When most people think of diet food, the word “salad” tends to spring to mind. Then come the references to rabbit food, and thoughts of deprivation and large padlocks across the refrigerator lead most people to dive into the leftover helping of pepperoni pizza. Yeah, been there. But healthy eating doesn’t need to be boring. Let’s get something straight. Yes, I may have lost a good chunk of weight over the past six months, but I love to eat. If a meal doesn’t have good flavor, I don’t feel satisfied and that’s where the trouble starts. For me, maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle means using a large variety of whole grains (such as quinoa), fresh and dried herbs, flavorful protein (like shrimp) and healthy fats (think avocado).
I like salads with lots of “goodies” – nuts, veggies, chicken, seafood, pasta, quinoa, dried fruit. If it’s in the fridge or pantry, it’s fair game. In the past, the one thing that stopped me from making salad every day was washing the greens. Am I the only one who can’t stand washing lettuce? I have no idea why. It’s just the way it is.
Now I limit the pain to one to two times per week. I throw the lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces into my OXO salad spinner (love that thing – more about it in the giveaway section at the end), wash it and spin it dry within a couple of minutes. Wrapped in paper towel and stored in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge, the lettuce stays perky and fresh for 4 to 5 days. All I have to do is reach in and grab a handful or two whenever I want to throw together a salad. Throw in some veggies that are quickly sliced on the OXO hand-held mandoline slicer and voila – a beautiful, healthy salad. Painful to painless.
The dressing is light and fragrant, with a lemony touch of spring and an herbaceous flavor from dried oregano. You may not need all of the dressing. Add about two-thirds of it, then taste to determine if you would like to add more.
Wash and spin four large Boston lettuce leaves.
In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain.
In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa and transfer to a cookie sheet, spreading the quinoa in a thin layer, to cool.
Set a large saucepan of lightly salted water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Drain and immediately plunge the shrimp into ice water to stop the shrimp from cooking further.
In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, shrimp, tomatoes and avocado.
For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice honey, oregano, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
Toss the dressing (you may not need all of it) with the quinoa mixture. Gently stir in Myzithra (or feta) cheese. Divide the quinoa salad between 4 Boston lettuce leaves, using the lettuce as a bowl. Serve.
Other quinoa salads:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Orange & Cumin Dressing
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Blacks Beans, Corn & Chipotle, Lime & Honey Dressing
The Church Cook’s Red Quinoa, Black Bean & Bell Pepper Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod’s Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Grapes, Pears & Almonds
With Style & Grace’s Kale Salad with Lemon Chicken & Quinoa
This giveaway is now closed.
For a chance to win these wonderful salad tools from OXO, just leave a comment on this post. Read below for instructions on earning extra entries. This giveaway is now closed.
Here are the items included in the giveaway (approximate value $45 USD):
Green salad spinner – This was rated the number one salad spinner by Cook’s Illustrated. It works like a dream!
Hand-held mandoline slicer – The sharp blade of this slicer can cut vegetables into three different thicknesses. Either slice over a plate or clip the mandoline over a bowl. Either way, this handy tool makes quick work of slicing!
This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and will be open until Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 5pm PST.
The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified via email, so please make sure your email address is correct. You will have 48 hours to respond to me, or a new winner will be chosen.
To earn additional entries, leave separate comments for each of the steps listed below. If you don’t leave separate comments for each step, the number generator will not count them as separate entries. If you already follow/”like” OXO or Cookin’ Canuck, just let me know that in your comments.
1. Follow OXO on Twitter.
2. Follow Cookin’ Canuck on Twitter.
3. Tweet about this giveaway, including my Twitter handle. Here’s an example: Head to @CookinCanuck for some Lettuce Cups w/Shrimp, Quinoa & Avocado an awesome @OXO giveaway. http://bit.ly/zyZZgi
4. “Like” OXO on Facebook.
5. “Like”Cookin’ Canuck on Facebook.
6. Share on your Facebook page and leave me the link.
7. Follow Cookin’ Canuck on Pinterest.
From the kitchen of Cookin' Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled
- 1 medium tomato , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small avocado, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 oz. Myzithra (or feta) cheese, crumbled
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large Boston lettuce leaves
- In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain.
- In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa and transfer to a cookie sheet, spreading the quinoa in a thin layer, to cool.
- Set a large saucepan of lightly salted water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Drain and immediately plunge the shrimp into ice water to stop the shrimp from cooking further.
- In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, shrimp, tomatoes and avocado.
- Whisk together lemon juice, honey, oregano, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
- Toss the dressing with the quinoa mixture. Gently stir in Myzithra (or feta) cheese. Divide the quinoa salad between 4 Boston lettuce leaves, using the lettuce as a bowl. Serve.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by OXO and they supplied me with some OXO products for my personal use and the giveaway. As usual, all opinions are my own. What can I say? I’m an OXO fan.