3 “Super-Food” Recipes

Greek Quinoa Salad
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup water

2 grape tomatoes, cubed 1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (1 small)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Spinach leaves, chopped (reserve some leaves to place on the plate under the salad)
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced**
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
roasted chicken breast, cubed
Optional Extras to add “Superfood” value: Black beans (rinsed thoroughly) Edemame beans

1. In a 1-1/2-quart saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Add tomato, spinach, and onion; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat.

3. Place spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Arrange avocado slices on spinach leaves. Spoon quinoa mixture over avocado slices. Sprinkle with some of the feta. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

4. *Note: Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove a bitter substance called saponin that coats the seeds.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa (see Ingredient note)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing (recipe follows), divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
8 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
Roasted Chicken Breast served on the side or incorporated into the salad in bite-size pieces

1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.

2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.

4. Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.

5. Related Recipes: Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing

6. Ingredient note: Quinoa is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting this grain before simmering enhances its flavor. To toast nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, honey, cumin, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in oil so that the dressing becomes smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Rinse Oats thoroughly through fine strainer or cheese cloth
Add 1 part oats to 2 parts water with a pinch of salt
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed

To serve, enhance with super-foods: skim milk, blueberries and almonds
Cooked oats can be kept in refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Steel-Cut Oats

This twist on traditional rolled-oats was introduced to me by my sister-in-law. Usually oatmeal is something I save for breakfast on vacation. After getting acquainted with the steel-cut version I could eat it everyday. Steel-cut oats are oatmeal before it would be rolled and cut into what most of us know as oatmeal. The process of rolling oats includes water and rolling the oats to flatten them. Every step in processing any food usually cuts some nutritional value from the item. Steel cut oats retain more of the original nutrients of the grain because soaking in water and rolling are not part of the process.
In addition to retaining more nutrients than rolled oats, steel-cut oats have a delicious nutty flavor and texture. Add the same toppings, fruits, nuts and milk you would to traditional oatmeal and you have a very healthy, delicious breakfast.
Usually I cook a large pot full and keep the cooked oats in the refrigerator to eat throughout the week.
Just a minute in the microwave and breakfast is quick and easy.

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