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Colorful Quinoa Salad

Maria Steinhauer

quinoa

I just can’t say enough about quinoa and its benefits. It’s a grain that is easy to cook and tastes great mixed with veggies, fruit or nuts (or all of the above). Many times, it’s my default side dish for dinner. I discovered it years ago when I tried vegetarianism (for a short while), and I was looking for alternative foods for protein. Quinoa is a good source of protein and fiber (not to mention you’ll also get some iron and B vitamins). With March being National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I’m highlighting this grain, which provides some key nutrients to help prevent colon cancer: fiber, selenium and magnesium.

Fiber is important for colon health because it keeps your bowels moving and helps remove toxins from your body. Quinoa contains 3 grams of fiber per serving (¼ cup dry quinoa). Adults should aim for at least 25 to 30 grams daily. The apples, almonds, and various veggies in this recipe are also good sources for fiber.

Separate studies show that the minerals selenium and magnesium can cut your risk of colon cancer. The quinoa, kale and almonds all provide a good amount of selenium and magnesium. In fact, most fruits and vegetables contain magnesium, so load up on these! Adults need at least 55 mcg of selenium and 320 to 420 mg of magnesium daily, so a side dish of this quinoa salad gives you a nice jump start in reaching these goals.

With all the wonderful health benefits of quinoa, I can see why many people refer to this grain as a "superfood." In my opinion, it’s super-delicious.

 

Ingredients (5 servings):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa (about 3.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced red apple
  • ¼ cup diced white onion
  • ½ cup diced English cucumber
  • ½ cup almond slices
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups of water along with the quinoa into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid, and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is soaked up.
  2. Place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped kale, diced red peppers, diced apple, diced onion, diced cucumber, almond slices, and chopped parsley. Mix together.
  3. Next, stir in olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Quinoa salad can be eaten warm or cold. Refrigerate any leftovers.



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