QUINOA WITH MINT, CILANTRO & RED ONION
How to Make Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE
Boil quinoa in 2c water 15 minutes or until soft. Do not over stir or over cook, to avoid quinoa turning to mush. Finely chop mint and onions. Gently mix all ingredients together. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.
How Can This Ayurvedic Recipe Make You Feel Great?
The songs of the birds, buzzing bees and blossoming daisies in spring tempt us outdoors. The sun warms our skin and creaky bones after a long winter. Coming out of winter, our bodies are making some big changes like shedding winter fat
The warmer weather indicates to your body that we won't need our extra February insulation, triggering a release the fats into your bloodstream. The fatty, thick, enriched blood bogs your circulatory system and respiratory tract. Enriched blood is called sweet blood in Ayurveda. It causes water retention and mucus congestion. You may notice more saliva this time of year, bad breath, a persistent sore throat, or flu like symptoms. Your lungs may feel heavy and the mind sluggish.
Spring Allergies: Myth or Fact?
Flowers bloom all summer long, yet in the spring a single grain of pollen triggers a flood of mucus. Pollen in the air is beyond our control. Heavy, fat-enriched blood predisposes us to more mucus production. Reducing fats and heavy foods during the spring can mitigate our response to pollen. Fat metabolism tends to aggravate the liver, increasing inflammation and immune sensitivity. Cilantro
calms our immune sensitivity to pollen. It is hypoallergenic and cools the liver.
refreshes the mind, disperses dullness and lifts the fog. It breaks up mucus and fluid stagnation in the lungs, throat and sinuses. Mint and cilantro are both diuretics with the potential to drain excess water via the urinary tract. Raw onions have a cleansing effect on the liver and a laxative effect in the GI. Wild onions, a common weed, are a great addition to the spring time menu.
What is a Spring Fever?
"Spring Fever" is the new energy, vitality and vigor we associate with the warmer spring weather. Literally, the fever comes when spring weather warms your blood, dilating blood vessels in the arms and legs. As the sap starts to run in the maple trees, circulation improves to your extremities, effectively ending the season of winter hibernation. The arms enjoy the additional blood, and crave physical activities such as gardening or spring cleaning. Outdoor activities also ignites protein cravings. Quinoa, a grain, can satisfy protein cravings. It is a complete protein often appearing on super-foods lists.
Extra blood in the extremities translates to less blood for digestion. Mint and onion stimulate a waning spring appetite and quinoa is easy to digest. On warm days, a release of fluid buildup from moving blood can cause the hands and feet to swell. As diaphoretics, mint and onion both cause sweating that cleanses the skin and disperses swelling in the hands and feet.
Raw onions may be too intense and pungent for sensitive digestive tracts. In that case saute onions until they are translucent. Mint, an inspiring herb, could potentially scatterbrain a Vata person. Mint and cilantro, both diuretics, may be too drying for Vata.
WHAT IS QUINOA WITH MINT, CILANTRO & RED ONION?
A refreshing recipe with mint may be just what your body is asking for to combat spring-time allergies. It's also perfect to whip up for a spring picnic because it's light and won't spoil while you're out enjoying the sunshine.
This dish essentially serves up a mix of grain with fresh, zesty herbs. Inspired by tabbouleh, it substitutes clearing mint for parsley, and light, protein rich quinoa for wheat. Raw onions add crunchy texture. Give this zesty recipe a try, or mix it up a little with your own ingredients and let us know how it goes!
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is
tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with
at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what
should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you
are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive
tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you
experience optimal health.
Is Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz
You'll learn your body type, and whether Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.
AYURVEDIC MEDICINAL QUALITIES
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main characteristics
Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance.
By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick.
Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold).
You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.
ABOUT CLEAR GUNA
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CLEAR
ABOUT COLD GUNA
Cold refers to anything that reduces body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLD
The 6 Tastes
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food.
Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body.
Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food.
Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods.
Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion.
Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste.
One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?
ABOUT PUNGENT GUNA
Pungency is characterized by irritation, or sharp, spicy foods that irritate the mouth such as black pepper.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PUNGENT
ABOUT BITTER GUNA
Bitter is disagreeable and stimulating rejection, and a strong taste often associated with black coffee, dark chocolate, and most salad greens.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BITTER
The Three Doshas / Body Types
People tend to get sick, over and over again, due to similar causes and habitual imbalances that are unique to the person.
Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness.
Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency.
Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types
are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha).
Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy.
Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy.
Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass.
Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry.
Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed.
Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
An herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALKALIZING
Prana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PRANA
Ojas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OJAS
Rajasic foods stimulate desire or nervous energy. Red meat, high protein food, garlic and onions stimulate desire. Rajasic foods include chili peppers, coffee, and anything that stimulates movement.
LEARN MORE ABOUT RAJASIC
Herbs or spices with volatile essential oils that present strong aromas. Aromatic oils shock, refresh and numb tissue, with the end result of relaxing, opening and clearing stagnant fluids in tissues.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AROMATIC
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Cleanse and Detox:
An herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BURNS-TOXINS
Energy Vitality Strength:
Heart & Circulation:
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALTERATIVE
Kidney & Urinary:
Herbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DIURETIC
Liver & Gall Bladder:
Cholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHOLAGOGUE
Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
Love our recipes? Discover how to balance your diet for only $35 with this popular short course.
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About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week
provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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Are you sure the quinoa should be cooked for 1 1/2 to 2 hours? Mine is usually fully cooked in 15 minutes. Is there a different type of quinoa that I'm not aware of?
Just call me "confused".
- Maggie, Toronto, ON 10-18-10
Thanks Cat. I have updated the recipe with a shorter cooking time even though it does take 40 minutes to get a fluffy, soft grain.
As far as I can tell, Quinoa is a seed, not a fruit. However, since it is not a member of the grass family of plants, it is not a true grain.
Maybe try the recipe without the onion?
Mariya, I would suggest trying chives or leeks which impart a similar flavor without the potency of onions.
- Jess, Allen park, MI 05-21-14
Love it!There is no mention of the other ingredients in the preparation section... OK for seasoned cooks, not so much for beginners or cooks unfamiliar with certain foods. Could you please adjust?
Really delicious! I cooked the quinoa by bringing it to a boil then simmering it, covered, for 15 minutes. It came out perfect! I added 1/2 tsp of salt to the quinoa while cooking, and added the rest to the whole mixture. I sauteed the onion, and it turned out great!(note on the recipe instructions: doesn't say what to do with the cilantro)
what kind of mint? spearmint or peppermint? i am allergic to peppermint.
- Ro, Arlington, VA 05-29-17
You could use either type of mint.
This is very good! I substituted sesame oil for the olive oil because it pacifies Kapha. I have seen a drastic improvement in my blood pressure since changing my diet.
- Mitt, Trotwood 02-19-18
Such a light and refreshing meal in the summer heat. I swapped it the olive oil for sesame and omitted the salt and it was still delicious. It would be a great addition to a backyard bbq.
Followed directions and ended up with THE most delicious treat...and that was warm... looking forward to when it is refrigerated...But I have a question... can this masterpiece be frozen? I would love to freeze and have for later...
Thanks for your feedback! We've never tried freezing this particular dish. If you do, please let us know how it goes.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 09-30-19
Made this recipe for a family dinner last night. The recipe was missing a few steps but I figured it out. I wanted to share that I cooked the quinoa in the instapot on manual for 1 min. it took about 5 min to come to pressure, cooked 1 min and then let it naturally come down for 10min. open the pot and it is perfect. Also instead of 2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa only use 1.5 cups of water. I felt the flavors melded together and there were not left overs.