Quinoa rose to stardom on the back of the gluten-free diet wave and has not left the spotlight ever since. Although the popular protein-rich food grain is a pseudo cereal (botanically related to spinach!), quinoa is being consumed by an increasingly large number of people around the world, after word got around of its status as a 'superfood'. Quinoa is not a 'hippie' grain anymore and health freaks around the world are recognising the potential of this gluten-free food, not just because of its strong nutritional profile, but also because of its versatility. It belongs to the Amaranth family as is evident from the qualities that both the food grains share and although it was first used to feed livestock, human consumption of this cereal is also thousands of years old.
From snacks to salads, quinoa can be used to add the punch of protein and complex carbohydrates to a whole range of dishes. Nutritionally speaking, 100 grams of quinoa provides 64 grams of carbohydrates with 7 grams of fibre, 14 grams of protein and 368 Kcal of energy (as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture). It is also rich in a host of vitamins, including Vitamin B9 or folate and choline. The latter is important in reducing risks of liver disease, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders. You may use quinoa to make delicious and nutritious grain salads.
Here Are 3 Stellar Quinoa Salad Recipes For You To Add To Your Diet:
1. Mandarin Quinoa Salad Recipe
We love nutritious salads that incorporate the sweetness of fruits with savoury ingredients. This mandarin salad has cooked quinoa with mandarins (you may use normal orange slices), dried cranberries and sunflower seeds in an orange juice and olive oil dressing.
2. Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad Recipe
You may want to bookmark this salad recipe for a number of reasons. It has the right mix of macros- fats, protein and fibre. Moreover, the finished salad looks like an explosion of colours with red onions, purple cabbage, orange segments, and avocados all mixed in with the quinoa. What's more? It brings together a number of different flavours and textures in a single bowl!
3. Quinoa Lentil Salad Recipe
If you want a salad loaded with plant protein, then this recipe is going to be a favourite. Lentils and quinoa are two of the best sources of plant proteins and this salad combines both in a delicious medley.
Quinoa is highly revered as a source of dietary protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids. Consult your nutritionist for a meal plan that incorporates quinoa in your diet to optimise its benefits.