If you’re eating gluten-free but crave grains, sometimes the choices can be starch-laden and thus low in nutrition. Here’s a salad featuring the satisfying, nutritious high-protein grain quinoa. The salad is naturally sweet from mango and currants and has contrasting savory flavors of cilantro and chives. Top with the yogurt-mint-cucumber sauce for a smooth, rich-textured contrast to the hint of curry. For a light supper, serve pita bread halves alongside, or pair with grilled chicken or fish.
Mint and chives grow well even into fall in our eastern Iowa climate. There are many varieties of mint, but in this spearmint is delicious. Look for quinoa in Hy-Vee stores’ Health Market section or at natural food stores.
You may substitute raisins for the currants and green onion for the chives. If you need to make the dressing dairy-free, look for So Delicious cultured coconut milk yogurt. Coconut is great with curry, so this might be an excellent choice.
CURRIED QUINOA SALAD WITH CUCUMBER, MINT AND MANGO
Start to finish: 1 hour (active time: 45 minutes)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked, rinsed in a fine strainer)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 5 ounces fresh spinach
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add curry powder and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally while finishing preparation of other ingredients.
In a medium bowl combine mango, diced celery, chopped chives, chopped cilantro and currants.
In a small bowl combine cucumber, mint and yogurt and stir well.
Add cooled-down quinoa mixture to the ingredients in the medium bowl and toss gently. Divide spinach evenly among plates, and place quinoa mixture on spinach beds. Spoon cucumber-yogurt-mint mixture on top and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 244 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 3 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 6 g fiber; 363 mg sodium.
(Recipe adapted from relishrelish.com.)