3 Delicious and Healthy Quinoa Salads

08 May, 2020
Quinoa is one of the most nutritious pseudocereals. Because of this, it's worth including in your lunch or dinner. Discover how to prepare 4 delicious quinoa salads in this article!

Quinoa is the seed of the plant whose scientific name is Chenopodium quinoa. Currently, it’s one of the most popular foods in the world, since its high nutrient content has made it stand out among the so-called “superfoods”. Do you want to learn how to make delicious, healthy quinoa salads?

Quinoa has a crunchy texture and a light, nutty flavor that combines very well with other foods. The most interesting thing is that it doesn’t contain gluten and it’s one of the few foods that provides good amounts of the nine essential amino acids. Go ahead and enjoy it in one, or all, of these delicious salads!

Nutritional properties of quinoa

Before learning to make quinoa salads, it’s worth taking a quick look at its nutritional properties. Although many people won’t know, 2013 was designated the “international year of quinoa” by the United Nations, recognizing its potential to contribute to food security in the whole world.

Quinoa is edible seeds that have been grown since ancient times in South America. It’s not a grain, but rather a pseudocereal. In other words, they’re seeds that are prepared like whole grains, without being a grain. Every 185 grams of cooked quinoa provides:

  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Manganese: 58% of your daily recommended value (DRV)
  • Magnesium: 30% of your DRV
  • Phosphorous: 28% of your DRV
  • Folate: 19% of your DRV
  • Copper: 18% of your DRV
  • Iron: 15% of your DRV
  • Zinc: 13% of your DRV
  • Potassium: 9% of your DRV
  • More than 10% of your daily recommended dose of vitamins B1, B2, and B6
  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin), and vitamin E

It’s important to note that, unlike many other whole grains or conventional cereals, quinoa doesn’t contain gluten. Due to this, it’s an excellent alternative for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. 

In fact, some studies have been able to show that using this food instead of typical gluten-free ingredients, like potatoes, or rice and corn flour, can considerably increase the nutritional value and antioxidants in your diet. 

You might also like: Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms Chicken and Leeks

How to prepare delicious and healthy quinoa salads

Due to the popularity it’s gained in the last few years, quinoa has become the base of many healthy, gluten-free recipes. While you can add it to soups, stews, crackers, and many other dishes, today we’re going to show you how to enjoy it in salads.

1. Quinoa and avocado salad

Healthy quinoa and avocado salad in a bowl.
Quinoa is highly recommended for the essential amino acids, fiber, and vitamins it provides.

Every salad with quinoa is delicious and healthy; however, this option with avocado is one of the best choices. It’s very easy to make and helps you increase your vitamin C and E, essential amino acid, and fiber intake.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa (185 g)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice (62 ml)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (62 ml)
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley (100 g)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • To start, cook the quinoa in a pot of water. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it cook for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion to a deep bowl (with everything cut)
  • Then, add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste
  • When the quinoa is ready, strain it and mix it with the rest of the ingredients
  • Finally, sprinkle the chopped parsley over top and add the avocado cut into cubes

2. Healthy quinoa salads: tomato and basil

With this delicious and healthy quinoa, tomato, and basil salad you’ll be able to enjoy a meal that’s full of antioxidants. But do you want to know the best part? It’s very low in calories and you can use it as part of your weight-loss diet.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (370 g)
  • 2 fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (45 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (15 ml)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • First, cook the quinoa for 15 to 20 minutes on low heat
  • Once it’s ready, strain it and pour it in a salad bowl
  • Next, add the fresh chopped tomatoes and chopped basil
  • Finally, make a dressing with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and pour it over the salad

You might like to read: Eating Quinoa to Lose Weight: What Are the Benefits?

3. Quinoa salad with corn and chives

Corn, chives, and quinoa salad in a bowl.
To increase its nutritional value, combine quinoa with foods like corn or green vegetables.

Are you looking for a healthy recipe to surprise your whole family? Then make this quinoa salad with corn and chives. The interesting combination of ingredients gives you a delicious, healthy dish, perfect to accompany your meals.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked corn (370 g)
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (370 g)
  • 3 chives, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (45 ml)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (80 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (7.5 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • The first thing you should do is mix the cooked corn with the quinoa and the chopped chives.
  • Then, make a vinaigrette with the lemon juice, honey, melted butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Finally, pour it on the salad, mix well, and enjoy!

Are you ready to try these quinoa salads at home? As you’ve seen, it’s a very healthy and versatile food that improves the nutritional value of your mealsMake the recipe you like the most!

 

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