quinoa salad

Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa is a great option for runners because it's a seed that is a complete protein (it contains all 9 essential amino acids). So, it's great for just about everyone, including those who are gluten free and vegetarian.  Below are  two of our favorite quinoa recipes, one for the morning and one for the evening. Both are easy to make and great for pre and post runs. 

Quinoa Kale Salad - this salad is easy to make and you can incorporate whatever veggies you like best. We recommend cooking quinoa ahead of time and then using it throughout the week. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 4 oz grilled chicken or firsh
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • Unlimited veggies

Directions:

  • Cook quinoa according to instructions
  • Cook protein until cooked through
  • Toss kale, quinoa, protein and veggies together and top with your favorite salad dressing
Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Morning Quinoa Bowl - this is a great breakfast option for a long run day. Cook your quinoa ahead of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbs silvered almonds
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (almond, rice or regular)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan
  • Heat on medium-low, stirring, until the quinoa has soaked up the liquid
  • Add more milk until the consistency suits you.

Cait's Plate: Mexican Quinoa Salad

While discussing running goals for 2012 with a friend and fellow runner, Caitlin Grams, Caitlin shared a wonderful 2012 resolution of her own, "To make one new recipe a week."   We loved this resolution so much that we asked if she was interested in choosing a recipe related to running & fitness every other week and share her experiences with us.   Fortunately for all of us, Caitlin loved the idea too and "Cait's Plate" was born.  Please enjoy the first story from Caitlin's cooking adventures this year and if you want to find out more about our dear, miss Caitlin (we highly recommend you do!), check out more of her stories at Caitlin Lives Well

Cait's Plate: Mexican Quinoa Salad

By Caitlin Grams 

Cooking is something that doesn't come naturally to me. When I'm following a recipe it generally goes pretty well, but when I'm trying to come up with something on my own I'm completely out of my comfort zone. This year I'm challenging myself to stretch my cooking muscles. I decided to set a goal of making one meal a week that is new to me - salads, veggie burgers and cereal for dinner don't count! Yikes.

As a runner and mostly vegetarian, I'm always looking for meals that are nutritious and have a good mix of non-animal protein and whole grains to get in some quality carbs. Quinoa is my go-to grain - it is not only high in protein, but is a complete protein, meaning that it has all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair) and riboflavin (necessary for energy production) - aka an athlete's best friend.  Black beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and the olive oil and avocado in this dish add healthy fats. I have almost zero patience, especially in the kitchen, so while I'm still learning I wanted to start with something simple and this salad could not be easier.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and prepared according to package directions

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can corn

1 red pepper, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Dressing:

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sriracha or hot sauce of your choice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Cook quinoa according to package directions - I always toast it first for a few minutes until it starts turning brown. This gives it a nuttier flavor. After cooking the quinoa, let cool for a few minutes. Add black beans, corn, red pepper, shallot and cilantro. Mix ingredients together for the dressing and add to quinoa. That's it!

I made a huge batch of this and then had it for meals all week - it keeps really well. Plus you can mix it up, add in more peppers, serve it over greens as a salad, wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla as a burrito - go crazy!

Caitlin is a runner, yogi and SoulCycle addict from Seattle who, thanks to Hot Bird, has come to love crushing Harlem Hill repeats. She is an educator at lululemon Soho, a nutrition student, and blogs at Caitlin Lives Well.