Quinoa is the new black!
Quinoa recipes are all over the place. And for a very good reason. Quinoa, which looks like a grain, is actually a seed, and is more closely related to leafy green vegetables like spinach or Swiss chard. Although it seems to be a fairly new addition to the American diet, the history of quinoa spans all the way back to the ancient Incas.
Quinoa is loaded with all sorts of healthful nutrients. A four ounce serving has about five grams of protein, more than any other grain. The protein it provides is complete, meaning that it has all nine of the essential amino acids. The carbohydrates in quinoa are complex, low-glycemic (35), gluten free, and have about 3 grams of fiber in a four ounce serving. Quinoa is a good source of folate, magnesium, and phosphorus, and a very good source of manganese.
To top that off, quinoa is quick and easy to prepare, and has a delicious, nutty flavor that tastes great all on its own or can be combined with other ingredients to make either a simple side salad or a filling one-dish meal that can be served hot or cold. I find that when the weather warms up, my quinoa recipes cool down, and its very simplicity and lightness make it perfect for summer dining.
Quinoa, Kale, and Avocado Salad with Tarragon Lime Vinaigrette
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions. Can be used either warm or cold.
1/4 cup yellow or orange peppers, chopped.
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds, sliced
1 cup kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1 avocado, cut into chunks
Tarragon Lime Vinaigrette (see below)
Combine the peppers, cucumber, green onions, almonds, and kale. Toss lightly. Toss in the quinoa. Add the avocado on top of the salad and squeeze some lime juice over the top before mixing carefully with the rest of the salad. Add the Tarragon Lime Vinaigrette slowly, tossing it gently with the salad, until lightly coated, but not heavy (you may not need all of the dressing). Serve right away or chill for 1-2 hours.
Tarragon Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/8 cup white wine or tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Whisk together all ingredients.
Can’t get enough of quinoa? Check out my other quinoa recipes:
Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? Share the link or the recipe! Please!