Zesty quinoa zucchini salad is a refreshing medley of vibrant flavors and textures. Packed with nutrient-rich quinoa, tender but crisp sautéed zucchini, and a zesty lime and herb dressing, this salad is a delightful celebration of wholesome ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.
Quinoa is not my favorite grain. While it has a beautiful fluffy texture, it has an overwhelming nutty flavor that I don’t like. For this reason, I have only had it a handful of times.
As I started to hear more about quinoa’s health benefits, I made it my mission to keep trying quinoa until I found a recipe that I loved. This quinoa zucchini lime salad is a recipe that I love. But before we get to the zesty quinoa zucchini salad, let’s talk about the health benefits of the main ingredients.
Health Benefits Of Quinoa
Quinoa is considered a superfood. This is primarily because of quinoa’s antioxidant activity and high phenolic content. Quinoa also contains all the amino acids; therefore, it is a complete protein and the perfect meat substitute.
Furthermore, quinoa has been shown to have α-glucosidase and pancreatic lipase inhibitory properties. In addition to this, quinoa also contains phytoecdysteroids. Phytoecdysteroids have many benefits, including wound healing effects, as well as anabolic, anti-osteoporotic, anti-obesity, and anti-diabetic activities.
Health Benefits Of Zucchini
Zucchini is a low-calorie food. In fact, a fresh medium zucchini has 33 calories and consists of 96.5% water. Zucchini is also low in fat and sodium and contains high concentrations of potassium and fiber, which support healthy blood circulation and blood pressure.
Fiber also decreases cholesterol levels. In addition to this, zucchini also contains mucilage, a soluble fiber that may be beneficial for persons experiencing digestive problems. Zucchini also gives you a healthy serving of vitamins and minerals. In particular, zucchini contains rich amounts of vitamin C and potassium.
Zucchini is also an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin A, and the minerals manganese, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Zucchini is thought to have enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant activities that protect against the accumulation of reactive oxygen species in the cells.
Tips For Making Zesty Quinoa Zucchini Salad
Rinse or soak your quinoa in water before cooking it. Even though quinoa is classified botanically as a pseudocereal, it is a seed, not a grain.
Predators such as animals, birds, and insects eat seeds, making it difficult for the quinoa plant to reproduce. The quinoa plant produces a minimum of 40 organic Phyto-compounds known as saponins to ward off predators.
Saponins have a soapy, bitter flavor making them unpalatable for predators. The outer coating of quinoa may be hard for some persons to suggest. Therefore, washing the quinoa before cooking it will remove the saponins.
This quinoa zucchini salad has one acid lime juice: I love lime juice, but the flavor can be too concentrated for some people. You can add a teaspoon of rice wine or red wine vinegar to the dressing. In the same way, purple will cancel out the color yellow; the vinegar will cancel out the lime juice and mellow out the strong tart flavor.
Cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. I was lazy and chopped the zucchini into larger pieces. Cutting the zucchini into smaller pieces will distribute it evenly throughout the quinoa salad and shave a few minutes off the cooking time.
To intensify the quinoa’s flavor, you can toast it. However, make sure you dry the quinoa before toasting it to avoid getting popped by hot oil. This is a warm salad. However, if you want to serve this quinoa zucchini salad cold, spread it onto a cookie sheet and allow the quinoa to cool for 30 minutes.
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4 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories340
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 2.9g 10%
- Cholesterol 0mg 0%
- Sodium 596mg 25%
- Potassium 511mg 15%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 4.8g 16%
- Sugars 2.8g
- Protein 7.5g 15%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.