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The Best Little Quinoa Salad Ever

By now, you  have probably heard a thing or two about this scandal with Paula Deen. If you haven’t, here is a recap:

Paula Dean was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

Three years ago.

The number 1 treatment for Type 2 Diabetes is diet and exercise.

She continues to cook large volumes of high fat, high sugar food on TV, in her restaurants and cook books.

She now wants to endorse a Type 2 diabetes drug and "comes clean" about her diagnoses.

The public freaks out.

Although we all have opinions about, well, just about everything and everyone we have ever met, I’m not concerned about Paul Deen. I don’t know her, and it’s none of my business.

But I am concerned about you. And me. And what I feel like is my responsibility to you. I have quite a few "special occasion" food recipes on this blog, made with high fat, high calorie, high sugar ingredients. And I hope that doesn’t give you the wrong idea.

I hope you all read my post about how I don’t eat like that all the time and how I stay in shape.

Learning from someone else’s mistakes is better than making one yourself, the same dramatic positive changes without the mess to clean up. Use her as inspiration, not as fodder for gossip. She is unhealthy and needs to make changes in her life, but that’s her business.  How can we take this all in, look at ourself and see how to make our own changes rather than making her the villain? How can we help the people we love who are living unhealthy lives? How can we all be in this together and use it as a way to live better and eat better?

How can we have those uncomfortable conversations with people we love who are killing themselves with food? You know who just popped into your head when you read that. Why haven’t you talk to that person?

Use Paul’s story as an icebreaker in your own life. As inspiration to change. 

Whether she decides to change or not, who cares? 

I’m glad this came out, but can we stop pointing fingers and starting living better?

Here is my salad, my way of staying in shape. I eat it about 5 days a week in various forms and this one is my favorite.

Chocked full of protein, iron, amino acids, general good stuff. It also keeps me full until dinner.

Best Quinoa Salad Ever

 2 cups arugula (or spring greens), chopped

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (Here is how you cook Quinoa the RIGHT way don’t cook it like rice or it will be mushy)

2 tbs pine nuts

1/2 an avocado, chopped

1 oz goat cheese

1/4 cup Pomegranate seeds

2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

Toss it all in a bowl, makes about 2 servings.

Printable: Best Quinoa Salad

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Cassie January 25, 2012 um 2:45 pm

This sounds amazing, I would gobble it up in an instant. Great post, I completely agree with you. We can all take responsibility for our actions!


Liz January 25, 2012 um 6:04 pm

Oh, I love the look of this delicious, healthy salad! I’m the same way…I blog about decadent desserts, but I certainly don’t eat a ton of them. I think I practice more moderation than Paula does!


Jackie January 26, 2012 um 8:44 am

Yeah, moderation isn’t one of Paula’s strengths 🙂


Name Andi McGrew January 25, 2012 um 6:35 pm

Looks yummy!


Erin January 26, 2012 um 1:39 am

Hi Jackie!

I make a very similar salad but I sub pecans/walnuts/pepitas for the pine nuts (I dont much like the taste
Of them raw and they’re a pain to roast and effing expensive!) and cubed butternut squash for the avocado.
But! Almost the same. Thanks for sharing.


Jackie January 26, 2012 um 8:45 am

I like to sub pecans, but I do love pine nuts! You can get them at Trader Joes for a couple dollars. If you want to toast them, just use a dry pan over high heat on the stove for a couple minutes.


Andrea January 26, 2012 um 8:24 am

Thanks for posting Jackie! Can’t wait to make it this weekend, yumm!


Elizabeth January 26, 2012 um 8:36 am

Yummmy!!! I loooove having salads JUST like this one for lunch every day and I seriously look forward to every bite. Such a feel good meal!


Jackie January 26, 2012 um 10:33 am

That’s why you have such a hot body for a Mamma of two! Quinoa salads and mom-stress 😉


Roxy January 26, 2012 um 8:43 am

This is a great post. And that salad looks delicious:)


RavieNomNoms January 26, 2012 um 10:13 am

Ok so I thought I had commented, but I don’t see it. So if you get 2 comments, I am sorries!! haha

I love quinoa, like love love love!! Looks really great and I have some quinoa left over from the other night so I think I might do this yummy!


Jackie January 26, 2012 um 10:32 am

Your first one ended up in SPAM! Stupid 🙁 Not sure what the heck my spam folder thinks it’s doing!


chinmayie @ love food eat January 26, 2012 um 11:06 am

Great post Jackie! Salad looks delicious 🙂


Maria January 26, 2012 um 4:12 pm

I don’t know that I’ve ever come across your blog before but this salad has EVERYTHING that I love in it. I also checked the other quinoa sweet potato salad and I think we are salad soulmates. Love the blog, have added it to my google reader.


Jackie January 27, 2012 um 9:38 am

Thank you! Glad you like my blog 🙂


Sherlene Delash January 26, 2012 um 7:04 pm

I try to motivate other diabetics who may be depressed about the condition, and hopefully pump people up, and make them become upbeat about the condition, and make them feel positive about it.


Tiffany January 27, 2012 um 5:51 am

I’m like you… I could care less about Paula Deen … AND … I heart pomegranate seeds 😉 Happy Friday my friend! 😀


Andi January 27, 2012 um 12:03 pm

Yummmmm! I can’t wait to try this salad! As a vegetarian, I eat a TON of quinoa and I’m always looking for new ways to make a dish out of it. Thanks!


Angela Matthewson January 29, 2012 um 11:28 am

Great looking salad! I do bunches of variations on bulgar wheat salads – some kind of bean, feta, usually dried fruit & nuts + whatever veggies are lying around. I need to do more with quinoa. 🙂
I also really love your response to the Paula debacle. It’s like the opposite of needing to practice what you preach, right? Like we need to tell people what we’re actually doing everyday instead of on special occasions! 🙂


Jackie January 30, 2012 um 10:19 am

I completely agree. I feel so guilty when people say, "How can you eat like that and stay thin?" Well, because I don’t eat like that. I’m trying to blog more healthy recipes. I’ll have to experiment with bulgar, I haven’t yet!


Shannon January 29, 2012 um 5:45 pm

I love quinoa – this looks like a great recipe!!!


fatpiginthemarket January 30, 2012 um 2:05 pm

Love the pomegranite seeds in your salad…and your sensible, positive take on the Paula situation.


Laurie @ The Baking Bookworm January 30, 2012 um 7:21 pm

I’m a new lover of all things quinoa (I’m a wee bit addicted to it, truth be told). This salad looks wonderful! So colourful!

I agree that we’re all responsible for what we put on our forks. I try to eat healthy but a little splurge here and there also makes me a happy gal. I find that if I overindulge (like this past weekend) I just don’t feel well and I crave green salads etc. Your salad fits the bill perfectly! 🙂


claire @ the realistic nutritionist January 31, 2012 um 6:33 am

I just love your perspective on everything. I could care less about Paula (I had to write articles for work, though, of course) I just didn’t like how she pretended for years nothing was wrong while still making high fat, HORRIBLE food. Ok, end rant.

Love this quinoa!! I’m recently an addict and I must make this salad!


Maggie @ kitchie coo February 1, 2012 um 11:59 am

This is a great post and perspective about the Paula Deen Shenanigans going on. I appreciate your opinion on this topic very much and how it can be a catalyst to talk to those we love about their health. On another note, this salad looks A-MAZING! I just recently discovered how delicious and nutritious quinoa is and I have been putting it in everything. Thank you!


Betsy February 2, 2012 um 8:42 pm

I love everything about this post. 1. being observant of others and recognizing those traits in yourself 2. choosing to make a change in your life 3. quinoa+salad I eat variations of this almost everyday as well. I recently made this lemon quinoa which was awesome


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen March 8, 2012 um 10:07 pm

I totally agree with your philosophy on food. I enjoy and cook real food but always try to take some easy steps to reduce fat and calorie content. I love Paula and really wish her the best. I think there is a place for old school cooking and those recipes inspire me. It just takes a little common sense to change them up and make them fit into our lives. Now, on to this beautiful salad. I think I could eat a salad like this every day and be perfectly happy!


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Amaya September 5, 2012 um 7:14 pm

Can you replace goat cheese with some other type of cheese? 🙂 Thanks for the recipe, just discovered your blog!


Jackie September 5, 2012 um 8:07 pm

Of course! I love goat cheese, but I think feta, fresh mozzarella balls(small ones) or Gorgonzola might be good.


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Noma February 4, 2014 um 5:40 pm

I hate to say this, but that conversation? Doesn’t need to happen.
No fat person wants to hear "You shouldn’t eat that because I care"
And, in fact, it’s been shown to actually make people gain weight and drop healthy habits when they’re forced to hear "concerned" family and friends talk about how they’re really worried "about you"

People’s health is between them and their doctor, and a person who eats high fat food until they’re overweight can be just as healthy as a skinny person who eats high fat food.

If a fat person does not smoke, does some exercise, and eats some veg, they’re a lot better off being happy than they are suffering from the damaging effects of emotional stress from constant nagging.

Ever wonder why fat people are unhappy? Or even skinny and average people who *think* they’re fat? It’s not about their diet alone, it’s about being harassed and teased and pestered because of their size.


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