Quinoa. I had heard about this super food for a while now, and I finally decided to make the leap and try it out. Since it was a completely new food to me, I did a little bit of research, and wow, quinoa really is amazing. Quinoa is high in protein, complete protein, which means that it contains all nine essential amino acids. For a complete list of all health benefits, take a look at Whole Food’s blog.
Although quinoa at first appears to be a grain, it is actually the seeds of a plant that is related to spinach, beets and chard. When cooked quinoa seeds become fluffy and slightly crunchy with a bit of nutty flavor.
For my first quinoa dish, I made the mango blueberry quinoa salad recipe by Veggie Belly, with a few slight changes. The original recipe is by Marks and Spencer, a grocery store in the UK. This really was a great, light and refreshing summer salad. And it was so easy to make!
In my opinion, you can not go wrong when mangoes are in the recipe.
1/2 cup quinoa (washed)
1 cup water
Salad ingredients (minus the quinoa)
1 mango cut into cubes
1/2 cup blueberries
1 medium cucumber cut into cubes
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon orange marmalade
10 Basil leaves chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the water in a medium skillet, then add the quinoa. Turn heat down to medium, cover the skillet and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and let the quinoa cool to room temperature.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Combine the fruits and cucumber in a medium bowl. And whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, except the basil.
When the quinoa has cooled, combine the basil with the dressing and mix half of the dressing into the quinoa. Combine the quinoa with the fruits and cucumber mixture and serve immediately with the rest of the dressing.