Healthy Farmers Market
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photo by NatalieMaynor

Remember my friend Grace from Grace & GratiFood? Since she is such an amazing lady she was kind of enough not only to let me interview her last month but to also share a recipe from her own kitchen.

Grace must have read my mind when she picked this easy summer recipe.  The farmers market is my favorite place to be on Saturday mornings this time of year. It’s prime time for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in Missouri. This means there is absolutely no reason why you can’t fill your plate with an amazing array of colors, textures and tastes. Grace chose a recipe that embodies that spirit along with my favorite grain: quinoa.   Along with her recipe, Grace shared a little background on this clean eating staple:

Quinoa is an ancient grain, meaning it hasn’t been subject to genetic modification like so much of what we eat now.  Only a few species of quinoa are edible, the rest are considered weeds.  However, the quinoa plant that we get grain from is closely related to these weeds. Originating in the rough terrain of the Andes it can survive in extreme environmental conditions.  This translates to the energy of adaptability being transferred to those who have it as a regular part of the diet.  Another bonus of having this grain in your diet is that it has all of the necessary amino acids to make it a complete protein. Also, the grain is high in magnesium, lysine, zinc and iron.

I like to use quinoa for summer salads, not only because of its energetic and nutritional properties, but also because it has a light flavor and texture that is excellent for the summer months.

Farmer’s Market Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 medium cucumbers, diced and seeded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, basil and/or parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse quinoa well with cold water and place in medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to boil, cover and turn to low until all water is absorbed, approximately about 15 minutes.

Remove quinoa from heat and fluff with fork.

Place diced vegetables and chopped herbs in a bowl. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and toss till well coated. Add cooled quinoa and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Per Serving: Calories 234; Total Fat 6.7g; (Sat Fat .5g, Poly Fat 0g, Mono Fat 3g); Protein 7.8g; Carb 37g; Fiber 6g; Sugars 5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 20mg

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