Perfect, Protein-Packed Salads
Are you looking for the perfect salad filled with fresh produce, whole grains, and protein? Well, you’re in luck, because our Colorful Quinoa & Pecan Salad has got you covered! Perfectly vegan, insanely gorgeous, and wonderfully nutritious, this salad will have you smiling from ear to ear in no time at all. Plus, it’s super easy to create–just cook up the quinoa, toss in mango, beets, and cucumber, drizzle with a tasty dressing, and you have an easy lunch or dinner option that is perfect for any occasion. Simply place this salad next to any eye-catching dish and prepare to have your senses dazzled! Our only suggestion? Be sure to make double the amount because it will disappear as quickly as you serve it!
Wholesome Whole Grains
Not only does this recipe boast a gorgeous color palate, but it also provides a great source of whole grains and protein, thanks to the quinoa. Studies have suggested that quinoa not only contains high-quality proteins due to the balances of amino acids, but also contains phytochemicals that have the potential abilities to lower the risk of oxidative stress related diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity (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.
Thinking of how to include other recipes with whole grains into your diet? Try incorporating quinoa into your breakfast, lunch and dinners throughout the week! Our Colorful Quinoa and Pecan Salad is sure to brighten up your dinner table and keep you satiated for hours to come!
Colorful Quinoa and Pecan Salad
- 3 cups cooked tricolor quinoa*, as directed on package
- 2 cups seedless cucumber, diced with skin
- 1 cup mango, diced
- 1 cup cooked beets**, sliced and divided
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp cilantro
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cucumber, mango, ½ cup beets, pecans, and hemp seeds. Mix well, top with the remaining beets, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sea salt, minced garlic or garlic powder, and cilantro. Mix until emulsified.
Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.
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
*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.
**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.
(1) Tang Y, Tsao R. Phytochemicals in quinoa and amaranth grains and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential health beneficial effects: a review. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2017 Feb 26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28239982.
(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.