Dr. Alexa Rauscher, Naturopathic Doctor

I must admit that I fooled my friends with this meal.  I made them believe that I was this master chef who had been cooking for years.  Not someone who had just venturing into new recipes.  This meal was restaurant worthy but really simple and easy to cook.

I first found the Cumin Scented Quinoa and Black Rice recipe but felt like it needed more.  Needed a little sprucing up.  The Pomegranate, Beet and Orange Salad recipe added the vibrancy that I desired.  With the density of the Quinoa dish and the juicy lightness of the salad, it was the perfect blending of these two recipes.

Cumin Scented Quinoa and Black Rice

Serving Size: 6-8

Active Time: 40 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • ½ cup short-grain black rice
  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp Chives, 1” piece
  • Freshly ground Pepper
  • 1 Avocado, peeled, pitted
  • 1 Lemon, Cut into Wedges

Bring rice and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine quinoa, bay leaf, ¼ tsp salt and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.  Discard bay leaf, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.  Add to quinoa.  Add rice.  Mix well. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of oil, fresh lemon, cilantro, parsley and chives.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cut avocado into wedges.  Serve salad with avocado and wedges.

Pomegranate, Beet and Orange Salad

Serving Size: 4-6

Active Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 4 medium Beets
  • 1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Water


  • 1 Medium Red Onion, thinly slice
  • 3 Oranges, peeled, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds


  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice (from the orange itself)
  • 1 Tbsp Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Coconut Sugar

Preheat oven to 400o.  Place beets in roasting pan and toss with 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.  Add ¼ cup water.  Cover pan with foil, roast beets until knife easily pierces center, about 50 minutes.  Cook.  Peel beets and cut into 1/3 inch thick wedges.

Whisk orange juice, pomegranate juice, vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp of oil in a large bowl to blend.  Season vinaigrette with salt, pepper and coconut sugar.

Place onion in a small bowl; cover with cold water.  Soak onion for 1 minute drain and squeeze ry in kitchen towel.  Add beets, onion, orange slices and pomegranate seeds to vinaigrette in bowl; toss.  Season salad with salt and pepper.

The Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice can be served as a side dish or as the main event.  As quinoa contains a high amount of protein, it can be filling enough as the main dish; however, I had decided to combine this meal with some easy grilled chicken.  The rest of the meal had so much flavour, I didn’t want to over-complicate this dish and so I kept the chicken simple with some salt and pepper and lemon juice.

I am also an avocado and a lemon fan, so I cut up a couple of extra avocados and lemons on the side and allowed all my friends to add as they wished.

A little Tidbit about…

Pomegranate: Pomegranate comes with many benefits, in addition to its vibrant flavour.  It is a very potent anti-cancer food containing many different products known to inhibit tumor formation, kill existing tumor cells and inhibiting the proteins and enzymes needed for cancer cells to grow.

One of these products is Ellagic Acid, a potent anti-oxidant phenolic, that not only kills cancer cells, but is also a liver protective, anti-viral/bacterial and aids in the elimination of carcinogens.

Quinoa: Quinoa provides you with a high amount of protein when compared to other grains.  This is important because, not only is it a good source of protein, it is a complete source as it contains all the essential amino acids.

Quinoa promotes energy production as it contains high levels of iron, the mineral integral for energy production.

Also, quinoa is a great gluten-free alternative.

It is also a very good source of magnesium and manganese as well high levels of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin E and dietary fibre.