Archive for the ‘Vegetarian (Or could be made so, easily!)’ Category

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CURRIED RED LENTIL SOUP

When you’re in the mood for something decadent tasting but not a heavy meal, this will do just fine.  Silky smooth and slightly spicy, with an exotic bent that is luxurious and comforting, this soup takes no time at all.  I used chicken broth, but using vegetable broth makes it completely vegan.

I love this one!!

Inspired by Cookie + Kate…thank you!

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Printable Recipe

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1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup finely diced shallots (or sweet onion)

2 large carrots, shredded

1 cup dried red lentils – picked over

1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries

1 (14 oz) can vegetable or chicken broth

3 cups water

1/2 cup lite coconut milk – unsweetened

2 teaspoons sweet curry powder – I use this one from Penzey’s

1/2 teaspoon salt (I added a little more once it was cooked…just my preference)

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/8 powdered ginger

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, saute the garlic, shallots, and carrots in the olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add the lentils, cherries, chicken/vegetable broth, water, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, cilantro, sugar, ginger, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very soft.  Allow to cool slightly.

In batches, add soup to blender and process until smooth.  Reheat gently over low.  Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk and garnish with cherries, if desired.  Makes approx. 6 (1 cup) servings.

Per Serving: 196 Cal; 10 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 31 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; (26 NET Carb); 4 g Sugar; 520 mg Sodium

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SAVORY SUN-DRIED TOMATO APPETIZER CHEESECAKE

A little different…but when it comes to cheesecake anything is good!  This one will be a hit on your celebration tables, or at any potluck, BBQ, or picnic. For low-carb-hardly-any-calories serve with assorted cut veggies to dip.  

The add-ins are really up to you.  Sub out the tomatoes for greek olives and part of the mozzarella for feta cheese.  Stir in a little crushed pineapple or jalapenos…anything you’d like.  Leave off the crust altogether for even lower calories – I’ve given stats for either way.

(For complete fabulous-ness don’t be tempted to use fat-free cream cheese as it tends to make cheesecakes rubbery!)

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2/3 cup plain bread crumbs (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Two 8-ounce pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 eggs
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, blotted with paper towel and finely minced
1 cup light sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt for added protein
1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together bread crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan (OR 9-inch deep dish pie plate). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In large bowl whip cream cheese just to soften. Add shredded cheese, green onions, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and beat just until each egg is no longer visible. Fold in tomatoes. Pour filling into crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until almost firm in the middle.

Combine sour cream and Italian seasonings and pour over cheesecake. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving door slightly open, let cake cool in oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool completely before removing sides of pan. When cooled, wrap tightly and chill overnight or preferably a couple days. Makes 20 appetizer servings.


 With crust:
Per Serving: Calories 149; Protein 7 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 5 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 226 mg
 Without crust
Per Serving: Calories 125; Protein 7 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 3 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 192 mg

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QUINOA CORN EDAMAME SALAD

It is no secret that I love quinoa and eat it every chance I get!  This salad is a re-make and a new favorite of mine – very light, summery, and fresh.  The original had barley, but quinoa is so…NOW!  I also cut the amount of corn in half, and added the edamame, some chili powder, and lime.  It’s a completely different salad than what I started with and, frankly, I’m thrilled!

These are fabulously complex carbs that give staying power to fuel you up.  And the added protein from the quinoa and the edamame keeps you full longer.   (You could add some diced chicken to this, if you felt so inclined.)

It may seem like you won’t have enough dressing, but it’s just right.

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2 cups frozen, shelled, edamame

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (leftover is great)

1 green onion, sliced (just green parts)

1/2 red sweet bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash cayenne

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Briefly boil the edamame and the corn, just until tender.  Drain very well and cool completely.

In a large bowl combine the edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, red pepper, and cilantro.  In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, chili powder, black pepper, thyme and cayenne until emulsified.  Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.  Makes approx 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 133; Protein 7 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 14 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 82 mg

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PUMPKIN-CRUNCH GRANOLA

When I get to eat a sweet and satisfy a crunch with good-for-me complex carbs – that’s a good day!  This mix is everything you love a granola to be.  Slightly sweet, spicy, nutty, crunchy, nice-sized chunks, and lots of oats.  

Oh, and it makes your house smell like Pumpkin Pie.  There’s never anything awful about that.

Add this to some Greek-style yogurt with a Gold Caramel Sauce swirl – super.   In a bowl with a little almond milk – fabulous.  Sprinkled as a crust on Apple Crisp – so good.  

Don’t leave out the egg yolk – it’s for the “clump factor”.  Without the stickiness that sugar gives the clumps are lost!  Adding some chopped dried cranberries/cherries/raisins or some chocolate chunks would be wonderful, too.

(Thanks to Lynne  for the inspiration!)

Personally, I think this is better as it sits, so I’d make it ahead and store for a day or two!

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1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup (OR agave)

1/3 cup  Whey Low Gold (OR Splenda Granular)

2 tablespoons sugar free Caramel Syrup (OR Vanilla, Toffee, Hazelnut…etc) OR add 2 T. more of maple syrup

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (OR 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves, 1/8 t. nutmeg)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup chopped pecans (OR walnuts, macadamia nuts, coconut, etc)

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In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, agave, WL Gold, caramel syrup, egg yolk, spice, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in the oats and nuts until every flake is coated.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Coat a 11 inch baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray and spread the oat mixture evenly.  Bake for 45-60 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes) or until deep brown.  Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes approx 15 (1/4-cup) servings.

Per 1/4 cup: Calories 119; Protein 6 g; Fat 8 g; NET Carbs 11 g; (Fiber4 g); Sugar 4 g; Sodium 41 mg

With Agave:  Per 1/4 cup: Calories 135; Protein 6 g; Fat 8 g; NET Carbs 16 g; (Fiber 4 g); Sugar 8 g; Sodium 41 mg


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STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SAUCE

If you are blessed with your own – or a neighbor’s! – rhubarb plant you’ll need something to do with it.   How ’bout this ruby deliciousness?!

Tart-sweet, spiced, and vanilla scented – perfect to stir into some plain yogurt or ricotta, over an Oatmeal-Cottage Cheese Pancake, inside a Crepe, or blended into a shake.   I LOVE THIS SAUCE!

Double or triple it, if you can…stick it in your freezer for summer all year long.

PS – if you don’t have any strawberries,  just use another cup of rhubarb.  Either way, it’s beyond yum!

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3  rounded cups finely diced rhubarb

1 cup chopped strawberries (or about 10 frozen)

1/2 – 1 cup Splenda Granular OR Whey Low Granular (adjust to how tart/sweet you like it)

Zest and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, Splenda, lemon zest/juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fruit is soft and mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Makes approx 2 cups.   Serving size approx 1/4 cup.

Per Serving: Calories 20; Protein 1 g; Fat 0 g; NET Carbs 4 g; (Fiber 1 g); Sugar 2 g, Sodium 2 mg

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BROCCOLI-QUINOA CASSEROLE


 You remember this dish… from every church pot luck, community cookbook, and Gramma’s table.  Yes, THAT broccoli-rice casserole.  Bubbly, cheesy, rich, and so very good.  Old-fashioned comfort food, personified.

Since I love using quinoa in everything calling for rice (less starchy, more protein) I thought I’d give it a try in this one.  And it worked just as well.  As you can see in the second photo, it’s the same creamy-dreamy texture and flavor we loved before – only this time it’s not full of rice-carbs that can wreck havoc with blood surgar.  AND the quinoa gives added protein.  How ’bout that?!

I can’t believe how great this turned out!  It’s the perfect side dish for all your meats or a vegetarian option on it’s own.  The old version was a favorite in our house – and now this will DEFINITELY be!

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One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom), low-sodium if you prefer (*see note for gluten free)

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (original called for 1 full cup. WOW.)

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)

1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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2 cups cooked broccoli

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see note)

Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

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To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg

*NOTE FOR GLUTEN FREE…Progresso makes a Creamy Mushroom Soup that is gluten free…or  here is a recipe for a Cream of Anything Soup.  Haven’t tried it, (a comment-er  below did and loved it…) but it’s been a big hit on a Celiac/Gluten Free forum.)

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Condensed “Cream of Anything” Soup

1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Instructions
In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP:
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.

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SPINACH-GORGANZOLA QUICHE CUPS

 

I love quiche in any way, shape, or form.  It’s comforting to me…the possibilities are innumerable…and they are protein-filled while being fairly low in calories.  A complete meal in a finger food!  (I love LOADED quiche, so I added a little more spinach in the ones photographed.)

These freeze wonderfully, so make lots.  It’s not any more work to do a double batch!

(This is my interpretation but, thanks to Shelly of TheWorldAccordingToEggface for the inspiration and tons of variations!)

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1 medium sweet onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons butter

One 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

6 eggs

1/2 cup skim milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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In a small saute pan, heat the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened.   Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spinach and cheeses.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs until frothy.  Whisk in the milk, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a regular-sized muffin pan (12 count) with vegetable cooking spray.  Divide the spinach mixture amongst the cups.  Pour the egg mixture over the spinach.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and just set.  Makes 12.  (Can also be done in a deep dish pie plate,  mini muffin tins, or custard cups – depending on what serving size you prefer.)

Per each “cup”:  Calories 101, Protein 8g, Fat 6g, NET Carbs 3g, Sugar 1g, Sodium 112mg

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QUINOA BURGER

So yummy!  If you want a change of pace that’s meat-free, yet full of protein, fiber, and very filling…this might be for you.

I like it with Tzatziki on top (my recipe is in this post), or  a little “fry sauce” (what some drive-ins call that wonderful mayo/ketchup combo), and with a thick slice of tomato, avocado, onion and lettuce, as a burger should be, it’s fab.

Don’t be afraid of Quinoa.  It cooks just like rice – might even be a little easier! – and can be subbed almost straight across in most recipes.   I made Rice Burgers for my kids for years and this is the same recipe, with Quinoa instead.

UPDATE!!   I recently found myself without carrots so used shredded zucchini instead.  WONDERFUL!  And my husband says I have to make them like this from now on.  The measurements are in the recipe, also, if you’re interested.)

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2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry)

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 green onions, including white parts

1 /2 teaspoon  sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil for frying

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To cook quinoa for the above recipe:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

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In a large bowl combine the 2 rounded cups of cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

(To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med-low slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning.  Makes them easier to flip, too.)  Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.   Makes approx. 10 burgers.

Per burger:  Calories 132; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; NET Carbs 12 g; (Fiber 2 g); Sugar 0 g; Sodium 200 mg

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“RICE” PUDDING

Okay…so it’s not rice by ANY stretch of the imagination.  But it’s for sure pudding!

I love the flavor of a gorgeous rice pudding, but those white carbs will gettcha quick. I got this idea from a message board (thank you McNee) and added a touch or two of my own.  It has all the flavors of the traditional and even the “feel” of rice (if you close your eyes and imagine a little bit).  Add a little unflavored protein powder for the perfect excuse to eat dessert for breakfast or lunch.

Even if you don’t love cottage cheese, this may convince you of it’s awesomeness!

Kristina has a great idea…I’ll be trying this asap! “ … since it’s fall now I was inspired to change up this recipe a bit. I used about 1/2 a small box of butterscotch pudding (instead of the vanilla) and I added 3 Tbs. of Pumpkin puree, and substituted pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon. I also added a bit more splenda. OMG!! Awesome. Like a pumpkin pie.”

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One (4-serving size) pkg sugar-free Instant Vanilla pudding mix

1 3/4 cups milk

One 16-ounce container small curd cottage cheese

1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream OR Cool Whip

2-3 tablespoons Splenda – if desired

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

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In a large bowl whisk together the pudding mix and milk until thickened.  Fold in the cottage cheese, whipped cream, Splenda, if using, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.

I changed my mind on letting it sit!  I love this as soon as it’s made and the next day…after that it’s good, but not AS good.  Also, the raisins get too soft for me.  I like them CHEWY!  So  from now on I will make it without the raisins and add them fresh to each serving.  (After how many years of making this did I finally figure that out?)

Makes approx six 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 105; Protein 3 g; Fat 3 g; NET Carbs 17 g; Sugar 8 g; Sodium 236 mg

 

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QUINOA-GRAPEFRUIT-CUCUMBER SALAD

I saw the inspiration for this on another blog and had to make it.  All the flavors sounded so beautiful together, and they are!

This is a light, summery salad, full of good-for-you carbs and protein from the quinoa.  With a slightly spicy dressing and undertones of fresh mint…what’s not to love?   Serve it with a moist chicken breast or some deli-turkey slices for a very filling lunch.

(Don’t let the carb count of this scare you.  Quinoa is something that doesn’t seem to cause cravings.  I am a carb-craver to the CORE, and have never had a problem with quinoa.)

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2 cups cooked quinoa (directions below)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

2/3 cup diced grapefruit (see what I used below…reserve juice)

2 green onions (scallions) sliced – green parts only

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (OR 1 tablespoon honey)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar – regular flavor

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt – or to taste

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In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, grapefruit, green onions, almonds, and mint.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, agave, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Pour over salad and mix well.

I loved it as soon as it was made, but it only got more intense and yummy after it was chilled!

Makes approx. six  1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 5 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 20 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 59 mg

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Cooking Quinoa:  It cooks like long-grain rice…very easy.  For this salad I cooked it in salted water, but using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth works great, too.  I’ve also done it with half water, half coconut milk for a breakfast cereal-version.

Bring 1 cup water and a little less than 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa.  (Rinse in a fine mesh sieve making sure the water runs clear.  Most on the market – even the bulk stuff – is very clean already.)

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the white ‘tail’ or ‘ring’ can be seen on each seed.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temp for this salad.  Or cool, cover and chill for later use.  It should stay nice and fluffy.

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I love the Dole red grapefruit sections that come in the little cup.   They can be found in the produce section, usually by the bagged salads or chilled dressings.  I used all of the grapefruit and 2 tablespoons of the juice for this recipe.

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