One thing I love is an easy to take, nutrient dense meal that nourishes body and tastes really good.

My friend and teammate Trish turned me on to this recipe and it has become a training season staple in my house. I make large batches and then keep in small containers to grab-and-go for post ride or run refueling.

If you don't need a refueling option,  this is a bomb diggity meal on its own! 

Originally this is from Iowa Girl Eats foods blog,  but due to my nutritionist background I have made some very minor changes.  I've included the link to the original recipe.

Original recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, Modifications by Jenniferlyn Warstler, CINHC, CFSP
Serves: 5

For The Salad:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled then segmented
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate worth, I buy the seeds in bluk from CostCo or even Trader Joe's when they are available)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup or raw honey (I prefer the raw honey as this will also help acclimate to local allergens boosting imunity and Honey is a natural antiseptic)
salt and pepper
2-5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (I put a range here because some like their salads to be very dressed others like them to be a bit on the drier side - start with a lower amount and gradually add in until you feel the dressing is to your preference. If using coconut oil,  you may need to warm it slightly to emulsify)


1 - Cook quinoa according to package directions then set aside to cool.

2 - For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Alternately you can use a vitamix/Ninja/Blentech or similar blender if you prefer a very homogeneous dressing. I advise this of using coconut oil and raw honey

3 - Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, pomegranate arils, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour Lemon Vinaigrette over salad then stir to combine.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Iowa Girl serves this with grilled shrimp on top for additional protein however this is amazing without any additions.  You can easily make this a full meal by reducing serving sized to 4 and adding in grilled chicken or shrimp, and even finely chopped raw spinach or kale to help further bulk up both the portion size and phytonutrients without adding wasteful calories.

Photo-credit: Iowa Girl Eats


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