Articles & Recipes

Summer Detox Quinoa Salad

Ashley Sperber - Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer is officially here, and that means we have to eat like it.  We habitually eat heavier foods in the winter to accumulate some needed fat as insulation.  In the summer months, that insulation can be quite uncomfortable and unnecessary, so leaner foods are preferred.  In general, the heat should inhibit our hunger and invoke the craving of more revitalizing, nutrient dense foods.  Seasonal fruits and veggies are at the top of that list!

I created this recipe specifically for my clients (and myself) as a sensible meal while detoxing.  This recipe is incredibly clean and because of it's contents, serves as a wonderfully balanced and flavorful salad.  At times it can be a little frustrating to compose dishes that are "detox friendly", but this option certainly fits the bill.

Sometimes when I am not on the cleanse, I like to add olives or capers, for an added burst of saltiness.  Experiment with different nuts or seeds in place of the sunflower, if desired.  In addition, almost any veggie can be supplemented in the mix that I provide below.  Feel free to experiment with a variety of fresh herbs as well.

serving size: 4-6
total time: 30 mins

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • smoked sea salt, to taste (plain sea salt is fine as well)
  • 4 cups roughly chopped kale
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • liberal amounts of sea salt and pepper

Set the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the quinoa, reduce heat to low-medium for 10 minutes.  While the quinoa is cooking, place the sliced shiitakes on the baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Allow the mushrooms to roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove quinoa once it is fully cooked and transfer to a large, shallow surface in the refrigerator, to cool. Remove the mushrooms and season them with (smoked) sea salt.  Next, place the sunflower seeds on the baking sheet and place them in the oven for 5 minutes. Next chop the garlic first, followed by the herbs, and set them aside. Chop all veggies and place them in a medium-large sized bowl and set aside.  Juice lemon into a small bowl and add the herbs and garlic, pressing down with a fork to incorporate flavors well.  Next, add olive oil, salt and pepper, and whisk for 30 seconds. 

Once the quinoa is cooled (at least 15 minutes), you can fold it into the veggies and top with dressing.  The salad may be need to chill in the refrigerator a bit longer before serving.

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