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Quinoa, Anyone?

Protein-Packed Superfood

Quinoa has become one of our most popular health foods. Though technically a seed, Quinoa is classified as a whole grain and is a good source of plant protein and fiber.

Quinoa is gluten-free and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

We thought we would look at a couple of simple and fun recipes to add this superfood to a 2020 Healthy Lifestyle.

Quinoa and Veggie Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 ounces spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 large limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  1. Follow package instructions to cook the quinoa. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. Add to the bowl with the cooled quinoa, the chopped spinach, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, chopped green onions, and finely chopped cilantro. Toss till blended.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, about 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the salad and toss.

  4. Tip: Turn it up by adding some grilled chicken for a great dinner.

Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa 
  • 1 cup chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 3-4 cups fresh spring mix
  • 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges 
  • 1/3 cup sea salt pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pit removed and chopped
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or figs

Dressing

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Cooking with chicken broth or veggie broth adds flavor. Fluff and set aside to cool.

  2. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl or mason jar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Seal and shake until ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  3. Drain the mandarin oranges, shell & coarsely chop the pistachios, remove the skin and pit of the avocado and thinly slice or chop. Squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon over the avocado. 

  4. In a large bowl, add in the spring salad mix and the cooked, cooled quinoa. Add in the mandarin oranges, pistachios, goat cheese, and avocado. Add the dressing, shaking it well, then pouring over the salad. Top with walnuts or figs.

  5. Add-ons: Lightly grilled shrimp is a perfect addition to the dish.

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