretty good out here. veggie grill just opened. and it has some big hopes to live up to:)

  5. says

    I have missed some of your posts with my crazy schedule….it is time to sign up to receive your posts via email! :-) Your salad looks amazing, and love all the flavors together! I never thought to toast the quinoa, what a lovely idea! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  6. says

    I love your recent ramblings- I love getting to know the real Richa. :-) I am so happy that you’re seeking out therapy that will help you with your balance issues.

    I’ve heard of toasting the quinoa before, but I’ve never tried it. I think I’ll give it a go on my next batch! Thank you!

  7. says

    I just bought rainbow quinoa last weekend–now I have an idea for what I can do with it!

    I have had balance issues as well. My doctors can’t figure out whether it’s related to my migraines or something with my ears, but it’s been better lately. When it acts up, it is really hard to deal with, so I know what you mean about not wanting to go out.

    • says

      ahh, mine is undiagnosed as well. after visiting 20 specialists for the year, i just stopped trying to find a cause and finally this year doing some therapy. hope your balance problems have some solutions now.

  8. says

    So glad that you are doing well, Richa. I’m sure all this healthful and wholesome cooking is helping. That salad looks so pretty, with the cherries. Hmm..must try that red onion combo.

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