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Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Feta and Summer Vegetables

Contributed by: News Canada

Satisfying Snacks for all Occasions (NC) - When you're at work and looking for a mid-morning boost, or at the grocery store looking for a pre-dinner nosh, you can always rely on almonds. With toasty flavour, crunch and essential nutrients, almonds are a nutritious alternative to potato chips or pretzels.

Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Feta and Summer Vegetables
According to Helene Charlebois, registered dietitian, the ideal snack is high in protein and fiber which together will help you feel fuller longer. Almonds are packed with all of the ingredients necessary to help you stay satisfied in between meals. In fact, researchers have discovered that people who snack on almonds consume fewer calories at later meals - the almonds help you feel full.

That makes them a great substitute for chips and dip. The delicate, toasty flavour of almonds goes well with a variety of ingredients for a satisfying snack.

When choosing a snack, "reach for nutrition, taste and ease; almonds fit the bill," Charlebois says. "Always snack in moderation leaving some appetite for the next meal to come."

While not all tasty foods are good for you, a handful of almonds (about 23) is packed with the antioxidant vitamin E, protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron, all in 160 calories. Plus, research shows that almonds can help lower LDL, or "bad," cholesterol levels.

From honey-roasted almonds to parmesan-herb almonds to spicy Cajun almonds, there is an almond snack to satisfy every palate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 ounces cubed feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, roasted
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 2 scallions, diced

*Basil-Chive Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Place quinoa in a medium pot and rinse with water. Strain out water; add broth and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cool and toss gently with feta, almonds, vegetables and vinaigrette. Serve.

*Basil-Chive Vinaigrette:

Combine vinegar and lime juice in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until mixture is smooth and uniform. Stir in chives and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Size: Makes 6 Servings


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