Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Power Quinoa Salad

I am so tickled about this picture! The days are finally getting a little bit longer. Long enough to get some natural light for pictures anyway. This meal is the first on my Olympic themed menu for the week. I hope to get meal two, my Spinach and Chicken Alfredo Bake, posted by Friday after parent-teacher conferences are over. For now, I am happy to share this amazing Power Quinoa Salad. I took some leftovers for lunch today. It has kept me energized and full all afternoon!

As I said in my previous post, the diet of an Olympic athlete is lean, mean, and clean, but also a little mundane in its ingredients (i.e. spinach, chicken, and protein shakes). Aside from the deep dish pizza, it was a bit of a struggle to come up with healthy yet interesting ideas. I was pretty excited when I came across Gretchen Bleiler's favorite snacks while training. According to an interview in Women's Health magazine, she munches on a mix of walnuts, dried mango, and dried goji berries. I can work with this. 

To turn Gretchen's trailmix into a meal, I turned it all into a beautiful salad. This colorful salad is packed with Olympian worthy nutrients- protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a healthy dose of vitamin C. If you cannot find dried goji berries, cranberries would be another great substitute. I served mine over a bed of spinach with chicken, but it could easily serve as a vegetarian main dish. Simple to throw together, it will keep you fueled for the day!

Power Quinoa Salad

4 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried mango, diced
1/4 cup dried goji berries
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
4 tablespoons of your favorite light vinaigrette

In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together until combined. Serve as a side with poultry or over mixed greens for a vegetarian main dish. 

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