Have you tried quinoa yet? Quinoa is a whole grain that provides protein, magnesium, zinc, iron and folate and is available in beige, black, purple and red varieties. Whole grains are satisfying and are packed with nutrients. A whole grain contains all three parts of the grain – the bran layer (which is rich in fiber), the germ (which contains most of nutrients) and the endosperm. Refined grains have the bran and germ removed, leaving the starchy endosperm. Examples of refined grains include white rice and all purpose flour. Since refined grains have the nutrient dense parts removed, it is recommended to limit your daily intake of these grains and focus on whole grain options instead. Quinoa is easy to cook and its mild flavor lends itself well to sides and salads. This recipe has an oil-based dressing which makes it safe to transport during the warmer months of summer.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
14 oz. can garbanzo beans drained & rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup corn (either fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped kale or spinach
4-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley or basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (1-2 teaspoons if using fresh)
- In a medium pot, bring 3 cups water and uncooked quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for about 10-15 minutes (spiral-like threads will appear around each grain).
- In a large bowl add garbanzo beans, red pepper, cucumber, red onion, corn, carrots and kale or spinach.
- Add cooled quinoa to bowl.
- In small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Whisk well.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients. Toss well to coat.
- Serve warm or chilled.