Strawberries are in season

Spring in Melbourne means berry season and my sister and I both love strawberries. Mum used to buy a punnet to have as a dessert with icecream. This was increased to a few punnets at a time after incident with a car trip home from the supermarket and a little miss eating the punnet on the way home.

I am constantly searching the web for healthy recipes that I can adapt to suit my food allergies and intolerences and have recently discovered strawberries used in savoury salads, so I decided to give it a go. This is the first of many salads

My first recipe has been adapted from a recipe Oh She Glows. This recipe included leek, garlic and asparagus, but those on a low FODMAP diet know that these are problematic because they are due to the excess fructose and fructan content and we don’t need to go there. Luckily I don’t have a problem with berries or asparagus. These days I have been able to successfully reintroduce a number of foods that I had to avoid while on the FODMAP diet.

Warm strawberry and quinoa salad

Serves 2 as a main meal

1 cup of cooked quinoa*
1/2 tbsp olive oil (coconut or macadamia will also work)
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 bunch broccolini (original recipe calls for asparagus but I didn’t have any)
Goats cheese feta (optional)

Dressing

1 cup parsley
3 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 – 3 tbsp olive or macadamia oil
1/2 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Process all the dressing items in the food processor and put aside.

Saute broccolini in oil for a few minutes, add peas and saute for a few minutes longer (until the peas have thawed). Add the strawberries and just warm through. Remove this from the heat, add the dressing and quinoa. Serve with some crumbled feta over the top.

This would also work as a cold salad.

*Note on cooking quinoa.
1 cup of raw quinoa yields 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

My preferred method is 1 cup of quinoa, 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Turn off and let it sit covered for 5-7 mins

A new journey begins

When I was young I always wanted to work in a library and followed this dream for many years, training as a library technician and then as a librarian. Sadly, after many years in the industry, I realised that I no longer had the same passion that first led me down the path of librarianship.My turning point came after a paticularly stressful run at being a team leader in a large academic library, my health was once again deteriorating. I had become intolerant to many of the foods I had loved and was constanstly sick, tired and miserable. Something had to change.

Being a Taurean I have always loved food, although it was poor food choices that led to my ill health. After much soul searching and numerous discussions with my shiatsu masseuse, I decided to embark on a new career path as a nutritionist. I have the begun the journey to becoming a nutritionist and with it I have discovered a new passion for food and nutrition.

I have been diagnosed with multiple food allergies (not intolerances) and while they are not life threatening have certainly not been good for my health. My journey through the study of nutrition has led me to change my diet, lose weight and stop taking some of the medications that I have been on for a number of years. My long-term goal is to be drug free and healthy.