Have you ever tried Quinoa? If not, you are surely missing out. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is a protein packed carbohydrate that is considered the "mother of all grains." Highly nutritious, this seed has been eaten for thousands of years and has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Quinoa is a great antioxidant and also contains high levels of magnesium which is great for cardiovascular health. Carl and I both love Quinoa and are always looking for great recipes that incorporate it. A few years ago in one of my special edition Shape Magazines there was a really tasty recipe for Quinoa Caprese salad. I am a HUGE fan of Caprese salad on it's own so I knew I had to try this recipe. I am glad that I saved that magazine because after hours of scouring the internet looking for it, I could only find websites referring back to Shape. This recipe is a staple in our spring/summer eating. We often eat it for dinner but you could certainly serve it as a side with another protein. This recipe is also perfect to bring to a summer pot luck or cookout since it is best served at room temperature. I have modified the recipe to suit our own tastes but even with modifications this recipe is still under 300 calories a serving and it is delicious!
Quinoa Caprese Salad[Slightly modified from original recipe posted in Shape Magazine special edition issue. Reference to that recipe can be found here.]
1 cup quinoa
14 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
3 scallions, white and green parts - chopped
1 cup torn basil leaves (I often substitute 1 tablespoon freeze dried basil if fresh is not in season)
2 and 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon worth)
1 and 1/4 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Rinse quinoa thoroughly.
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender and liquid has been absorbed (about 12-15 minutes). Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Once quinoa has reached room temperature - add cherry tomatoes, diced mozzarella, scallions and basil. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic in separate bowl and pour over quinoa mixture. Toss well and season with salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.