Monday, August 2, 2010

Quinoa Salad

It's summer, eat fresh!

Here is a light healthy meal or at least a side dish you've been waiting for. Quinoa is a grainy looking seed of a plant that is related to spinach or chard, but it is not actually a grain. Quinoa is highly nutritious. It is rich in protein content- it contains all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine, which is required by the body to grow and repair tissues. Quinoa also has high Manganese content, which acts as antioxidant in the body and it is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. The presence of potassium and magnesium in quinoa prevents clogging of arteries and hence, relieves stress on the heart. Quinoa is a great source of calcium, fiber, carbohydrates and copper.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, it is a good idea to add Quinoa to your diet. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels and muscils in general. It contains Riboflavin (aka vatamin B2) which is necessary to produce energy in brain and muscle cells. Riboflavin is shown to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.

1 1/2 cups quinoa
4 cups baby spinach
3 persian cucumbers
1/2 lbs chary tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking quinoa according to the directions the package. This should take about 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, chop up the tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, squeeze an orange, and prepare salad dressing.

Wash the spinach and dry it.

Mix all the veggies in a large salad bowl.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add chilled quinoa, feta cheese and spinach leaves and mix all together.

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