1.26.2012

Balsamic Quinoa


My next season of Team in Training is coming up – which means I will be training for another marathon, which means I need to put down the beer, red wine, and burgers I’ve been enjoying over the past month start eating a bit better.

Solution – Quinoa!

Quinoa has easily become one of my favorite things to eat over the past year and there are a ton of health benefits that come along with this lovely food. It has been deemed a "Super Food" because it is packed with protein, amino acids, and calcium, just to name a few things. It is easy to find in your grocery store and cooks just as easy as rice. Fun fact, people often think it is a grain, but it is actually a seed from a leafy green plant that is related to swiss chard and spinach. I highly recommend trying it out instead of rice or a pasta for a change of pace. Abbie even used it in her soup last week.

This summer I made a version of this Blueberry Mango Quinoa salad quite frequently. Now that blueberries aren’t in season around here any more, I’ve started making this balsamic version more and more. This stuff is great by itself, cold or warm, over a bed of baby spinach, or with pita.

Balsamic Quinoa
Serves 4; about a cup per serving
printable version
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Balsamic
1/4 Olive Oil
1 15oz Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, chopped
5 Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard
Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to taste

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. While water is coming to a boil, rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (if needed, some brands are already rinsed). When water comes to a boil, ad quinoa and turn heat down so it is simmering. Cover and let cook according to packages directions (about 15 minutes).
2. During the last 5 minutes of the simmering, add chopped sun dried tomatoes to soften.
3. Heat red peppers in a skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook to your liking of crispness.
4. When the quinoa and sun dried tomatoes are done, fluff with a fork and stir in the black beans and red peppers.
5. In a bowl, mix together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne. Adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Toss dressing with quinoa and enjoy!

Enjoy!

Erica

P.S. Team in Training Kick Off is this weekend!! If you want to find out more info or join come to the city and check it out! 

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