A protein-packed salad that is healthy and Blueberry-licious
(NC) Two of nature's superfoods – fresh blueberries and quinoa – team up with butternut squash to create a salad that's packed with protein, bursting with sweet and tangy flavor, and colorful enough to brighten the drab grays of winter. Supplies of fresh blueberries are plentiful all winter long, courtesy of the growers and exporters of Chile, the southern hemisphere's largest producer of fresh blueberries.
In addition to a healthy dose of cancer-fighting antioxidants, fresh blueberries pack enough vitamins, fiber and phytochemicals to rank them high on the list of superfoods all by themselves. Blueberries also give this salad a burst of sweet, tangy flavor and the lovely colors that make it almost as good to look at as it is to eat.
The protein in this healthful, low-calorie salad comes from quinoa (KEEN-wah), widely considered a grain but really a type of seed more closely related to spinach and chard, which provides a complete protein – one cup has a full gram more than is found in an egg.
Butternut squash is widely available during the winter months and is not only sweet and tasty, but contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol, so it's an ideal food for folks on special diets. What's more, it's a good source of potassium, magnesium and fiber, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Put all three of these core ingredients together and you have a winter salad that is yummy and nutritious.
For more recipe ideas or information about Blueberries from Chile, visit www.fruitsfromchile.com/blueberryrecipes.
Blueberry, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups water
1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed well
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 Green onions, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups fresh Chilean blueberries
3 cups baby arugula
Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, about 22 minutes; let cool. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool. In a small bowl whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside. In a large bowl combine squash, green onions, blueberries, arugula and quinoa. Drizzle with dressing; toss to combine.
Note: Quinoa should be easy to find at your local supermarket but, if not, couscous makes a perfect substitute.
Recipe courtesy of the US Highbush Blueberry Council
Word count: 424
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