Besides all the health benefits associated with healthy fats discussed in My Last Post (decreased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes), they also help with weight loss, boost the immune system, and improve brain function. As far as the eyes are concerned, healthy fats assist the body in absorbing nutrients like lutein, which is a carotenoid that prevents macular degeneration.
In sticking with my Mediterranean Diet theme from last week, I’ll start this week by sharing a delicious Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe (with Chicken). This particular recipe is a meal in itself. It can also double as a quick snack, or a healthy lunch for those of us with time constraints.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 large cooked chicken breasts (chopped up)
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup chick peas
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 full lemons (squeezed)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 large red onion (diced)
- 1 orange bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 cup olives (your choice)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Start with the chicken broth and bring it to a boil (in the pot of your choice). Next, add the quinoa and reduce the temperature to a low heat. Then cover the pot and let the contents simmer until the chicken stock is absorbed.
Simultaneously, take a sauce pan and add in the onion, pepper, and cooked chicken, then mix thoroughly. The next step is to take everything from the pot and the sauce pan and put it into a larger sauté pan, then mix it all up. From there, add the cilantro, chick peas, and kale, all of which will be cooked appropriately from the heat of the other contents.
When everything is properly mixed, sprinkle in some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Lastly, toss in the pine nuts, olives, and feta cheese, and stir again.
Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold.