Quinoa & Red Rice Salad Recipe

Over the past 12 months or so I’ve been becoming more and more vegetarian oriented in my diet and choice of foods.  I’ve all but cut out  dairy, but will have small amounts either in cooking or desserts when taking it out is just too difficult for those preparing the meal.  I’m not really vegetarian, more pescatarian, as I still eat seafood.

All in all, I think I feel better for it and I find it easier to keep my weight in check.  One thing I have found difficult at times, is creating meals that are both filling, tasty and provide the level of energy necessary to support training and help my body recover.

So, from time to time I’ll share recipes I either discover, or create, that are healthy and tasty, just in case you are facing the same dilemma.  Would love to hear some of your favourites too – please feel free to share on the this post or email me at gpontherun@gmail.com.

Today I noticed we had some really nice salad ingredients in the fridge which inspired the following recipe.

Quinoa & Red Rice Salad Recipe

IMG_3208A word of warning, don’t take my measurements too literally as I tend to “make it up” a little as I go  😉

8-10 vine ripened cherry tomatoes halved
1 lebanese cucumber (or half a large continental cucumber) halved then sliced
1 small carrot peeled, halved and sliced
3-4 medium button cup mushrooms halved and sliced
1/3 cup of red rice cooked to directions then allowed to cool
1/3 cup of white quinoa cooked as per directions then allowed to cool
4-5 mini peppers/capsicums (mix up the colours if you can) deseeded, halved and sliced
small handful of continental parsley coarsely chopped
Generous squeeze of lime juice
Good slug of quality olive oil
4-5 Grinds of black pepper

What to Do
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix to combine to ensure the dressing touches all ingredients.  Serve and devour – either as a light meal or as a side for a main meal.

Want to add some protein?  I’d suggest smoked salmon strips or chunks of quality tuna.

So why red rice you ask?  Well, red rice looks good for starters, also, it’s really good for you.  According to sources brown rice and red rice are quite similar when we talk about them on the nutritional front.   They are both  great sources of fibre, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients.

Another benefit that sets the red variety apart from its brown counterpart is it being enriched with antioxidants that can help fight damaging free radicals in your body.  Red rice apparently gets its colour from an antioxidant called anthocyanins. This compound is believed to have properties that can reduce inflammation (good for runners), allergy, prevent risks of cancer and help in weight management.  Along with calcium, magnesium helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and prevents risks of arthritis and osteoporosis (both of which are life buddies of mine).

I’m guessing you already know about the benefits of quinoa.  As a naturally gluten-free grain it  contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber.  It is also one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein and comprised of all pernine essential amino acids.  When you are more veggie than carnivore, quinoa is a great addition to the diet.

You’ll note that the vegetables are all raw and therefore retain all their natural goodness.  I’m sure you could a lot more to this recipe than I have and hope you do.  I’m thinking some garlic, spinach and cashews…. Hmmm – will let you know how it turns out.

Bon appetit.

Oh, and Happy Running 🙂

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