I always try to include a variety of vegetable colors in my recipes. It is one way that I ensure that I am getting a variety of vitamins and antioxidants into my diet. Colorful meals are also visually appealing, and that means my family is more likely to add a large helping to their plates!
I generally use a blend of red and white quinoa, merely for the look. If you are choosing quinoa based upon nutritional value, white quinoa has more protein and less carbohydrates compared to the red quinoa. See the chart below for a breakdown by macronutrient. Packages of tricolor quinoa is often available at grocers: a blend of red, white and black varieties.
|1/2 cup of Quinoa||Red Quinoa||White Quinoa|
|Calories||340 kcal||340 kcal|
Did you know the difference between olive oil types? They vary based upon how and how much the olives are processed. Light olive oil is highly refined by chemicals and heat, whereas extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is unrefined. EVOO is the highest quality olive oil and is your best choice for salad dressings and recipes cooked at a very low temperature.
|Light Olive Oil||Extra Virgin Olive Oil (highest quality olive oil)|
|Refined by temperature or chemicals||Unrefined by cold press|
|Light in color||Dark and greenish in color|
|Virtually no antioxidants or anti-inflammatories||High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories from olives|
|Good for cooking||Good for raw recipes (salad dressings)|
|High smoke point for cooking||Low smoke point for cooking|
Zesty Radish, Sweet Pepper, Quinoa Salad on Leafy Greens
- ⅔ cup Quinoa
- 8 cups Mixed salad greens (spinach and arugula)
- 1 large Yellow or orange sweet bell pepper
- 5 large Radishes
- 8 Compari tomatoes (or 1 large beefsteak style tomato)
- 15 oz can Artichoke hearts in water
- ½ cup Zesty White Wine Dressing (recipe below)
Zesty White Wine Dressing
- ½ cup White wine vinegar
- 1¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dried minced onion
- 1 teas Dried Oregano
- 1 teas Dried Basil
- ¾ teas Red pepper flakes
- ¾ teas Natural salt
- ¾ teas Lemon pepper
- Measure, rinse and add the quinoa to a small saucepan. Lightly toast over medium-low heat, until fragrant.
- Add 1⅔ cups of water, turn the heat to low, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.
- Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
- Make the salad dressing by combining the dry seasonings in a jar or small pitcher.
- Add the vinegar and olive oil. Mix well. Set aside.
- Wash the produce. Dice the sweet pepper, slice the radishes and quarter the tomatoes. If using a large tomato, cut into bite sized pieces.
- Toss the peppers and radishes into the cooled quinoa.
- Mix the dressing well and measure ½ cup. Pour into the quinoa, pepper, radish mixture.
- Plate the salad greens by adding a 2 cup combination of the arugula and spinach (or any other leafy green vegetable) to 4 dinner plates.
- Scoop ½ cup of quinoa blend and place in the center of the salad greens. Sprinkle with the tomato pieces.
- Top with Artichoke Hearts
- Use remaining dressing for other salads. Store in a sealed jar.