Cooked Quinoa Salad: Nutrient Bomb Packed in 380 Calories
Today you are going to see one of our favorite nutrient bombs in action:
The Currynoa Salad.
First, I’ll explain the recipe: how it boosts your health, how it helps your weight loss and why it’s called Currynoa. (Nikola)
Then, I’ll show you how to prepare this cooked quinoa salad in less than 30 minutes. (Anastasia)
Let’s dive right in.
The Currynoa Salad Recipe: Highly Nutritional Cooked Quinoa Salad
The Currynoa is awesome for one simple reason:
It’s a 380 kcal recipe that has a lot of nutrient value in it, a lot:
Which is pretty amazing, considering it’s a salad that weighs roughly 400g.
And here is the full list of nutrition facts:
Does this sound like something you want to try?
The Health Benefits of Quinoa, Chia, Turmeric, Cucumber and Lemon … Combined
Yep, you guessed it, the name Currynoa comes from the quinoa having a curried taste, from the turmeric.
I’ve been eating quinoa with greek yogurt for years. It’s awesome. But as time passed, the recipe started to feel way too simple and dull. It needed a change.
And countless of times the universe has proven to me, when you need something, it comes to you.
That’s the case with the turmeric:
The same day when this recipe was born, I had a phone call from my friend.
We were preparing to cook quinoa, when he called me and passionately explained how they were feeding his Alzheimers suffering grandma with turmeric, and how it slowed the process.
Then it hit me, I decided to add turmeric to the salad, and I am so glad I did.
It’s super delicious!
But anyway, we are not here to talk taste, we are here to talk health benefits:
Will Help You Increase Iron Absorption
We all know the importance of iron, or vitamin C, I won’t bother you with that. But what happens when this particular mineral (iron) combines with this particular vitamin (c)?
You guessed it:
A lot of studies point out that the ability to absorb iron in the blood is proportionally increased with the intake of Ascorbic Acid…
…especially with the iron found in vegetables (non-heme iron).
And ascorbic acid is the main component of vitamin C.
For increased iron absorption, it’s important to consume vitamin C at the same time as iron. It does not work as well if, let’s say, you consume Vitamin C 4-8 hours before the iron.
That’s because the ascorbic acid is water-soluble, and your body will get rid of it very quickly.
NOTE (for the anemic): This works best with at least 100 mg Vitamin C. Because this recipe has less…
…it would be great for you to drink one glass of orange juice/lemonade, 30 mins before you eat this salad.
1. Sean R. Lynch, James D. Cook (1980) ‘Interaction of vitamin c and iron’, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 355 (1), 16 December, 32-44 available from DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb21325.x
2. James D. Cook, Elaine R. Monsen (1977) ‘Vitamin C, the common cold, and iron absorption’, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30 (2), February, 235-241 available: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/30/2/235.full.pdf+html
Will Help You To Lower LDL Cholesterol (the bad one)
It all starts with the Bile Acids. The bile acids are derivatives of Cholesterol, and one of their functions is the break down of fats in the small intestine. They are produced by the liver, and it requires LDL for their production.
So how do you make the liver produce more of these Bile Acids?
We all know that dietary fiber aids digestion in many ways (read here), but meanwhile, here is what happens with cholesterol:
As the fiber boosts digestion, the body needs more bile acids to function, hence the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to produce them, thereby resulting in lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
1. Gannet Health Services (2012) ‘Fiber, Digestion, and Health’ [online]. Cornell University, available: https://www.gannett.cornell.edu/cms/pdf/chep/upload/fiber-digestion-and-health.pdf
2. James W Anderson et al. (2009) ‘Health benefits of dietary fiber’, Nutrition Reviews, 67(4), April, 188-205, available from DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x
Is a Great Fiber Source
Since we are talking fiber, this recipe has a lots of it.
Actually, most of the carbs here are either fiber or starch (and some natural sugars):
If you are worried about those sugars, then you can take that worry off your list. The sugars here are 100% natural, i.e. Fructose and Glucose from the cucumber, and Lactose from the greek yogurt:
Fiber is known for its powers in aiding digestion:
- Insoluble fiber attracts water to the intestine, increasing the bulk and softness of waste products.
- Soluble fiber softens stool. It also ferments in the intestine and produces substances that may have a variety of health effects. Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol, slow the absorption of carbohydrate from foods, and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
And Great Magnesium Source
Magnesium is a mineral known to reduce muscle tension, as well as some neurological disorders like anxiety and depression. Nowadays, we live in an overwhelming society, where 50% of all adults in USA suffer from anxiety, depression or some other disorder.
While according to this, 75% of the US population has low magnesium intake.
Fortunately, this is an epic source of magnesium:
Vegetarian Complete Protein
We all know the importance of protein in any diet, and we vegans know how hard is it to “cook” a complete protein in one meal.
Well, rest assured that here you’ll find it:
Vegans, you can try it too. I am vegan too, and I allow my self to eat dairy products every now and then. Mostly because they are tasty, and no animals suffered for their production.
I know that I ‘forbade’ you from eating dairy products in the Belly Grater Formula, but that’s for achieving your weight goals, it won’t hurt your health.
The summary speaks for itself:
23% Daily Protein Intake, 22% Fiber Intake, 35% Magnesium Intake, 55% EFFICIENT Iron Intake (with a 400 Calories meal)
Even though this is not all you get with this salad…
…this is what I wanted to outline.
You also get a lot of phosphorus, vitamin K, and other general health benefits (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory…)
With this said, it’s time for me to let Anastasia walk you through the step-by-step process.
First thing first, the ingredients you’ll need are:
- 1 espresso cup of quinoa (3oz / 85g)
- 1 container of greek yogurt (6oz / 170g)
- 1 medium sized cucumber
- 1 tsp grounded turmeric
- 3 tsp whole chia seeds
- 1/2 lemon
Lets create the magic:
Step #1: How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly to Get the Most of It
The Quinoa is basically easy to cook. The only trick is the water-quinoa ratio:
The Quinoa to Water ratio is 1:2 …
…or 2 cups water for 1 cup quinoa.
So what you need here are 2 identical cups. I use espresso cups because 85g of quinoa is more than enough for one meal.
Quinoa Cooking Instructions
First, add only the 2 cups of water to the pan. Make sure the pan is small:
While there is only water, set the cooker on maximum heat. In my case, “9” is the max.
Next, add the quinoa:
Lower the cooker in the low-medium radius. I set it on level 4, which is the lower-middle-number from 0 to 9.
Don’t forget to stir from time to time!
You will know the quinoa is cooked when there is no more water left in the pan. It takes roughly 15 minutes.
Step #2: How to Prepare the Salad Perfectly so It’s Finely Mixed
You have 15 minutes until the quinoa is ready, enough for you to prepare the salad.
I start with the hardest part…
Chopping the Cucumber
Obviously, first you need to peel the cucumber. Then, chop it as fine as you can:
I was tired, and I considered grating it, but I decided to chop it. So if you are feeling lazy today, grating the cucumber is a good choice.
Mixing the Salad
For me, Chia seeds are rebels.
They are sticky, and sometimes, when the meal is juicy, they tend to stick together no matter what.
That’s why I start by mixing 1 tsp chia with the cucumber:
Mix and mix…
Next, add greek yogurt, turmeric, and the other 2 tsp of chia seeds.
Again, mix until they become one.
Now it’s time for the final touch:
Step #3: Cool, then Add the Quinoa so You Can Enjoy Eating Fresh and Cool Salad
No matter where the quinoa finished cooking while you were making the salad, or after you finished…
…you need to cool it.
Cool the quinoa because I believe you don’t want to try warm cucumber, or warm greek yogurt.
Here is how to do it:
Simply cover the pan, and leave it for some time in the sink, near the running water. You can also remove the cover, but there is a small risk of the quinoa getting wet.
When it reaches the temperature you prefer, you add it all together with the salad.
Add Lemon to Increase Iron Absorption
Even though the lemon will give it a nice touch, like vinegar…
…as I already said it will boost your iron absorption ability.
Accumulating evidence indicates that the total intake of dietary iron is less important from a nutritional standpoint than the availability of that iron. (Interaction of Vitamin C and Iron, 1980, 35)
I add juice from 2 lemon wedges, but that’s because me and Nikola enjoyed an orange juice a few hours ago.
Yea that vitamin C could’ve been long gone, because it is water-soluble, but screw it, too much lemon may ruin the salad.
Finally, mix the cooked quinoa salad until it becomes one, and you are ready to go.