If you are spending most of your time pondering and trying to comprehend the dos and the don’ts of the ‘new normal’, let me tell you, you are not alone! Together, we are steering into a world that’s more virtual and less real. A world where constantly rubbing your hands with sanitiser will win you glances of approval. A world where summer holidays means staying safe in your nest and potluck parties may become extinct like dinosaurs.
My daughter, who is just four, is now angry at the coronavirus. She feels it is some sort of monster from her storybooks, who is stopping her from doing her favourite things and refuses to go back. She misses riding her bicycle, jumping on a trampoline, visiting a water park, going to a birthday party, dance class, and everything that makes growing years of a child the truly golden years of his/her life.
Thankfully, we are learning. And are trying to cope without losing that smile. Slowly, the new normal will soon be just normal. And while a lot has been lost, there’s a lot that we are receiving too. Life is what we make of it, after all.
Let us reconsider our priorities today. Let’s talk about the ways to boost our immunity to keep the virus away. Let’s make a habit of calling our loved ones and, when you give them those virtual hugs, do not forget to share some interesting healthy recipes too. Recipes that they can easily try and enjoy at home, which boost immunity and bring good cheer around the table.
Remember, happiness multiplies when shared. And what can be a better virtual gift than a recipe that makes a great mealtime for your loved ones?
Today, I am happy to share something that has worked for my family and of many of my participants. A quick Quinoa Mango Salad. It’s seasonal, exotic, easy and super yummy. And did I say healthy, too?
Read more for the step by step recipe and the numerous health benefits it carries.
Quinoa Mango Delight with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1 cup – Quinoa
2 tbsp – Balsamic vinegar
2 lemons – Zest
1 mango – peeled and diced
1 – red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup – Boiled soya chunks
1/3 cup – Chopped onion
1/4 cup – Grated coconut
1/4 cup – sliced almonds
1/4 cup – Raisins
A pinch of rock salt
Fresh coriander leaves
Please note: Lime zest is the outermost part that is used to add an intense citrus flavour to recipes. It is not pulp but the green part of the peel. The white part attached to the outer skin is called the pith and should not be used because of its bitterness.
*Thoroughly wash quinoa grains and soak it for a good 4-5 hours.
*In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups water, add a pinch of salt. Once the water starts to boil, add quinoa and cook it just the way you prepare rice. Sieve and drain excess water.
*Separately in a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and lime zest and keep it aside.
*Now in a large bowl, combine boiled quinoa, mango chunks, diced bell pepper, boiled soya chunks, onion, coconut flakes, almonds, raisins and coriander leaves.
*Pour the balsamic vinegar mixture on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
This salad makes for a healthy one-pot meal and especially on days when you need a break from your usual menu. It is a complete meal in itself.
Health benefits of quinoa, mango, soya and nuts
Rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidants and all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is one of the healthiest foods of South America. It’s naturally gluten-free and incredibly easy to prepare. It boosts immunity, improves blood sugar and cholesterol levels and even aids in weight loss.
Please note, in this recipe, you can always replace quinoa with economically priced and extremely healthy Indian millets like finger millet (ragi), sorghum (jowar) or barley (jau). They taste equally good.
Mango is a low-calorie fruit that is high in fibre and is a great source of vitamins A and C. It also contains folate, B6, iron and a little calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Mangoes are a good source of antioxidants, containing certain phytochemicals such as gallotannins and mangiferin which have been studied for their health benefits.
Good quality soya is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds, such as isoflavones. A moderate intake alleviates the symptoms of menopause and reduces the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
If you keep adding nuts to your diet in moderation, they make for a tasty addition to a balanced diet. Eating nuts on a regular basis may improve your health in many ways, such as reducing diabetes and heart disease risk, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.
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