Quinoa, Ancient Grain Wonder Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain with a delicious nutty flavor that works well for many things, including the main course salad featured here. It’s also extremely nutritious and higher in protein than any other grain—a full 5 grams per quarter cup (dry). Not only that, but the fiber content (3 grams) helps to up your fiber quota for the day. The only special preparation you need to know about ahead of time is the importance of rinsing it. The outside of the grain has a powdery residue on it that can be bitter, so rinsing it thoroughly (I’d do it more than once) is essential to get a good result!
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper cored, deseeded, and chopped
- 1 large cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil stems removed
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
- 6 leaves red leaf lettuce
- In a colander, rinse the quinoa thoroughly and drain. In a medium size saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, stir in the quinoa, and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or till all the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, onion, red bell pepper, cucumber and basil.
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, vinegar, orange rind, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss well. Arrange each serving on the lettuce and garnish with pine nuts.
Per Serving: 295 Calories; 10g Fat; 15g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 276mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat. SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with pita bread triangles and hummus for dipping (see recipe)
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