Superfoods are ingredients packed with vitamins and nutrients that can help with a variety of health and medical conditions and can help support weight loss.
In effort towards our 2015 goals, my husband and I began our training this week for the Madison Conquer the Capital Challenge during which we will run a Twilight 10K followed by the Half Marathon the next morning. Now well into my 2015 500 mile challenge, I am extremely excited and motivated to begin our first long-term running challenge together. In line with our training, I set out to plan a week of meals that will help fuel energy levels during the training period. This week, I selected this Superfood Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Spinach to enjoy at lunch. I did not have high expectations of this salad and figured it would merely be a lunch filler that met nutritional needs. I was beyond surprised by the outcome that the simple combination of flavors created. So much so, I decided to share with you in a blogpost.
Look at these beautiful, fresh ingredients. How can these make you feel anything other than healthy and energized? This Superfood Quinoa Salad carries such a powerful title because all core ingredients are considered superfoods with the following benefits:
Quinoa: Diet-friendly whole grain that is rich with protein containing all nine amino acids that help you stay fuller longer. This grain is also filled with fiber, iron and energy sustaining vitamins.
Avocados: While considered a fat, avocados have a stigma as a healthy fat that help promote weight loss by quieting hunger since they are packed with fiber and protein. Better yet, they are delicious.
Spinach: A meaty leaf that is filled with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals including, but not limited to, Vitamins A, C and K, iron, calcium and potassium.
Tomatoes: An ingredient further filled with antioxidants and cancer-fighting vitamins that adds a natural sweetness to any dish.
Whip this salad up in less than half an hour, and store in individual tupperware or mason jars to grab for easy on the go lunches or dinners throughout the week. This salad can easily be adapted to adjust the volume/quantity of ingredients to your liking and can easily have ingredient substitutions or additions. Play with flavored oils and vinegars. Add shredded chicken for an extra protein boost or turn this into a more hearty meal. Add some zest with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Keep it changing to keep your meals exciting. Enjoy!
SUPERFOOD QUINOA SALAD WITH AVOCADO AND SPINACH
- Yield: 3-4 main dish servings; 6-8 side dish servings
For the Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1-2 medium avocados
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 3 green onions
For the Dressing
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or other desired vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Roughly chop the spinach, and place in a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa to the chopped spinach.
- Slice the green onions (both white and green parts), halve the cherry tomatoes and dice the avocado. Add fresh vegetables and dressing to the quinoa and spinach and lightly toss.
- Refrigerate leftover salad in an airtight container. Salad stays fresh for approximately 3-4 days.
Recipe courtesy of Kaitlin from The Garden Grazer.