Superfood Salad [Recipe]
Posted on 31 May 2017
Try our superfood salad recipe!
Life is hectic and it can be hard to balance all of life’s demands, even on a good day. Making the time to exercise and eat a balanced diet is not often a top priority. But behold, there are ways to make things that little bit easier! Let’s take meal prep for example – it means you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, saves money and can provide you with much healthier meals.
Anyone pushing hard to meet their weightloss or fitness goals should remember you cannot out train a bad diet. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts and the only way to get your desired results is from a healthy diet and enough exercise. Nonetheless, there are simple ways to make effective changes to your diet. It is easy to shred pounds just by reducing your consumption of fast foods and eating more superfoods instead.
What is a superfood?
Although there is currently no medical definition, superfoods are particularly nutrient dense foods that contain high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Such nutrients are thought to play significant roles in the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and promoting weight loss. Superfoods exist throughout many food groups including whole grains like quinoa, spelt and amaranth, nuts and seeds such as walnuts, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds, as well as many fruits and vegetables.
If you want to increase your intake of superfoods or are just looking for healthy meal prep ideas, why not try this delicious quinoa superfood salad recipe?
This salad is packed with superfoods, here are just a few of them:
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has recently become a superfood and there are no surprises as to why! It is high in protein and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. It is also rich in fibre, magnesium, b vitamins, iron, calcium and various antioxidants. It also has the benefit of being gluten and dairy free.
This recipe contains lots of vegetables because they are low in calories, high in fibre and have many health benefits. Research suggests that only 1 in 10 Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables so don’t be afraid to load up your plate with veggies. Many vegetables are considered superfoods because of their high vitamin and mineral content. They are also incredible sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which play vital roles in recovery after exercise and fighting against free radicals.
The pumpkin seeds provide healthy fats mainly in the form of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid (18:1), which helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol. The presence of these fatty acids also helps to promote the absorption of antioxidants and any fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K present.
This salad is high in protein but remember if you are on a high protein diet your fibre requirements will also increase. This recipe provides you with approx 25% of your fibre intake for the day.
- 2 cups of quinoa or buckwheat
- 1 red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 peppers (finely sliced)
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (quartered)
- 12 cups of spinach or your choice of leafy greens
- 12 oz chicken breast (grilled without skin)
- 4 tsp dried red chilli flakes (optional)
- Juice of ½ -1 lemon
- Small handful of chopped fresh herbs e.g. parsley
- Sprinkling of pumpkin seeds
Salad dressing optional:
- 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar or
- 1 Tbsp of pomegranate molasses
- If you are cooking quinoa from scratch follow packet instructions, normally cooked in boiling water for 15 minutes. Quinoa is now available in handy ready-made packs making prep time even quicker.
- While quinoa is boiling, sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken breasts and start grilling them. When the quinoa and chicken are both done, set aside.
- Combine the leafy greens, peppers, pepitas, chili, and herbs together and divide evenly into meal prep containers.
- Keep lemon wedge, onions, and tomatoes on the side. If you have a salad meal prep container it can be stored on top, away from the leafy greens. Keep dressing separate as well.
- Place ½ cup of quinoa and 3 oz of chicken for each salad in small meal prep containers. These can be kept together, separate from the salad.
- Refrigerate all containers until ready to eat.
- When ready to eat, heat chicken and quinoa in the microwave or keep cold. Toss the chicken, quinoa, tomatoes, onions and dressing into the leafy greens. Finish with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!
Yields 4 servings
For a vegetarian/vegan option swap the chicken and egg for beans (white, black or mixed salad beans) or tofu.
This salad lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days. Mix in separated ingredients when ready to eat.