Don’t let the name fool you! This salad is absolutely delicious and oh so nutritious. You’ve probably heard about quinoa before. The seed is gaining in popularity and for all the right reasons. Although it’s considered a grain, it’s actually related to leafy green veggies like spinach and Swiss chard. And the health benefits of quinoa are fabulous – it’s not only an amazing source of complete protein, but also magnesium, iron, copper (we eat copper?) and phosporus. To put it simply, it’s a wonder food! The great things about quinoa is that you can prepare it so many different ways; use it in recipes that call for rice or even replace your oatmeal for a morning nutrition boost.
With the warmer weather and increased sunlight, I’m in the mood for lighter foods. this recipe was just what I was looking for! It comes from the latest cookbook to join my collection, Pretty Delicious: Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You by Candice Kumai (which I highly encourage you chic chicks to buy!). If you read my blog regularly, you’ve heard me gush about this book here. I had high expectations for this salad, but the result was beyond what I expected.It was absolutely delicious! And knowing that I was eating foods that were so good for me, well, that was just a bonus!
The recipe is simple enough. Here goes:
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds ( I used sliced almonds)
2 cups chopped spinach ( I added a little more)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Half a 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu cut into bite-size cubes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– Directions –
Start with the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Then place it in a saucepan with 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 25 minutes or so). Once the quinoa is cooked, place in a large bowl and let cool.
Next, place the almonds in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
Add the spinach, cranberries and basil to the quinoa and toss. Add the tofu cubes. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Add to the salad. Toss together carefully not to break the tofu cubes. Now, cove and refrigerate for at least on hour. Top with the almonds before serving, grab a fork and dig in!
This recipe makes 6 servings, and at 360 calories per serving it’s the perfect dish to help you get bikini ready.
This salad can be served cold or at room temperature. This salad is light, yet full of flavour. The mix of sweet cranberries and basil topped with the And the greatest thing is a little bowl will keep you full for hours (thanks quinoa!).
Note: I have made a lot of recipes from this book. While I may post other recipes from this book, I will not necessarily post the entire recipe. Miz Kumai worked hard on her book and believe me it’s worth every penny!
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]