QUINOA. This little seed can bring a lot to the table. Not only is it a source of complete protein and rich in essential nutrients, but it’s also easy to cook to perfection, and the leftovers taste just as delicious as ever after days in the fridge. You will never regret setting aside a few minutes for weekend food prep to cook up a big batch of quinoa. When we supply ourselves with the right go-to ingredients, we set ourselves up for success to keep our kitchens stocked with healthy meals to count on all week long. Invest in your future!
This week’s surplus of healthy whole-grain inspiration comes from a blog collaboration with Rachael and Cara of Nutrition Milestones (remember them?). We got together last weekend for a cooking jam-session of sorts, and seriously, how great is my food nerd life that I’m lucky enough to have found other people who consider this a good time? Read on to learn what comes out of the kitchen when 3 RDs join forces to come up with some fresh takes on our favorite healthy staple!
[By the way, Instant Pot users? Did you know that the magic formula is one part quinoa to 1.5 parts water at ONE MINUTE under high pressure with natural release? Yet another reason to have my favorite kitchen companion on your side.]
Fresh & Fruity Spring Salad
Seasonally, this works out to a springtime sort of salad here in California, when good citrus is still available and the summer squash are starting to come in too. The toasted nuts and salty cheese are irresistible, and the fresh produce is so juicy that no additional dressing is needed. Roast spears of zucchini drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400F until tender. Then chop it into bite-sized pieces before tossing with quinoa, fresh orange slices, toasted almonds, feta cheese, and serving it all over a bed of fresh spinach.
Asian Kale Slaw
Fill up on fiber, phytonutrients and vitamin CRUNCH. Stir together a quick dressing from a splash of rice vinegar, a drop of sesame oil and a drizzle of honey. Toss it together with quinoa, julienned kale, shredded cabbage (optional), red bell pepper, scallions and salted peanuts.
Middle Eastern Muhammara Salad
This salad is modeled after a deconstructed muhammara; like the exotic spread, it’s made from roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, but our version has nutrient-dense quinoa to stand in for the breadcrumbs! Don’t forget to punch it up with a sprinkle of feta cheese and all of your favorite fresh herbs too.
And if you’re hungry for more than just salad, just wait until you try quinoa for BREAKFAST. My partners in crime have you covered at Nutrition Milestones with two more nourishing recipes to start your day off right!