I got back from school a few minutes ago.
My body is literally collapsing and the sad thing is; this was a relatively short day for the routine that is dental school (until 4PM). So yeah I did wake up at 4AM to study for my Radiology exam this morning, I did have four 2-hour classes back-to-back and I did manage to somehow not dose off and close my eyes during any of them. Hey, more than 3 hours sleep at night is for wussies, is it not?
These days are quite common in my studies but honestly, my biggest problem in such long days is not the fatigue or the stress or the boredom or th-, ok, well yeah the boredom is an issue, but the main problem in such days is that I am out of the house for most of the day and I have difficulty in getting myself a proper meal. Why? Let’s look at that for a second, shall we?
If we talk about buying something from the nearby of my faculty:
– All bakeries are off the list due to my gluten-allergy and most restaurants are off the list for that same reason. Then,
– After bakeries, it’s meat-based places that are most frequent and since I have as much to do with a Covrig (Romanian pretzel) as I have to do with a burger, all of these things are off the list.
My two rays of lights are French fries from a local Turkish place that, while I cannot vouch for the quality of the rest of the food, the French fries are an insult to the word French fries. I got them a bunch of times and each time was more terrible than the prior and so it was settled that I buy these French fries just on emergencies where I am literally about to faint.. Although seriously the fainting may be preferable than the terrible aftertaste this French-fries possess.
Another local option is to buy a snack. Again, due to Gluten my options are reduced to popcorn or chips (of 2 types). It’s not much of a change from the awful French fries and possibly even less nutritional.
I was always problematic with bringing food to school because my only idea was to bring sandwiches. Gluten-free breads here are not so amazing (not mentioning really expensive) and I still haven’t mastered the art of Gluten-free bread-making. I tried to bring veggies I like but they always ended up kinda yucky by lunchtime, and I tried to bring different types of veggie-meatless-meatballs but eating them cold was just… no…
And that’s where this amazing Quinoa energy salad came to the rescue. So I am not big on salads. I basically prefer my food as junky as possible, but what is good about this lovely salad is that it’s:
- Healthy – It has Quinoa which contains a lot of proteins, it also contains some healthy tasty veggies.
- Junky at the same time – ok, not really, but at the same amount it has healthy, ordinary elements, it also contains cranberries and sweet potatoes so you forget are eating a salad!
- The colors of the rainbow – It is scientifically proven that food is more attractive to us when it is visually more appealing. This salad is so colorful that I truly feel happy when I eat it just by looking at my bowl.
- Taste everything – If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’d know that I am a big fan of mixing tastes to make things more special. Well, this is the epitome of the goodness of taste-mixing. Really it is sweet, it is sour, it is salty, and it is INTEREsTING!
- It keeps fresh while out of the fridge which makes it perfect for taking it to school.
Seriously, this is my solution to people who are out of the house for long hours due to school or work, who want to keep healthy instead of eating empty carbohydrates, and still enjoy what they eat. It is actually filling and keeps your body full of energies and of course, this is a great dish to serve as well because it really is beautiful.
Ingredients: (for 2-3 servings)
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 3 cups sweet potatos, peeled and cut into cubes
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- Olive/Canola/sunflower oil, enough for frying
- 4-5 lettuce leaves
- 100 grams dried sweetened cranberries
- A handful of herbs, I recommend basil,mint or parsley (optional)
- 1 tbsp salt
- A pinch of white pepper powder
- Place the quinoa in hot water and boil until it is ready (approx..20 minutes but it is recommended to look at your quinoa brand’s instructions). Once it is ready, filter out the water and let the quinoa cool. If you have 2 pots, at the same time boil the sweet potatoes in another pot, if not, wait until the quinoa is done and then boil the sweet potatoes until they are soft enough that you can stick a fork in them.
- Meanwhile, cut the bell peppers into small pieces, pour a bit of oil in a pan and stir dry the bell peppers, chopped onions and garlics. First insert the onions and garlics and only when the onions begin to become more golden in color, add the peppers and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Cut the lettuce leaves (and the optional herbs) into smaller portions. Place the lettuce, herbs and the cranberries in a bowl, add the boiled and fried ingredients and combine them all together.
It is best served cold. It is stored in the fridge and holds for a few days.
Outside the fridge it holds well for a few hours.