Confetti Quinoa Salad with Pistachios and Currants by Cheryl Forberg

6 servings

For quinoa:
I teaspoon grapeseed oil
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth or fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry quinoa

For dressing:
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

For salad:
1/2 cup dried currants
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
I tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Prepare quinoa:
In a quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add quinoa, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl to cool.

Prepare dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in oil until emulsihed. Set aside.

Add dressing and remaining ingredients to the quinoa and mix well. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories 140, fat 6 g, sat fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 100 mg, carbohydrate 20 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 7 g, protein 3 g

*Adapted with permission from A Small Guide to Losing Big by Cheryl Forberg RD (Flavor First Publishing 2015)

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!