Heart Healthy Quinoa Avocado Salad

Quinoa SaladI am a runner. I enjoy long distances and hill workouts at my own pace. The more I run and the older I get, the more I realize I need to pay attention to the foods that fuel me and by extension my family. If you are also looking to eat in a more heart healthy way or looking for heart healthy meal ideas then you’ll love Quinoa.

For me that means more lean proteins. While I’d love a diet of cheeseburgers that won’t cut it in regards to my and my family’s health.

The buzz right now in the running community is Quinoa. It’s a power food that hails from South America. It’s a nutty flavored seed resembling the texture of couscous. The beauty of Quinoa is its high both protein and fiber but remains light and won’t weigh you down. Perfect for a mom on the run. Literally or figuratively.Quinoa2

I toss a cup of Quinoa in a bowl with avocado and any other fresh vegetables I have on hand. Then serve on a bed of salad greens for a hearty lunch that curbs late afternoon cravings. I was amazed but this meal really fills you up and gives you energy for hours without a carb-crash.

A recipe for the dish pictured here is listed below. It’s low in calories, and sodium and cholesterol free. For those of you looking for a Heart Healthy meal Quinoa is excellent for promoting cardiovascular health due to it’s high content of heart healthy fat compared to other grains.

There is no right or wrong way to serve Quinoa. It would be a great substitute for a bed of rice in a chicken or fish dinner or mixed with other grains in a soup for an added kick of flavor and texture.

Quinoa Salad

A delicious heart healthy Quinoa salad recipe
Course Salad
Cuisine Hispanic
Author Jessica Heir

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Avocados diced
  • 1 large Tomato diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber diced
  • 2 stalks Celery diced
  • Fresh Baby Spinach or Salad Greens
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package directions. If you are using plain quinoa substitute low sodium chicken broth in place of water. I used the Far East blend with brown rice here, with water and their seasoning packets. Either way when cooked, allow to cool.
  2. Add avocado and all remaining ingredients to quinoa and toss gently to mix.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Incidentally this recipe is kid approved. My children love the creamy texture of the avocados and the way the Quinoa sticks to the fresh vegetables. “They look like sprinkles,” my two year old Grace says. If it keeps her eating her vegetables I’m happy to go with it.

 

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