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Recipe For Health: Quinoa With Dried Fruit Medley

by Sandy Todd Webster on Mar 20, 2014

Food for Thought

As the cold winter months wind down, there is still a limited amount of local fresh fruit available. This is a great opportunity to use dried-fruit varieties and reap nutritional benefits such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com) and author The Greek Yogurt Kitchen (Grand Central May 2014).

But keeping portions in check is important in order to keep calories and sugar within reasonable limits, cautions Amidor. “Dried fruits are more condensed than fresh varieties, since water is removed. For this reason, the portion of dried fruit is about half the size of fresh. So, 1⁄2 cup of dried fruit counts as 1 cup of fresh. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate food guidance system recommends 11⁄2 cups of fruit daily for women over the age of 30 and 2 cups per day for men 19 and older and for women aged 19–30. When purchasing dried fruit, read labels carefully and choose those without added sugar.”

This original recipe from Amidor will get you well on your way to your daily serving of fruit. Try it for breakfast, for lunch or as a dinner side dish. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes.

1 C dry quinoa
2 Clow-sodium vegetable broth
1 C forzen peas
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
4 dried plums, chopped
4 dried apricots, chopped
2 T dried cherries
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated

Recipe Key: c=cup | T = tablespoon | t = teaspoon

Combine quinoa and broth in medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and fluff quinoa with fork.

While quinoa is cooking, combine peas with 3⁄4 cup water in small saucepan over high heat. Cook uncovered for about 3 minutes. Drain peas and allow them to cool for 5 minutes.

In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. In large bowl, toss together quinoa, peas, dried fruit, cilantro and carrot. Add oil mixture and stir until incorporated. Makes 6 servings (3⁄4 cup per serving).

Per serving: 231 calories; 9 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 6 g protein; 33 g total carbohydrates; 9 g sugar; 5 g fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 281 mg sodium.

Source: Original recipe by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, adjunct professor at Teacher's College, Columbia University, and founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com).

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.