Quinoa Salad + Eating Smart

Happy Friday everyone!

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know that I suffer from some autoimmune induced digestive issues from time to time. One of the subjects of this post is how I’m managing it to a certain extent, so let’s get into it.

I found out a few months ago that aside from eating large quantities of whole nuts, raw carrots and popcorn, the thing that messes with me most is eating a lot of food in one sitting. Overeating can be really easy, especially in a social situation or when I’m really hungry. But, unlike most people, overeating doesn’t just make me feel a little full; it makes my life hell a few hours later when food starts going through my small intestine.

The way I combat this is to try to eat until I’m about 80% full, which is something I’ve heard is an idea from Inuit tribes of northern Canada (I could be wrong, though). If I eat to about that place, I might feel hungry-ish for another 15-20 minutes, but I’ll thank myself later. If after that span of time, I’m still hungry, I usually wait another ten minutes before eating something else, which is often a small bit of dessert.

If you cook a lot of food, though, it can be hard not to overeat, especially if you don’t want leftovers. The way I combat this is by making small, light meals, especially for dinner, like this quinoa salad. It’s filling, but light and healthy, making it perfect for a happy digestive system overnight.

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Even though it’s vegan, this meal packs protein, healthy fats and some good carbs. And even though there’s no meat, the flavors are complex and will keep your taste buds satisfied–also an important component of combating overeating.

And since I’m one of those people that tends to eat smaller meals supplemented with snacks, half this recipe is the perfect size for a dinner. Are you a grazer, or do you eat three big meals a day? Let me know in the comments, and make sure to try this quinoa salad out either way!

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Ingredients

for the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • juice from half a lime

for the salad

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • ½ large sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • ½ medium zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, zucchini slices, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne and mix until all the vegetables are coated in oil and spice.

Spread the veggies on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. You might want to go in there and flip the zucchini slices, but that’s totally optional.

In the meantime, put the quinoa and 2 cups of water into a small pan. Let the water come to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and lime juice and set aside. Once the quinoa is done, transfer it to a bowl and mix it well with the dressing.

For assembly, add ½ the quinoa, ½ the veggies and ½ a sliced avocado into a bowl and enjoy.

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