Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is a favorite salad for lunch, dinner, picnics or parties.  Quinoa is a ‘super grain’ from Peru that cooks up like rice.  You can season it with garlic or onions or light soy sauce in a side dish.  Naturally gluten free, quinoa is higher in protein and fiber than other grains and has an earthy, nutty flavor.  In addition, quinoa is a decent source of iron (10% of the daily value)- a nutrient that’s tricky to obtain in vegetarian diets.  Adding a food high in vitamin C (like bell peppers or tomatoes) boosts the absorption of iron from plant foods such as beans or grains.  Adding a can of white beans boost protein, soluble fiber and iron to the dish.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups uncooked white quinoa

1/3 cup diced red onion

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1 small cucumber, chopped

½ cup feta cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed- optional

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa according to directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano and garlic and set aside.
  3. Wash spinach leaves and use a salad spinner to dry. Tear the spinach leaves and place in a large bowl.  Add chopped tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.
  4. Add quinoa and white beans to the vegetable mixture, then add the dressing and blend well.
  5. Add feta cheese and olives and toss into the salad and serve.

Makes 10 (1 cup) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  340 calories, 11 grams fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 14.8 grams protein, grams fiber, 7 mg cholesterol, 157 mg sodium, 23 % DV iron

Pesto Hummus Dip

Pesto Hummus Dip

It’s almost the weekend!  Looking for a simple, guilt-free appetizer for your next party or book club? Look no further!  Just 2 ingredients- you can’t go wrong.  White beans offer a smoother texture than traditional chick peass and boast plenty of protein and fiber.  Use Great Northern, Navy or Cannellini beans and your favorite pesto.  This dip can be served with pita chips, bread or fresh veggies.

Ingredients

One (15 oz) can Great Northern or other white bean (drained and rinsed)

½ cup prepared/jarred pesto

 

Directions

  1. Place beans and pesto in a food processor or Kitchenade.
  2. Blend on pulse setting until mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve with bread, pretzels, crackers or fresh vegetables.

 

Makes 16 (2 Tbsp) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  108 calories, 3.2 grams fat, 14.7 grams carbohydrate, 5.7 grams protein, 4.7 grams fiber, 2 mg cholesterol, 47 mg sodium.

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Tomato Watermelon Salad

I know what you’re thinking.  This sounds like a weird combination of produce, but trust me.  You won’t be sorry you tried this seasonal salad. Watermelon and tomatoes are both excellent sources of fiber, vitamin C, potassium as well as cancer-fighting lycopene.  Putting it over a bed of romaine boosts the volume and fiber (as well as pretty color) of this seasonal favorite.  Add some fresh, chopped basil at the end for a little twist.

 

Ingredients:

5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)

Cracked black pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves (1/2 cup chopped)

 

Directions:

  1. Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves, if desired. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh basil to taste.

 

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  112 calories, 6.6 grams fat, 13.3 grams carbohydrate, 1.4 grams protein, 1.7 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium.

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