Adapted from a Prevention magazine recipe, comes a salad that is as simple as it is tasty and healthy. It features quinoa, a grain that is not only full of fiber, but also loaded with plant-based protein. But, the starring role of this salad goes to the luscious avocado that sometimes gets a bad rap for its high fat content. However, this seemingly decadent fruit is actually high in monounsaturated fat that helps increase good HDL cholesterol.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 3 Tbsp diced red pepper
- 3 Tbsp diced green pepper
- 1 tsp cilantro
- 2 Tbsp diced avocado
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine, and serve. Easy Peasy!
Total time: 10 minutesServings: 1
Nutrition (per serving): 320.5 cal, 14.7 g pro, 46 g carb, 7.8 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar, 9.8 g fat, 0.7 g sat fat, 21.1 mg sodium
Key Ingredient Benefits
Avocado: This fruit is loaded with nutrients including vitamins E, K, C and B. The fat content of avocados is significant, however it is the healthy type, oleic acid. Oleic acid improves fat metabolism and is the same monounsaturated fatty acid present in olive oil. Dubbed the alligator pear, avocados help to support the cardiovascular system and regulate blood sugar.
Cilantro: The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (in America, from the Spanish name for the plant). In parts of Europe, this herb has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, cilantro (coriander) has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.
Lime: This fruit contains citrus bioflavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and are active in improving the function of the immune system. Limes also have anti-microbial properties and are a good source of a number of nutrients including, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. The lime’s bioflavonoids may also function as anti- inflammatories and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Red Pepper: Bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin C and are members of the nightshade family. They also provide plenty of fiber, water and Vitamin A.
Tofu: Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. Soy is the prime component of tofu and is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all of the essential amino acids needed in the diet.
Quinoa: This grain alternative is high in protein and is a source of all essential amino acids, including lysine and isoleucine, which makes it a complete protein. It provides a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients, flavonoids and polysaccharides. Quinoa is rich in vitamin E and a very good source of antioxidant-promoting manganese. It is also a good source of heart-healthy magnesium folate, and fiber, as well as bone-building phosphorus and copper.