This year, I was in charge of cooking Easter Dinner for the family--much to my delight. Anytime I get to cook for people is a real treat. At first I thought I would make a big buffet of snacks and salads so everyone could pick and chose what they wanted to eat. But then I decided that making 8-10 different dishes could get a little expensive and result in A LOT of leftovers, so I opted to make 4 dishes plus dessert. I wanted to prepare a nice big raw salad (organic veggies including lettuce, spinach, grape tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, purple cabbage, carrot and cucumber
) and I also made roasted veggies--just cut sweet potato, regular potato (unpeeled), carrots and parsnip
into large bite-size pieces and toss with olive oil, black pepper, thyme and rosemary. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Next was wild rice salad with pecans and cranberries
(see recipe in a previous post) and this amazing stuffed avocado
dish:Ingredients (makes 4 servings as a side dish or 2 servings as a main dish):
* 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
* scant 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
* juice of 1 lemon
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 4-5 mint leaves, juliened (optional)
* 2 ripe avocados
* 4 thin slices of lemon as garnish, optional
Combine the rinsed quinoa with the water in a small sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Low and simmer 10-12 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Put in the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Carefully cut the flesh into cubes, leaving the shell intact. Scoop out the cut flesh and toss with the herbs, salt and lemon juice. When the quinoa is chilled, mix it with the avocado and then stuff the avocado shells with the mixture and garnish with a lemon twist. Yummy!
This was SO GOOD! I loved it. The flavor is light and refreshing and I loved the creamy texture of the avocado pieces intermingled with the little quinoa grains and the green specs of herbs. Perfect for a light summer meal or cookout.
For dessert, I made the Chocolate Cake
I posted about a few days ago. I decorated it with fresh strawberries
(yay--the forst strawberries of the season!), mint leaves
cut in half shortways to reveal the cross-section. I wish I had my digital camera to make a picture of this beautiful cake!
My grandma has been ill lately, so really it was just my mom, sister and I eating. I feel so sad for my grandma--I wish I could help her by telling her how to eat right. She has been very dehydrated, but all she drinks is diet soda--not a whole lot of water. I made her some tea, but she had to have sugar in it! It broke my heart. At dinner, all she cared to eat was a small bit of roasted veggies. When asked if she wanted some salad, she said "No, I better not, I don't think the raw vegetables would do me much good." The truth is, they would do a world of good for her body. People always think raw foods are somehow harsh and hard to digest, but it's really the opposite.
Cooked foods demand a lot of enzyme secretion and can actually cause the body to lose more nutrients than is gained from the food.I find it hard to realize that people are so out of touch with what is natural and healthy for their bodies. Even a simple thing like drinking enough water is neglected.
I remember being younger and having so many chronic health problems caused by dehydration--fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety, learning problems, etc. Loking back, I realize this because once I started drinking more water, these problems disappeared. I wish my parents had payed more attention to health and encouraged me to drink more water and not let cofffee (yes, I drank coffee from the time I was in middle school up to about 8 months ago) be available to me--especially when I was so young.