The All-Inclusive

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This delicious salad is iron rich, thanks to the pumpkin seeds, spinach, and quinoa. With full servings of each, this trio can provide nearly 50 40 percent of the recommended daily dose!

The Menu:

  • Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Root Vegetable Ceviche

The Containers:

  • 1 shallow Pyrex dish
  • 3 squares of parchment paper

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Why is the avocado whole and off in the corner by itself? This is the best way to keep it fresh. By packing it this way, I am nearly eliminating its exposure to air: the skin is still on protecting it, and the parchment paper is suctioned to the other side. Tomorrow, when I’m ready for lunch, I’ll squeeze the avocado with my fingers, and the meat will come right out. It can be easily chopped with my fork.

 Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Root Vegetable Ceviche:

  • 1 cup of loosely packed baby spinach
  • ½ cup of leftover quinoa
  • 1 half of an avocado
  • 1 green onion, rinsed
  • 2 small carrots, peeled
  • 1 white or yellow beet, peeled
  • ½ of a lemon
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 pinch of herb salt
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, rinsed

Directions:

  1. Salad. Coarsely chop the spinach. Pile the spinach on the far side of the container. Cut a piece of parchment paper the width of the container, and put it next to the spinach. It will be the spinach’s retaining wall.
  2. Scoop the quinoa into the container next to the spinach. Use your fingers to shape the quinoa into a row that sits right next to the spinach’s parchment paper. Cut another piece of parchment paper, and put it on the other side of the quinoa.
  3. Cut a rectangular piece of parchment paper. The width should be the same as the avocado’s height, and the piece should be long enough so that it can wrap around the avocado. Place the avocado half on the parchment paper, the meaty side touching the paper, and set it in one of the remaining two corners of the container.
  4. Slice the green onion (both its white and green parts) into tiny discs. Sprinkle the sliced onions over the row of quinoa.

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  1. Ceviche. Using a vegetable peeler, shave slices off the beet. These should be thin enough that they look a little translucent. Shave off about a quarter of the beet. Leave the slices on the cutting board for now.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave wide, thin ribbons off the carrots. Leave the shavings on the cutting board for now too.
  3. Cut the lemon half into a few wedges. In the last remaining corner of the container, make a layer of beet and carrot shavings. Squeeze one lemon wedge over those shavings. Then dust them with a tiny bit of cayenne.
  4. Make another layer of beet and carrot shavings. Squeeze a lemon wedge over them. Dust with black pepper.
  5. Keep making layers like this until you have used up all the shavings. Be generous with the lemon and judicious with the cayenne. If you have lemon juice pooling a bit in the container, that’s ok.
  6. Top the last layer with a sprinkling of herb salt.

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  1. Nutritional Garnish & Tomatoes. Chop the pumpkin seeds, and sprinkle them over every section of the container. These are pretty, add nice texture, and best of all, put iron, fiber, and protein in your salad.
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes or, if your tomatoes are big like mine, cut them into thirds. Where they fit, place those on the avocado-ceviche side of the container only.  Tomatoes have a lot of moisture, so if you put them on top of the spinach or quinoa, they will create sogginess.

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These green onion slices are full of nutrients, specifically phytonutrients. I try to garnish one meal a day with a whole green onion. It’s an easy, flavorful, and healthful habit.

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