March is National Nutrition Month and I’ve been celebrating it everyday by literally living the motto. . . enjoy the taste of eating right. How about you?
Eating “healthy food” that nourishes your body, mind, and soul should not taste like tree bark. It should taste fresh and delicious! If you’ve tried cooking kale or sweet potatoes or oat groats at least a couple of different ways (and despite my encouragement) you STILL don’t like it, try something else. There are so many amazingly healthy foods out there that will make you feel good– find ones you love!
I love that National Nutrition Month and the beginning of Spring go hand-in-hand. It’s a time for mud and rain and the last snow. It’s also a time for greens and berries! These are the first local veggies and fruits available in the northern United States.
I’m completing my dietetic internship these days and have enjoyed making a positive difference in the health of healthcare employees by sharing that healthy food can taste great. I made this recipe last week at the hospital I’ve been working at, put 7 pans on the salad bar, and it was a huge hit. When I made it at the hospital, I started with 16 cups of quinoa. . . the recipe below is scaled down for you and me to make at home. Enjoy!!
Raspberry Spinach Quinoa Salad
Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 cup white quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1- 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Ingredients for Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cane sugar or agave
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan then stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl, fluff with a fork, and cool to room temperature.
- While quinoa is cooking and cooling, prep salad ingredients and set aside.
- To make the vinaigrette, put all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine or put in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Gently fold the salad ingredients except the parsley and raspberries into the quinoa. Add the vinaigrette and stir gently.
- Serve cold or at room temperature. Garnish the salad with fresh raspberries and parsley. Enjoy!
NOTE: This quinoa salad will keep in the fridge for 4 days. It makes a great grab ‘n go lunch during week or side with dinner. It would also be awesome for a potluck or early summer picnic!