Monday, March 16, 2015

A neglected blog and a beautiful salad.

Another year has gone by and I'm finally writing something for this neglected blog.  We still have so many allergies, and I'm just absorbed into our fast-paced life with 4 kids.  Our youngest can't handle gluten and dairy.  Something we discovered after he started school this year.  He also developped asthma, which we are controlling with diet and medication.  We're all trying to eat more vegan, and cut out all wheat.  I've been doing this a lot longer than the others, so it's no problem for me.  As far as the whiny 5 year old, well it's a transition.  Let's just say whether he likes it or not, his health is getting better and the inhalers are needed less.  After only being on the diet a few weeks, I have yet to see him gain weight, but it will come.  As a concerned parent, most would agree that watching your child get sicker and sicker is not an easy thing to do.  The instinct to fix it or to help your child kicks in.  And since I have gone through this before with child #1, I know where to start with child #4.  So here we are on a gluten free, dairy free, mostly vegan diet...again.  But I won't let this get to me in a negative way, we'll just work around it.  We all agree that our family feels better when we eat mostly plants, so let's just stick to it already!

Speaking of plant based foods, this salad was incredible.  And speaking of being gluten free, this salad is not.  Sound confusing?  I think so too.  A friend who's a nutritionist and herbalogist (That's what she calls herself, google wants to correct me and call it herbalist.)  recommended kamut for us.  She said it was a low gluten, easy alternative to wheat, and that she thought we could handle it.  I was really skeptical on how we would handle it, but she was right!  I didn't have any problem at all digesting this!  But of course, I did soak the grain for at least 4 hours, and I simmered it in more than enough water which I drained after cooking.  This grain took a while to cook.  It was somewhere between 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours to cook.  I don't know if what I bought was older grain and maybe that would affect the cooking time, or if that is just normal for kamut.  Either way, it was worth it.  This salad was lick the plate delicious.  Of course, if you'd like to substitute brown rice to make it gluten free, be my guest!

Kamut and Kale salad with Mandarins

1 cup whole Kamut kernels
4 cups chopped, de-stemmed kale packed
1/2 cup medium diced red pepper
1/2 cup medium diced red onion
3 mandarins (like Cuties) peeled and segmented
1/4 sliced almonds

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice (or mandarin juice)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey or agave or maple syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all vegetables and mandarins to a bowl.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with the salad till well combined.  This is great for workday lunches, a quick light dinner, a snack for midnight munchies, or whatever your heart desires.

Bon Appétit!

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