Quinoa, a super food from South America, is packed with protein and fiber. It is a delicately flavored grain that was a staple in the ancient Incas’ diet. It is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting the grain before cooking enhances its flavor and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Toasted quinoa has a slightly nutty taste that complements the walnuts and is a foil to the lemony tarragon dressing.
Try this warm salad over greens of any sort: Fresh arugula, Boston lettuce leaves or wilted spinach–or as a great substitute for rice pilaf. In fact, with all the protein here, it makes a nice main course served with a side of vegetables.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup drained and diced jarred roasted red peppers (3 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, preferably toasted (see Cooking Tip)
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. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook gently for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and, without disturbing the quinoa, add edamame. Cover and continue to cook until the edamame and quinoa are tender, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Drain any remaining water, if necessary.
3. Whisk lemon zest and juice, oil, tarragon and salt in a large bowl. Add peppers and the quinoa mixture. Toss to combine. Divide among 4 plates and top with walnuts.
Cooking Tip: To toast walnuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
Recipe Nutrition: 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each.
Per Serving: 404 calories; 18 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 6g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 16 g fiber; 645 mg sodium; 319 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (31% daily value), Iron (25% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv).
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings.
Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 very lean meat, 3 fat (mono).
Visit EatingWell.com for free quick and easy healthy recipe collections!