I like to call this combination of ingredients the power salad because it has everything to fuel your body for a successful day. It is not a wimpy side dish, nor is it a heavy spread. It is jam-packed to give you what you deserve, and for me that is a pretty powerful meal. It always contains a grain (quinoa, basmati rice, buckwheat, millet, or soba noodles), a steamed starch (yams, nugget potatoes, squash, or sweet potatoes), a legume (chickpeas, beans, lentils, or split peas), raw veggies (carrots, beets, cauliflower, arugula, cabbage, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, celery, etc.), and a creamy vegan dressing (usually tahini or cashew-based). This was tonight's variation.  



2 cup quinoa, cooked (approx. 2/3 cups uncooked)*

1 yam, diced & steamed

1/3 red cabbage, grated

2 carrots, grated

1 beet, grated

1 cup chickpeas, cooked (approx. 1/2 cup dried)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

sea salt to taste

I chose to crisp up the chickpeas, but you can skip this step and leave them as is if preferred. Preheat oven to 400˚C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss chickpeas with cumin, oil, and sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp. While the chickpeas are baking you can prepare the dressing.

Lemon Cashew Dressing:

1/4 cup cashews

juice of 1/2 a lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon curry spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, mustard seed, cayenne pepper blend)

sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

Assemble the salad in the order listed above. Top with dressing and hemp seeds.

Serves 4

*To cook quinoa, soak grain over night and rinse well before adding clean cooking water (1.5 cups water for every 1 cup dry grain). You can skip this step if pinched for time, but soaking allows for quicker cooking time and also removes enzyme inhibitors making the grain's nutrients more available to the body and easier to digest. If you skip this step, use 2 cups of water for every cup of grain. Also expect to double your cooking time. Once you have added clean water and a pinch of sea salt, bring pot to boil before turning to low heat until all the liquid is fully absorbed. Remember to leave a lid on and restrain from stirring to avoid mushy quinoa. Approx. 20-25 minutes if using a soaked grain.