The best of both worlds – quinoa meets peanut butter sauce!! It almost wouldn’t be a Fresh, Fit meal if it didn’t have peanut butter in it, right?! I love quinoa for so many reasons – according to Forbes.com here are 7 of this superfood’s amazing health benefits :
1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and may help you to lose weight (it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense,” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food).
3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron; it aids in neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.
5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
So whip up this salad today, pick up your fork, and dig into the greatness!! Top or serve with some chicken for additional protein benefits.
- FOR THE SALAD :
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 4 green onions
- FOR THE DRESSING :
- 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- 1½ limes, juiced
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- OPTIONAL GARNISHES :
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Basil
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare all of the vegetables and place into a large bowl. Add the quinoa and mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until the sugar has dissolved and the peanut butter is smooth. Taste for flavor - add more soy sauce or pepper flakes, as desired.
- Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables and stir to combine.
- Top with optional garnishes - serve or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
MACROS (Not including additional garnishes) : 242 Calories, 8.9g Fat, 32.3g Carbs, 9.5g Protein