I discovered quinoa a few years ago and use it with some frequency in my kitchen. Not daily, maybe not weekly, but at least twice a month, it still reaches our table, in one form or another. Today it happened to be in the form of a quinoa salad with vegetables. It is a type of salad that is easy to make, which can be served both as a side dish and other dishes. It’s to the liking of the whole family.
The quinoa salad recipe I propose to you today is simple and easy to adapt. Simply by adding other seasonal vegetables, we can get a new salad every time, at the same time to enjoy the superfood qualities that quinoa has.
Nutrients in this recipe
Quinoa is considered a pseudo-cereal and is one of the most popular healthy foods in the world. The little rains are rich in protein, magnesium, fiber, and iron. They are also a lent source of phosphorus and calcium especially recommended in vegan diets.
Thanks to its rich riboflavin content, quinoa provides the body with a considerable amount of energy. It is also known as vitamin B2. It also helps blood circulation in the body, thus improving its metabolism, but also the cognitive qualities of the brain. Quinoa contributes to the absorption of cholesterol, having anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eggplant is rich in water fiber, contains many calories, and gives the feeling of satiety. It contains potassium, a mineral that helps maintain heart health, and magnesium, which helps reduce stress. Vitamins A and C in the composition help maintain good immunity but also strengthen the bone system.
Bell peppers are a great package of vitamins, especially vitamin C, with a substantial antioxidant role. A cup of bell pepper contains 169% of the daily dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A, etc. It has 92% water, and the rest of the composition is given by carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. At the same time, it has a low-calorie content: a cup of bell pepper has 45 calories. The phytonutrients in bell peppers are capsanthin (which offers an intense red color), lutein (abundant in green peppers), quercetin, and luteolin, both with an antioxidant role.
Spinach has plenty of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It’s a very well-known source of iron and folic acid, calcium, and zinc. Full of antioxidants, spinach can help with oxidative stress and improve your eye health, blood pressure, and boost your immune system.
- Servings: 4
- Calories: 165
- Carbohydrate: 25 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Total Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: < 0.5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 55 mg
- Potassium: 400 mg
Quinoa with Eggplant, Spinach and Bell Pepper Salad
- thick sieve
- a medium saucepan
- a rubber spatula
- a stockpot
- 1 cup of dry quinoa
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 3 cups of fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Put the quinoa in a thick sieve. Wash it under running cold water, shaking it. About 2-3 minutes of abundant rinsing is enough to get rid of the bitter substance. Then drain the quinoa well.
- Pour the water into a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt. When the water starts to boil, add the quinoa all at once.
- After the water starts to boil again, reduce the heat to a minimum and cover the pan with the lid. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Before the next step, all we have to do is mix it a little with a fork to become fluffy.
- Wash the eggplant and do not peel it (the peel will be slightly crispy after baking). Cut it into long strips and then cubes (the cubes will drop quite a bit when baking).
- Place the eggplant cubes in a large bowl and salt them generously. Mix by hand so that the salt reaches each cube.
- Then move the cubes in a strainer, place a weight on them (a plate turned upside down). This way, you help the juice of the eggplant drain faster. Drain for about 30-40 minutes.
Place the eggplant cubes in the oven and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Halfway through, with a spatula, turn the eggplant cubes to brown on all sides.
- Meanwhile, cut the bell pepper into thin slices.
- Over the chilled quinoa, add baked eggplant, bell pepper, onion, spinach, and the finely chopped green parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine.