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Healthy Living: Quinoa and Edamame

I just read that the year 2013 will be recognized by the United Nations as “The International Year of the Quinoa.”  

I have fallen head over heels for the taste and nutritional value of quinoa, but I realize that quinoa is an unfamiliar grain to many people, especially in wondering how to prepare it and enjoy it in various recipes. But first things first, “quinoa” is pronounced “keen-wa.” 

Quinoa is a nutritionally rich source of several flavonoids (which help protect you from cell damage), as well as providing a valuable amount of heart-healthy fat.  

This recipe also adds delicious and nutritious edamame, which is just a fancy name for boiled baby green soybeans. Edamame, pronounced “ed-a-mah-me,” also packs a punch in your diet…and taste great! These soybeans are rich in fiber, protein and several vitamins and minerals. 

I threw this salad together with a few ingredients I already had, trying to replicate a salad I had enjoyed recently. I didn’t have any cilantro on hand, but I think I’ll add ½ cup of chopped cilantro next time. In fact, this kind of recipe is so easy to adapt to your own according to what’s in your fridge. Baby tomatoes, grilled chicken or even leftover diced sweet potatoes would taste great!


Quinoa and Edamame Salad 

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/2 Tbs light extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar (really makes a difference to use this vinegar)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped almonds (Whatever kind you have on hand will work)

In a bowl combine cooked quinoa, edamame and red onion. In another small bowl whisk to combine oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa and toss well. Cover and let flavors meld in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve topped with chopped almonds.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 341, Fat: 11.7 g (1.1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 8 mg, Carbohydrates: 45.2 g, Fiber: 7.1 g, Protein: 15.2 g

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