One out of every two children is on some sort of food assistance today. Families are living on a daily food budget of three dollars a day for an entire family. I’ll spend twice that on an afternoon doughnut treat for my daughter and her friends. Or for a morning coffee and copy and a magazine that talks about food.

Quinoa and Avocado Chimichurri Salad | FoodieCrush.com

It’s time to put our voices where our mouths are and make some noise to fix what is wrong with the state of nutrition in our country. Thanks to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative and education of the general public through documentaries like A Place at the Table, the food plight of millions of American’s is being exposed.

When I walk into my daughter’s classroom in the morning, that’s when the notion that this is a real problem hits home. As I look around the continually changing and growing faces, I watch and wonder about who had what for breakfast. Do they look deflated because it’s early and they didn’t want to crawl out from their covers or because breakfast didn’t give them the energy their growing minds need? If they did eat was it a meal balanced with protein, whole grains and calcium or did they swiftly down a sugar soaked cereal that will bring them to a mid-morning crash? Or maybe they had nothing at all?

My daughter and I have an after school routine where she tells me three things about her day. The one I always care about most is about her lunch and how much she ate. While I loved school lunch as a kid, I pack my Smudge’s lunch instead. I want her meal to be balanced. I want to know what is in it and I want to know how much of it she’s eating. I’m not totally hard core about organic and avoiding sugars at all costs, but I definitely don’t want her eating frozen pizza or deep fried french fries everyday in lieu of fresh fruit and whole grains. The funny thing is she doesn’t even know what she’s missing. She doesn’t like french fries anyway. Is that why?

Quinoa and Avocado Chimichurri Salad | FoodieCrush.com

I’m pretty sure the majority of the children’s families in my daughter’s school have a pretty healthy notion of eating. But even having money to buy food doesn’t necessarily translate into buying the right food. You still have to make good choices. 

Making healthy food, the food that isn’t full of empty calories, the food that doesn’t come from a package, available to low-income families is essential in making a change. Creating meals that utilize fresh vegetables and grains can be extremely economical if you know how to prepare them.

Eating empty-calorie foods not only serves low nutritional value but ironically creates obesity.

In my opinion, the main solution to avoid this is with education.

Educating not only mothers and fathers, but children who will be cooking soon enough for themselves about how to create menus that stretch for more than one meal, which combinations of food groups get the biggest bang for the buck and simple recipes with simple ingredients that are tasty and economical is the key to the next generation of feeding our nation’s children.

And a lot of that, right now, is at risk of going away.

Congress is currently considering cutting funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that supplies low-income assistance, children’s school food programs and even disaster relief feeding programs. Take a moment and let our governing Congress know how you feel about these nutrition programs.

I’m happy to share the message behind this post thanks to the organization of Nicole of the food blog Eat This Poem who is spearheading the charge for food bloggers to take action with her creation of The Giving Table, where she has organized over 150 food bloggers to participate in today’s Food Bloggers Against Hunger. Support the following food blogger’s by visiting their sites for more great information and recipes.

2 Hungry Hearts
1840 Farm
A Couple Cooks
A Fork in Hand
A Little Something to Nosh On
Allergic Girl
The Allergic Kid
A Nasty Bite
an organic process
Anna Dishes
An Edible Mosaic
Anktangle
An Unrefined Vegan
Anna Dishes
A Raisin & A Porpoise
A Stack of Dishes
Auburn Meadow Farm
Autumn Makes and Does
AVIAL
Bake and Destroy
Bakeaway With Me
The Balanced Platter
Barefoot Essence
Bare Root
Barnes and Hoggetts
Beard+Bonnet
Briciole
Brighton Your Health
Brooklyn Locavore
Buttercream & Roses
By: Sarah Rae
Cake ‘n’ Knife
Canned Time
Characters Pub
Cheapeats
Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Clean Eats Fast Feets
Cooking with Anne
Cooking with Michele
Corbin in the Dell
Cre8tive Compass
Crepes of Wrath
Crispy Shipley
Culicurious
Curiosa di Natura
Custom Cuisine
Daily Deliberations
Delightful Crumb
Democracy is Delicious
The Devil’s Food Advocate
Diet Starts Twomorrow
Dine with Pat
Dinner with Laura
DishnDat
Eat. Drink. Smile.
Eat For Equity
Eat This Poem
Eat What’s On Your Plate
Eat When You’re Hungry
Eating Rules
Edo Ergo Sum
Em-i-lis
The Enabling Cook
Erin’s Food Files
Everyday Maven
Everyday Ramblings of my Life
Everyday True Food
Farm Fresh Feasts
The Faux Martha
Feastie
Fed Up With Lunch
Feeding Big
Feed Yourself
Fifth Floor Kitchen
Food.is.a.Good.thing
Food Deserted
FoodiesNYC
Foodie Yoga Girl
FoodieTots
The Food Poet
Forkable
Freshfully
From Belly to Bacon
Frugal Foodie Mama
Garnish with Lemon
Gastography
Getting Inside My Head
Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps
Gimme Some Oven
girlichef
Good. Clean. Food.
Good Food Matters
Good Things Grow
Greatist
Growing Days
Grow It Cook It Can It
Happy Food Happy Life
Happy Fool
Harmonious Homestead
Haute Mealz
Heather’s French Press
Home Cooking Memories
Home Maid Simple
Hot, Cheap & Easy
HTBaking
The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog
Hungry in the Hub
Icebox Farm
Inkling Media
Inherit the Spoon
In Pursuit of More
In Your Face! – New Jersey Cuisine
I Run for Wine
It Takes a Kitchen
Jackie’s Joie de Vivre
The Jew and the Carrot
Juanita’s Cocina
Kate in the Kitchen
Kettler Cuisine
Kitchen Apparel
The Kitchenista Diaries
Kitchenpants!
Kitchen Treaty
Kristin Wartman
KY Healthy Kids
La Aguatate
LaureeOhOhOh
Learning to Eat
Leslie Eats
Life À la Mode
Life is Fare
Life With the Lushers
Listen, Learn, Act and Reflect
Local Appetite
Local Belle
Love & Lemons
Loves Food, Loves to Eat
The Lunch Box
The Lunch Tray
Mama’s High Strung
Margarita’s in the Rain
Meal Planning Magic
Me, Redone
Merlot and Monkfish
Meshell in Your City
The Midnight Baker
Mince and Type
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Mother Nature Network
Munching in the Mitten
My Family Table
My Inspiration
My Mad, Mad, Mad Gourmet Adventures
My Mama Rhythm
Naturally Ella
NeighborFood
North Shore Locavore
Nourish Your Future
The Nosh Pit
Not Just Baked
Now Things Are Cookin’
On Sugar Mountain
Oshkosh Area Community Pantry
Our Lady of Second Helpings
Panfusine
Passports & Pancakes
Pepper Lynn
Perspicacity
Pinot Mom
Plums in the Icebox
Poor Girl Gourmet
Potato Chips Are Not Dinner
Queen of Quinoa
Rachel’s Table
The Real Deal Marin
Recipes for Sustenance
The Redhead Baker
The Red Lentil
Robyn Straley
Rosemarried
Run DMT
Sacramento Vegan
Salmon Squad
Salted Plates
Savory Simple
Seditious Joy
Shared Appetite
Simple Living and Eating
Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
The Slender Kitchen
Smart Eating for Kids
Solid Gold Eats
Spice and Dice
South Jersey Locavore
The Sunny Side Up
Sustainable Pantry
Tampa Uncorked
Taste Love and Nourish
That Skinny Chick Can Bake
That’s What I Eat
There and Back Again
This Homemade Life
The TV Dinner
Turnips 2 Tangerines
Vegan in the Freezer
V is for Vegetables
The Veggie Nook
The Verdant Home
Webicurean
The Weekend Gourmet
We’ll Eat You Up
What’s Cookin??
What’s Cooking Good Looking
Would John Eat It?

It’s not too late for you to join the cause. Support the movement by visiting The Giving Table, telling Congress what you think, watch the film on demand through iTunes and Amazon and follow the feed on Instagram and Twitter hashtags at #takeyourplace.

And now to the recipe.

Quinoa and Avocado Chimichurri Salad | FoodieCrush.com

Quinoa might sound a tad unconventional to the everyday American, a bit on the hippie side of eating. I was first introduced to Quinoa when I worked for a natural foods publication. It sounded sooooo, odd. But it’s so far from odd. I find it similar to cous cous, but with far more nutritional value.

Quinoa has a history of health and nutrition and is a superfood powerhouse. Originating 3000 years ago, this whole grain is the perfect example of a food that just needs a little acceptance by the general public to embrace it as a replacement for empty calories. Gluten-free, high in protein, fiber, amino acids, calcium and iron.

Hence it’s won the distinction of bearing the coveted moniker: Superfood. It’s kind of like the royal family of the nutrition world.

I added Quinoa to a simple salad of protein packed avocado, vitamin and folate packed fresh spinach, lycopene and vitamin C filled red bell peppers dressed with a chimichurri sauce with heart healthy garlic and detoxifying lemon juice.

Real food = real nutrition.

I first had this avocado chimichurri at my friend Courtney’s house, where she make it as an appetizer on bruschetta, torn from the pages of an 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times. The taste wooed me immediately and quickly made its way into my avocado obsession as this salad.

If you’d like to serve this as an appetizer, dice the avocado with chunks of roasted red bell pepper and serve with crackers or slices of baguette drizzled with olive oil and lightly toasted.

Quinoa and Avocado Chimichurri Salad | FoodieCrush.com

Quinoa and Avocado Chimichurri Salad
 
Serves: makes 2 salads
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fruity flavored extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked to package directions
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and black pepper in small bowl. Whisk in oil, then stir in cilantro and parsley.
  2. Add spinach, roasted red bell pepper, quinoa and avocado to a bowl and dress with chimichurri sauce. Garnish with feta cheese and serve with flaxseed crackers if desired.
Notes
adapted from Vegetarian Times

 

Remember, tell Congress what you think, watch the film on demand through iTunes and Amazon and follow the feed on Instagram and Twitter hashtags at #takeyourplace.

Thanks for reading and please keep in touch by subscribing to FoodieCrush and follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterestThis site includes affiliate shopping links of which I receive a small percentage of sales to allow me to create new and special content like this for my readers, so thank you for your support. All opinions are my own.

 


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