• Mana Bayanzadeh

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This colourful quinoa salad with fresh and tasty Mediterranean flavours is simple to prepare and makes for a nutritious meal packed with protein. Both quinoa and black beans are excellent sources of plant proteins and high in fibre. For this salad, I used cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, feta and fresh basil & parsley. Sometimes I like adding Kalamata olives as well, which I skipped this time!

Quinoa: Nutrition Facts

Quinoa has a lot of nutrition to offer! 1 cup cook of cooked quinoa has the same amount of protein as 1 cup of milk (8 grams). It also has a high fibre content and a great source of Iron, magnesium, zinc as well as B vitamins!

The high protein and Iron content of this plant food, makes it an appealing choice and excellent source of nutrition for those who are vegetarian or consume mostly plant-based foods!

In addition, quinoa has a low glycemic index, meaning it can help regulate blood sugar.

Nutritional Content of Black Beans

Black beans are low fat, and exceptionally high in protein and fibre with 11 grams of each in 3/4 cup. They are also an excellent source of folate, which makes them a great choice if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy! Other nutrients that are rich in black beans include iron, magnesium. potassium and zinc!

These beans have a high antioxidant content, evident in their deep colour! Black beans are rich in "Kaempferol", which are from the category of flavonoids, associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Black beans have also been shown to lower cholesterol and possibly have a protective effect against diabetes.

Recipe

Serves 12

Ingredients for salad:

  • 2 cups of uncooked quinoa

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 cups of cooked black beans or 1 can

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup cucumber, diced

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 2 small yellow peppers, diced

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta

  • Fresh basil and parsley, ½ cup finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Optional - 1/2 cup about 10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Directions:

  1. Add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of uncooked quinoa to a pot. Add some salt and bring to a boil. After reaching a boil, reduce temperature and allow to simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from stove and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork

  2. Add cooked black beans

  3. Cut up all vegetables and herbs - add to quinoa and black beans

  4. For dressing, squeeze juice of 1 fresh lemon and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil

  5. Add salt/pepper to taste, sprinkle with feta and enjoy!

  6. Optimal - you can also add Kalamata olives for some extra delicious Mediterranean flavours!

MANA BAYANZADEH

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