Confetti Quinoa Salad with Pistachios and Currants by Cheryl Forberg

Rating: 
Yield: 
6 servings
Ingredients: 

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

Instructions: 

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.

Assemble:
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!