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Welcome to the third installment of my “Intuitive Cooking” series, where I teach you how to make a recipe without specific measurements. It’s a lesson in learning how to check in with your mind and body while in the kitchen. It’s a guided way to learn to trust yourself in the kitchen. This is how I really cook when I’m in my kitchen alone, and I have great faith in each an every one of you that you could learn to cook this way too. Let’s get started.
This Farmers’ Market Quinoa Salad has been on REPEAT in different variations for me all summer. It’s what I made on my road trip to help me feel more balanced, and it’s what I made when I returned home from said trip to help my body recover, and it’s becoming a ritual to make a new batch every Sunday after I visit my local farmers’ market. It’s just a light, yet filling healthy meal that makes me feel like I can take on the world.
There are a few basic components that make up this knock out salad…
- Quinoa (Don’t worry – I’ll teach you how to make it flavorful. I promise.)
- Local, seasonal farmers’ market produce (This allows you to have the freshest and most vibrant flavors- and also support your local farmers!)
- Fresh herbs
- Protein (You have free rein here – chickpeas, tofu, chicken, shrimp, salmon, etc.)
- Lemon juice
- Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small onion or shallot
- A spicy pepper (if you want!)
- Salt + pepper
I’ll get a bit more specific about what kinds of produce to grab at your farmers’ market and the best ways to serve them, but I just wanted you to glimpse at just how simple it is to put this delicious meal together. The options are endlessly customizable, and it requires no special spices or equipment. All of the flavor is in the produce and herbs.
I like to serve this salad cold, and eat it through the week as a grab and go meal. But you are welcome to serve it warm or use it as a side dish, or bring it to a potluck. It’s stupid simple and you can mold it into anything you want. Get ready to fall in love. xo.
Intuitive Cooking : Farmers' Market Quinoa Salad
Learn how to cook intuitively by making this totally customizable Farmers' Market Quinoa Salad. Eat clean and support local farmers, all in one dish!
- 1 part quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
- 2 parts water or broth
- 1 bouillon cube (exclude if using broth)
- 3 second spray Pompeian Avocado Oil Spray (for cooking protein)
- protein of choice (can of chickpeas, chicken, shrimp, salmon, tofu, etc.)
- 1 large handful crunchy green vegetables (ie. broccoli, broccolini, green peas, sugar snap peas, etc.)
- 3-4 large sweet fruits (ie. peaches, pears, apples, etc.)
- 1 large handful produce of choice (tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, strawberries, etc.)
- 1 small handful fresh herbs (ie. dill, cilantro, mint, parsley, basil, thyme, etc.) (I usually choose two.)
- 1 shallot or small onion, diced
- 1 small spicy pepper (ie. jalapeno or other heirloom variety) (Optional)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 healthy drizzle Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- salt and pepper
For the quinoa:
Rinse and drain your quinoa. Shake or pat your quinoa to dry it as much as you can before transferring it to a large pot. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and shake your quinoa around until it smells slightly nutty (about 2-3 minutes). Add in your water and bouillon cube, or broth, and increase heat to high until boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from heat. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and set aside.
For the protein:
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and spray the pan with Pompeian Avocado Oil Spray. Add your protein to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it is your desired level of doneness. (If using chickpeas, rinse and drain them before adding them to the pan and cook until crispy.)
For the crunchy green vegetables:
Heat a medium or large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Trim your greens. Once boiling, add your crunchy green vegetables to the pot and boil for 3-4 minutes, depending on the density. After 3-4 minutes, immediately transfer the greens to an ice bath for at least 5 minutes.
For the assembly:
Slice your large sweet fruits and any extra produce of choice into bite sized slices. Roughly chop your fresh herbs. Dice your small onion or shallot. If using, grate or finely dice your small spicy pepper.
Transfer your quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add in protein, crunchy green vegetables, chopped produce, herbs, onion or shallot, and spicy pepper. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Drizzle with Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the salad.
Toss your salad. Serve with sliced avocado on top. (TIP: Do not store your extra salad with the avocado mixed in, as it will go bad much faster than the rest of the salad.)
Intuitive Cooking is inextricably linked to Intuitive Eating in my eyes. The only reason I know *what* to cook is because I can listen to my body’s cues and feed it what it is asking for. But this is a skill, an attunement, that I painstakingly crafted over years.
It is not easy to learn, but it is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I have talked about it often here, on instagram, and in many private conversations with friends. The sentiment I come up against time and time again is a general frustration with where to begin. You get that it would be nice to be able to really listen to your body, but how the heck does one do that?
I love this question, because I’m both a heart person, and a mind person. Meaning, I feel things deeply, but I also love practical instructions and logistic advice. So I thought I’d give you a little beginners list of ways and methods of identifying what your body is saying. HUZZAH.
How to Identify What your Body is Saying:
- Eat when you are hungry. The more you deny your body’s signals, the less in touch you will be with it. How do you know if you’re really hungry? Eat. See how it feels. If it didn’t feel satisfying, make a note. Ask yourself what you really wanted instead. Perhaps it’s comfort. It’s usually comfort.
- Stop when you’re full. This was one that was very hard for me when I was learning how to listen to my body. I’d have existential crises about what *full* really meant. The only way to find out is trial and error. Under fill yourself, overfill yourself. Make note of when those things happened and if anything mental was contributing to it. This get’s easier with time.
- Notice how food makes you feel. Do you have a stomach ache after eating? Get a headache? Feel lethargic? Need a nap? These are all usually food related. So remember what you eat, decide if there are patterns. Decide if you want to break those.
- Record your mental state before and after you eat. Good to notice if you’re eating for an emotional reason, or if your food is causing an unwanted negative reaction.
- Do your best to enjoy every meal. Every bite. Every moment. The more fun food becomes for you, the less anxiety there will be around it. Give into the flavors. Seek out quality products (like farmers’ market produce). Take the time to breathe, and taste.
- PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY. You know nothing about yourself or what is happening while you eat if you’re mindlessly scrolling. Make mealtime a mindful action.
If you want more tips on learning to eat intuitively, check out this post.
Enjoy your food. Honor your body. Enjoy your life. xo.