Tossing together a delicious quinoa salad couldn’t be any easier than this! Just cook up the quinoa, and toss it in with mango, cucumber, beets, pecans, and hemp seeds for an easy, go-to lunch (or dinner) option. Not only does this recipe boast a gorgeous fall color palate, but it also provides a great source of whole grains and protein, thanks to the quinoa. Studies have shown that those who eat whole grains on a regular basis have a reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other obesity related illnesses (1). Not only should whole grains be a part of your daily diet, but wholesome sources of protein need to be included as well. Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein (*,2)! Quinoa is a fabulous way to add nutrition, flavor, and depth to any recipe, and this salad is no exception. Perfect for any occasion, this dish is sure to brighten up your dinner table and keep you satiated for hours to come.
*A good way to calculate the amount of protein you need is to convert your weight to kilograms (weight in pounds divided by 2.2 g/kg) and multiply that number by 0.8 g/kg.
Colorful Quinoa & Pecan Salad
- 3 cups cooked tricolor quinoa, as directed on package
- 1 cup mango, diced
- 2 cups seedless cucumber, diced, with skin
- 1 cup cooked beets, sliced or diced, see note
- ½ pecans, chopped
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, mango, cucumber, ½ cup beets, pecans and hemp seeds. Mix well, top with the remaining beets, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until emulsified.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.
If you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, replace pecans with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
For beets: Place 2 inches of water on the bottom of a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place beets in the steamer basket and add the basket to the pot, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily glide a fork into to the center
Freezing quinoa: Freeze either in freezer safe airtight bags, containers or glass containers. If freezing in freezer safe bags, lay the quinoa down flat. Label and date the bag. For the best flavor, quinoa can be frozen for one month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 240 calories, Fat: 15 grams, Saturated fat: 1.5 grams, Carbohydrates: 23 grams, Sugar: 6 grams, Sodium: 95 milligrams, Fiber: 4 grams, Protein: 5.5 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
1. What are the Health Benefits of Whole Grains? The Whole Grains Council. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits
2. Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). 2005, National Academies Press: Washington, DC.