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Protein-Packed Quinoa Salad

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Serves 4-6

Protein: 8.5 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked

Quinoa looks a lot like couscous, but its way more nutritious, containing 8 grams of protein per cup, including all nine essential amino acids.  Full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese, quinoa is a terrific substitute for rice.

Lentils are an amazing source of protein as well, with 9 grams of per half cup, along with nearly 15 grams of fiber, they’re both versatile and delicious.

Highly flavorful and super-healthy, Protein-Packed Quinoa Salad takes center stage when served over mixed greens as a main course.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black lentils (or use green and add 10 minutes to the initial simmer time)
  • 1 cup quinoa (any color)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small red onion (skin removed) chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2-4 cups of cabbage or your favorite winter greens, chopped
  • ½ – 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • Top with tempeh or tofu for extra protein (optional)

Preparation:

Add lentils and water to a large saucepan and bring water to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then add quinoa and again bring to simmering, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, if the water fully absorbs before then, add an additional ¼ cup and finish cooking.

Toss in onion, fennel and cabbage or greens, cover and cook at lowest possible temperature for 5 more minutes, stirring half way through and adding more water if needed (to prevent browning).

Remove from burner and let sit covered for 5 minutes longer, then add salsa and salt to taste.  Serve warm or chilled.

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