Salad Proteins That Require Little Cooking

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Not all salad proteins require a great deal of time spent in the kitchen. Find out about salad proteins that require little cooking with help from the owner of Calafia Cafe in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Healthy & Savory Recipes
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm chef Charlie Ayers, owner of Calafia Cafe and Market A Go Go in Palo Alto, California. Today, I'm going to show you 3 quick protein items you can put on top of any type of salad you want to make for yourself for a quick lunch or a light dinner. I really like to cook salmon fora salad. It's very flavorful, has a good fat, the omega 3 fatty acids in it, it's high in protein, takes very little seasoning, and we get a great dish from this. I would just season this with salt and pepper, cook it for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side. You could go just 2 minutes on each side if you wanted a nice rare salmon. Keep in mind the longer you cook it the greater it's cooked. So if you want a fully cooked salmon I would cook it for 4 minutes on each side. And this can either be done on the grill or in a saute pan. Our next quick protein for a salad, which this happens to be a complete protein, is quinoa. It is a grass seed that grows in a high altitude and grows in Peru. We use a golden and red quinoa for our pilaf. We add minced red onions and some thyme to give it a little bit greater dimension of flavor. Quinoa cooks just like rice does. You do a three to one ratio on the stove top or 1 to 1 ratio in a big steamer. If you don't have a commercial steamer like I have you can use a rice cooker that you can easily put on your counter top and it would still be a 1 to 1 ratio. So if you have 1 cup of quinoa you would want to have 1 cup of whatever cooking liquid you choose to use. I recommend water in this case. Our next quick protein item is lentils. Lentils are not a complete protein but they are still very high in protein and great option if you're a vegetarian or vegan. Lentils cook the same way as any other legume. You want to soak them first overnight and then it's a one to one ratio. Lentils cook in our steamer in about 15 minutes. On the stove top 25. I happen to like to use the French lentils because they are a, I find they have a little bit more of an intense, really earthy, nutty flavor as opposed to your traditional brown lentil. I'm Chef Charlie Ayers, I'm the owner of Calafia Cafe in Palo Alto.


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