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Banana Quinoa Salad

I love fast food. It’s my favorite kind. The quicker the better. However, you’d have to drag my cold dead corpse into a place like Maccas or KFC. Fast food does not have to come from franchised outlets serving garbage with a two-minute turn around. The best kind of fast food is healthy, balanced, fresh, organic and tasty. Whipping up a delicious meal doesn’t have to take hours of preparation and cooking. This fabulous salad takes 20 minutes to put together from scratch (much less if you’ve already cooked the quinoa) and there’s no waiting in a queue.

My home-grown salads are always filled with fresh garden goodies like tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh herbs and whatever green leafy vegetables happen to be sprouting. In this case, it’s a few leaves of arugula for the spicy flavor. There are six herbs in the bowl: basil. jungle oregano, mint, wild cilantro, onion greens, and garlic greens. I’ve served this salad in crispy lettuce cups as side dish and I’ve also eaten it as a main meal. After a busy day working in the garden, it’s often on the dinner menu.

The portions set out below are for one or two people as a main meal – I live alone and there is usually no need to make more – so if you have more mouths to feed, double or triple the ingredients for an amazingly delicious salad that is filling and nutritious, or use it as a tasty little side dish for 4-6 people. Then, sit back and listen to them rave about how good it is!

Banana Quinoa Salad Recipe:

1/2 cup organic quinoa
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 chopped red onion
1 ripe plantain banana
2 tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1/2 red onion
handful of fresh garden herbs
3-4 leaves of arugula
onion & garlic greens
lime juice
olive oil
papaya pepper
sea salt

Rinse the quinoa in fresh water and put it into a saucepan of water with a sprinkle of salt. Add the turmeric and chopped onion and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked through.

While the quinoa is cooking, peel and dice the banana. Grill it in a little olive oil, turning it to brown all sides. Set it aside.

Dice the tomatoes and cucumber, finely slice the onion, and finely chop all the herbs and greens. Place them all into a bowl, add the grilled banana, and squeeze the lime juice over it. Toss the vegetables and herbs together. Add the olive oil, papaya pepper and salt.

When the quinoa is cooked, strain it and rinse with fresh water. Add this to the vegetables and mix it through until well combined. Chill and serve.

Buen Provecho.

Did you know that the cookbook Going Freaking Bananas: 101 Ways To Cook Bananas That You Have Never Even Imagined will be released and available on Amazon later this year? Visit me on FB or let me know in the comments if you’d like to get your hands on an advance copy.

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If you’re living or traveling in Ecuador and you’re interested in participating in our traditional and fusion foods Cooking Classes or Chocolate-Making Workshops, get in touch!

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