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Healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

02/09/2016 05:47 EST | Updated 02/09/2017 05:12 EST

A Mediterranean Quinoa Salad might look light but don't be surprised if you feel full after a few bites. It will keep you filled, fueled, and satisfied, making it one of your go to meals.

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A a few years ago Quinoa was only used by a few. Back then, people were asking how to pronounce the funky little pseudo-grain. The people who started cooking with Quinoa in North America first experimented with new recipes. They were experimenting and wondering how to incorporate it into old and new dishes. Fast forward to the present- we put Quinoa in everything and anything. We put it in half of our salads. We have forced it into our oatmeal bars, pumpkin muffins, and we have replaced flour for quinoa in some recipes. But the original Quinoa salad started it all.

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Quinoa has become the world's most familiar 'superfood'. It is loaded with protein, fiber, and minerals. Plus it contains no gluten. Quinoa is basically a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain. It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America but has only become a trendy and popular ingredient in the last decade.

Here is the nutrient breakdown of one cup of cooked Quinoa:

• Protein: 8 grams.

• Fiber: 5 grams.

• Manganese: 58%

• Magnesium: 30%

• Phosphorus: 28%

• Folate: 19%

• Copper: 18%

• Iron: 15%

• Zinc: 13%

• Potassium: 9%

• Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2, and B6.

• Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.

Quinoa Is High In Fiber

Quinoa is loaded with many important nutrients that our bodies need. Another important benefit is that it is high in fiber. One study looked at four different types of quinoa and found a range between 10 and 16 grams of fiber per every 100 grams of uncooked quinoa. This equals to 17-27 grams per cup. Making it contain twice as much fiber than most grains.

Quinoa Is Gluten free

Quinoa is not only gluten free it is naturally and organically gluten free. A gluten free diet is only healthy when you consume foods that are naturally gluten-free. Or else you could be making your health worse with too many added chemicals and preservatives. Foods that are not organically gluten free contain more starches. These non-organic foods are no better than their counterparts-junk food.

Quinoa Is High In Protein

Protein is made out of amino acids. Amino acids are essential for our health because we can not produce them and we need them in our diet. Many foods don't contain all the essential amino acids, making it seen as an incomplete protein. Quinoa is very high in amino acids and for this reason, it is an excellent source of protein. Quinoa has more protein than most grains.

Quinoa Is High In Minerals

Quinoa has the top four major nutrients that you need in your diet, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. However, quinoa also contains phytic acid, which can reduce these minerals absorption. If you soak your quinoa before cooking it, you can reduce the phytic acid content. Then your body will be able to absorb more minerals.

Quinoa Is Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are believed to help fight aging and many diseases. A study suggests that quinoa appears to have the highest level of antioxidants compared to 5 types of cereals, 2 legumes, and 3 pseudocereals.

Quinoa Is Easy To Incorporate Into Your Diet

Quinoa is very easy to add to your diet. It tastes good and goes with many foods and meals. Quinoa can be ready to eat in as little as 15-20 minutes.

All you need to do is:

• Put 2 cups of water in a pot

• Add 1 cup of raw Quinoa

• Boil for 15-20 minutes

While cooking, the quinoa should have absorbed most of the water and have a fluffy look to it.

There are dozens of ways to cook quinoa. But a global favorite is the traditional Quinoa Salad. Kudolife mixed this recipe up and turn it into a tasty macronutrient balanced Quinoa Salad to help people live a healthier lifestyle. You'll also be glad to know that unlike most salad leftovers, refrigerating this dressed salad only makes it even more delicious the following day.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red onions, chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked, cubed
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps chives, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked

Directions

  1. Bring the water, bouillon cubes, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Discard the garlic clove and scrape the quinoa into a large bowl.
  4. Gently stir the chicken, onion, bell pepper, olives, feta cheese, parsley, chives, and salt into the quinoa.
  5. Drizzle with the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until evenly mixed.
  6. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

per serving - Calories: 315 kcal | Fat: 16.29g Carbs:21.58g | Prot: 21.48g

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