What is Quinoa?
Quinoa has become a trendy ingredient in the past few years, not only for its delicious flavor, but for its nutritional qualities. At first glance you might presume it is a grain, but it is actually a small seed. It can be used in recipes as you would rice, pasta, or couscous, however, quinoa provides additional health benefits because it is actually closely related to beets and spinach!
This gluten-free super food is also high in protein, rich in fiber and a source of calcium. This is useful for anyone who is lactose intolerant or follows a vegan diet.
Originally cultivated in the mountains of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, quinoa has been a staple since the ancient Incan Empire. This crop can only be grown at high altitudes and often has to be shipped to the US and around the world from the Andes. That’s why I was so excited to find this brand grown right here in the US from the White Mountain Farm in Colorado. They are actually the first large-scale quinoa operation in North America.
This recipe for “Italian Quinoa Salad” is a great addition to your Labor Day Picnic menu. I like to store individual portions in canning jars for easy transportation and serving.
All you have to do is toss cooked quinoa with small fresh mozzarella balls, pine nuts, spinach and tomatoes. Then whisk up an easy balsamic vinaigrette and you are ready to go! I like to allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to combine. You can certainly prepare this recipe in advance and have it all ready to go for your Labor Day festivities!
Excited to make this “Italian Quinoa Salad?”
Follow this link for the recipe –> http://healthy.betterrecipes.com/italian-quinoa-salad.html
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