January 19, 2015

Quinoa Salad with Black Chickpeas & Arugula

Yet another weekend went by, packed & busy. Luckily, I had time to watch two documentaries - "GMO OMG" and "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead by Joe Cross". Both are great food documentaries and must-watch. While the first one exposes the black side of GMO products in the market, the second one stresses on the importance of adding more fruits and veggies to the diet. If you have a Netflix account, I insist you take time and watch the videos, for they will help you in the long run.

The documentary GMO - OMG follows a father, Jeremy Seifert's search for answers to the question "What are we feeding our families?" and examines the risks of GMOs. End of the video, I got literally scared and panicky. I had to quickly run into my kitchen to take a stock of GMO items in my pantry and I was quite shocked to find a few of them. GMO products have slowly seeped into the market and now into our pantries without us even realizing it. The documentary was definitely a wake-up call for me and I am now in the process of cleaning up my kitchen with non-GMO products.

What are GMOs?
Genetic Modification is a technique that changes the genetic makeup of cells, including alteration of genetic materials and other biologically important chemicals, and allows genes to move across species. It produces new combinations of genes and traits that do not occur in nature. Plants that have been altered in this way are called GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, or GE, genetically engineered. GMO plants are modified to include genes allowing them to survive the application of chemical herbicides, or cause the plants to produce pesticides. 

What can you do to avoid GMOs in a grocery store?
  • Choose organic products. All organic foods sold in the U.S. must be certified to the USDA National Organic Standards, which prohibit the use of GMOs.
  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on products.
  • Support local farmers by buying from farmer's market which carries fresh & organic vegetables & fruits.
(Thanks to http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com)

Being a food blogger, I am much obliged to pass on the info to all my folks who may not be aware of GMO yet. We, our kids, our families and our health are being traded off for tons of money by some of the giant food corporations (google for monsanto and companies supporting monsanto). By switching to USDA Organic / non-GMO verified products, we can make sure our dollars are not going to support monsanto and at the same time, watch out for the health of our families and loved ones.

This recipe of quinoa salad uses only organic products and organic vegetables from farmer's market. I know it takes time, effort & money to entirely switch to non-GMO products, but worth your life time. Have you made the call yet? If not, do so before it is too late!

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 25 mins (does not include cooking time for chickpeas)
Serves - 3

1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa

1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3 green Thai Chillies
1 inch Ginger, grated

1/2 cup cooked black Chickpeas
a handful of fresh baby Arugula
a handful of Cherry tomatoes, quartered
a handful of Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
a handful of slivered Almonds

Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Wash quinoa, cook with 1 cup of water and let it cool. When cold, fluff up quinoa using a fork.

Heat a tsp of oil. When hot, crackle cumin seeds, saute green chillies, grated ginger briefly. To this, add fluffed up quinoa, salt and give it a good toss. Remove the pan off heat, add the juice from a lime and mix well. 

Toss in cooked chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered almonds, arugula. Mix well and serve.

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