Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint

Quinoa is one of my favorite Super Foods of 2012. I talked a great deal about quinoa this weekend at my nutrition/healthy eating seminar including how to pronounce it, purchase it and cook it. I had a lot of wonderful questions regarding this gluten-free grain. One serving of quinoa provides all 8 essential amino acids, and it is high in protein and fiber. It’s also a wonderful grain for those on a gluten-free diet, and it works wonderful for breakfast, a side, in soups and salads. I recommend buying the rinsed version to make your life even easier. I developed this recipe for Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint for Thanksgiving for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms Turkey. It makes a great side dish or salad, and my kids absolutely loved it. Add grilled chicken or shrimp if you wish for a main dish salad.

Magical Gluten-Free Side Dish: Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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A lot of people have asked me lately, “What is quinoa?”. I answer, “It’s the magical grain.” Quinoa is the amazing gluten-free grain that is high in fiber and a complete protein, meaning it has all nine amino acids. Quinoa also contains high amounts of  lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. It is a great replacement for rice or couscous and works great here in this simple recipe for Southwestern Quinoa Salad. Serve it room temperature or chilled. It’s awesome, and my kids even ate it too! By the way, quinoa can be found at Whole Foods Market or any of your specialty stores.