Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Spring Green Quinoa. "Need to eat your greens? Try this warm salad featuring spring veggies and the ancient 'Mother Grain' — quinoa — which has the distinction of being a rare vegetable source of complete proteins," says chef Asata, who provided the recipe. She adds, "Spring green quinoa is very low in cholesterol, a good source of folate, iron and magnesium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese."
Spring Green Quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup green peas
1 10 oz bag of baby spinach
1 cup parsley or mint leaves, chopped
Juice from 2 lemons
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
4 oz. feta
Bring 2 cups stock to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, reduce heat, simmer 5-7 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Saute onion until tender, add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and the sugar snap peas and green peas and cook until the asparagus has become bright green and is still crisp, 3-5 minutes.
Stir the cooked quinoa and the spinach into the vegetables and remove from heat. Stir in the herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with 4 oz of feta cheese and toasted pine nuts just before serving.
Nutrition info: Per 3/4 cup serving: 264 calories, 11 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium, 32 g total carbs, 6 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar and 11 g protein.
About chef Asata
Chef Asata completed her degree in culinary arts from the International School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2000 and has been a professional chef for nearly a decade in some of Atlanta’s top-rated restaurants and in private homes. She has been chef at Dish Restaurant, the Food Studio and Nikolai’s Roof (both recipients of the AAA Four Diamond Award) and the vegan restaurant Lush. Asata teaches cooking classes for teens and adults at the Cooks Warehouse in Atlanta.