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June 2012

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This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and vegetarian.

This recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay’s, “Grilled Sweet Potato and Green Onion Salad.” I loved the flavors of Bobby Flay’s recipe and wanted to create a complete meal which included protein and vitamin-rich leafy greens.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Notes: You can parboil potatoes and cook quinoa up to one day prior to making this recipe.

Sweet potato quinoa saladIngredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, do not peel
  • 10 oz. washed spinach or mixed greens, or a mix of both
  • ¼ c. dried cranberries
  • 4 scallions, whole
  • 1 c. Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ c. balsamic vinger
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.

Preparation

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover by an inch with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until just cooked through but not soft, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from water and let cool.
  2. Cook quinoa according to directions and let cool.
  3. Rinse scallions, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice crosswise into ½-inch thick slices (must be fork-tender), brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill the sweet potatoes until slightly browned and cooked through, about 1½ minutes per side. Grill scallions until slightly charred and softened, about 4 minutes.
  6. Cut grilled potatoes into cubes and chop the scallions.
  7. Toss greens, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, scallions and cooled quinoa in a large bowl with the vinaigrette.

This is a great one-dish meal to serve at room temperature, which makes it easy to bring to a BBQ or as an easy week-night dinner. Sweet potatoes and spinach are packed with Vitamin A and C, providing antioxidants and fiber, while the quinoa is a delicious, protein-rich addition to this simple salad.

 

Holly-Alexander-Bio-Photo
Holly Alexander
Photo courtesy of runograph.com

Live Whole Be Free is growing! Please join me in welcoming Holly Alexander as LWBF’s latest blog contributor!

I am extremely proud and excited to be welcoming Holly to the team. Not only is Holly one of the most genuine, loving and passionate people I know, she’s also a fantastic new mother, talented PR professional and an exceptional athlete. Exercise, cooking and healthy eating have always been a big part of her life, and now, as the mother of a beautiful baby girl, she realizes more than ever the importance of good food and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. It is through these things that Holly strives to be a positive, balanced role model for her daughter. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s touching so many additional lives along the way!

Holly believes that “whole health” starts with what you put into your body. So as a blog contributor to Live Whole Be free, her goal is to help people incorporate good nutrition as a natural part of their daily life.

I love to eat and explore new foods and flavors. Eating healthy and loving what you eat do not have to be two separate things! – Holly Alexander

Stay tuned for upcoming posts from Holly!

Peace, love and growth,

Melissa

Hello friends! I hope you’re all enjoying the warm weather now that summer is in full swing! We sure are enjoying the heat down in Texas! And speaking of the heat… yep… the homemade deodorant is still working! In fact, the responses to the Aluminum Zirconium post was so overwhelming, I’ve decided to make a little challenge out of it.

UPDATE: THIS OFFER IS EXPIRED: If you are curious about the homemade deodorant but don’t want to invest the time or money to make your own—no problem—I’ve decided to make it for you! I’ve bought plenty of 1 ounce containers and will spend the next few days making deodorant for those of you willing to give this challenge a try. Aren’t they cute?! And they’re cheap! Just four bucks for a 1 oz. plastic container of lemon and clove homemade deodorant (shipping not included). That’s comparable to what you would pay at a “regular” grocery store for commercial anti-persperants AND it won’t cause Alzheimer’s or other neurological issues/side effects. Sounds like a win, huh?! It’s also much cheaper than buying from specialty organic stores. If you’re interested in this, I suggest jumping on this opportunity as I’m not certain I’m going to make deodorant-making my full-time gig.

Here is the Homemade Deodorant Challenge

For three days, you wear only a drop of tea tree essential oil (melaleuca alternifolia) under each arm. This is your detox period in order to rid your body of aluminum zirconium, the icky chemical found in commercial anti-persperants, linked to all kinds of issues! Also, you need to sweat those toxins out! Don’t sit home all day under the air conditioning trying to avoid getting stinky. Those first few days—you might smell a bit, but it’s worth it! If you’re concerned about it, do it over the weekend, making Saturday and Sunday the first two days. By Monday, you’ll be much better off.

After three days, you spend the next week (to two weeks) wearing only the homemade deodorant. For most people, it won’t take long to convince you that this stuff works. It only took me a few days. But for those of you who need more convincing, go for two full weeks.

Lastly, I want to know how it goes! Post your comments below and let’s have a nice group chat about everyone’s experiences with this! Remember, everyone’s body is different, so embrace the fact that your experience might be different than the next person’s and that is perfectly normal!

To purchase LWBF’s Lemon and Clove All-Natural Deodorant visit Live Whole Be Free’s Etsy Shop!

**TIP: If your product gets too warm, it will turn into more of a liquid than a paste. This is completely normal and it’s because of the melting temperature of the coconut oil. Just use a toothpick or your finger to mix it back up to evenly distribute the ingredients, then stick it in the fridge for a bit! However, use and store at room temperatures. For more tips and tricks, check out our Tips/Tricks post**

 

Yep, you read that right. I’ve taken another step towards becoming a full-fledged hippie by actually making my own deodorant. First, let me give you some background information to help you understand how I made this decision.

I should start by saying that I had no idea I would ever do this, nor is my goal to actually become a hippie. I’m all for eating clean and avoiding as many toxins as possible, but I never considered potentially sacrificing personal hygiene practices in order to do so.

The truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice anything. To be honest, I feel if anything I’ve gained instead of lost! I lost harmful toxins and gained a whole new appreciation for ingredients like coconut oil and arrowroot powder as well as a new perspective on commercial products.

I approached my doctor about two months ago with a slightly embarrassing issue. Interestingly enough, it had nothing to do with body odor. For several weeks, I noticed I had been slurring my words when speaking, and leaving out groups of letters when writing. I was concerned. Although there truly are a myriad of things that can cause side effects like these, he asked if I used anti-persperants with aluminum zirconium in them. I had no idea. I checked the ingredients as soon as I could and sure enough, they read like a science project: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly 15.4%, cyclomethicone, stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-8 distearate, hydrogenated soybean oil, talc, fragrance, hydrolyzed corn starch, behenyl alcohol. Ruh row, this can’t be good.

So I did a little research and to be honest, it’s just like anything else. There are people out there swearing that this stuff causes Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological damage, memory loss, learning difficulty, loss of coordination, disorientation, mental confusion, colic, heartburn, flatulence, and headaches. Then there are others claiming there isn’t enough research to support these claims and there is no cause for alarm. However, knowing what I know now about the government, the FDA and the political crap that goes on in our country (watch Food, Inc. if you don’t know what I’m referring to), I don’t need a whole lot of research to tell me if this is a legitimate cause for concern. My body is telling me that something is wrong and whether the slurring is connected to aluminum zirconium or not, I believe that putting a potentially harmful substance on one of the most porous parts of my body to stop me from sweating—a natural occurrence—is now an absurd thing and I’m through with it.

I talked to a few other of my “hippie” friends who have been doing the homemade deodorant thing for years. They told me what to expect, where to buy safe deodorants and how to make my own. So here’s how it went:

Days 1-3: No deodorant and definitely no anti-persperant. Consider this your detox—getting rid of all the aluminum zirconium in your body. I used a drop of tea tree oil under each arm and that was all. It’s uncomfortable at first. After decades of wearing deodorant of some sort, it is a strange feeling! I was a little stinky, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. I went through my workouts as usual as well.

Day 4: Detox is over! I started using a chemical-free, safe deodorant I bought online.

Days 4-30: Okay, wow. I’m shocked, super happy, sweating less than I was using an anti-persperant and I smell delicious! I’ve even had several friends smell my armpits and they all agree. (Talk about great friends, who else would smell your armpit?!) I should also note that I currently reside in hot, sweaty Texas and participate boot camps and in Bikram Yoga (105°, 60% humidity, 90 minutes)—and I am still swearing by this deodorant!

Days 31-50 (today): I’m so thrilled with the results of this new deodorant that I’ve started making my own. You can also buy it online from LWBF’s Etsy shop!

I truly highly recommend this homemade deodorant. In fact, I’ll never go back to commercial products. I consider myself quite the “sweater” and this stuff works great for me! Just remember, with a base of coconut oil, it’s going to melt in the heat and solidify in cooler temperatures. If it melts, just stir it a bit, then stick it in the fridge—it will be good as new! Check out all the tips and tricks!

I should also note that I am no longer slurring my words! Hooray!

UPDATE 12/6/15: I have been using this deodorant daily for 3.5 years, and I am still totally thrilled with it. In fact, I have perfected the recipe and I think with 166 5-star reviews on Etsy, it seems that everyone else agrees! Give it a try

Peace, love and aluminum zirconium-free bodies,

Melissa