Vibrant Power Salad with Quinoa, Avocado and Feta
I've created this recipe especially for the Bodensee Frauenlauf (Bodensee Women's Run). I'm from the Bodensee region and a bit sporty myself, so I was very excited to contribute to this great campaign. The reason why this salad is such a great pre-activity hit with runners and other athletes of all ilk - it's all in the ingredient composition...
Vibrant power salad with quinoa and feta
I've already elaborated on this South American crop before, in my big Porridge-Special . Here's a brief summary on what this pseudo-grain contains and why it's so popular with athletes:
The nutrient density of quinoa is very high compared to common grains, in particular its protein content. In addition, its rich in calcium, magnesium, betaine, iron and zinc and also contains various B-vitamins as well as tons of vitamin E. Quinoa packs more iron than meat and its magnesium levels are off the charts. Quinoa is also a virtual superfood because it consists only of beneficial unsaturated fatty acids, the valuable linoleic acid and Omega-3 fatty acids.
It has a low glycaemic index, which makes it an ideal food for the figure-conscious. The carbs in quinoa can be absorbed very well by our bodies, it makes you feel full for a long time and prevents cravings. Like amaranth, it's gluten-free and ideal for athletes.
Avocados have the highest fat content of all known fruit and vegetables, but are extremely healthy due to their optimal molecular structure. Avocados can lower cholesterol, protect the heart and blood vessels and subsequently reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They are also rich in potassium, calcium and iron as well as unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, beta-carotene, biotin and vitamin E.
Avocados help athletes avoid or minimise muscle aches and cramps. Bodybuilders love to supplement their meals with them when increasing their calorie intake. They provide us with energy, as their unsaturated fatty acids promote the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Almonds have extremely high nutritional value: they contain carbohydrates, proteins and almond oil. They are rich in vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin E and fatty acids as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium. They are full of antioxidants and can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Like the avocado, they contain essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. As they have more protein than carbs, they're a great regenerative food for after training or a run. A tip: in combination with bananas or dried fruit, they give us a veritable energy boost.
Like avocados, chia seeds belong to the category superfood (I'll write about that some other time though). I have featured Chia Samen (chia seeds) before, in detail, so here's just a brief summary: one to two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 4 grams of protein as well as 200mg of calcium. Their high Omega-3 content beats all other polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 has a positive effect on our cholesterol, supports heart and circulation and strengthens the immune system. The concentrated antioxidants contained in chia seeds protect us from all manner of pathogens, viruses and fungi, which makes them a type of natural antibiotic. Ideal for athletes, as they promote strength and endurance.
Beetroot is also considered a superfood - their naturally occurring nitrite can increase performance and is converted to nitric oxide, which in turn dilates our blood vessels. This transports oxygen faster and more efficiently to the muscles and tissue most strained during exercise. It increases bloodflow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body. Its red pigment, called betaine, is extremely healthy and protects cells and blood vessels. Beetroot has a particularly high iron and folic acid content, promoting the forming of red blood cells.
Aside from all the healthy additional energy supply and mineral content, this power salad is, first and foremost, really delicious. Enjoy cooking and eating it!
The Bodensee Frauenlauf (Bodensee Women's Run) celebrates its 5th birthday on the 24th of May 2014. Happy Birthday! The great thing about this run: it's not just for runners, but walkers, nordic and otherwise, as well as mothers with strollers are also welcome. This event puts the pure joy of movement for women and girls in the foreground.
Here's some additional info: on the 23rd of May, the Shopping and Relax Expo at the Festspielhaus Bregenz opens its doors. For two days, it will feature a huge programme: shopping, relaxing, a fashion show, a fitness programme and some amazing cooking shows, which I will actively support with Foodtastic.
The route itself is quite easy, even for the untrained runner. You can pick either a 5km or a 10km run. And attendance pays off in more ways than one - participants are ferried to the starting line on a ship across the beautiful Bodensee!
Vibrant Power Salad with Quinoa and Feta
- 200g tricolour or regular quinoa, by Davert for example
- 200g (multi-coloured) cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 beetroot, cooked
- 1 apple
- 3-4 TBSP almonds
- 1 tsp Sonnentor Scharfmacher Gewürz (spice mix), ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
- 1-2 tsp Sonnentor Pikantes Zaubergewürz (spice mix, optional)
- salt and pepper
- 3 TBSP olive oil (ideally with lemon flavour)
- 100g feta cheese
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 800ml water for the quinoa
- Bring lightly salted water to the boil for the quinoa. Put quinoa into the water and let simmer for 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- In the meantime, wash and halve the tomatoes (I always use colourful cocktail tomatoes, as they give the salad a beautiful appearance). Halve the avocado, pit it and scoop the pulp out with a spoon. Cut the cooked beetroot into 1cm cubes. Wash, quarter, deseed and cube the apple (into 1cm pieces).
- Chop the almonds. Wash, shake dry, pick and finely chop the parsley. When the quinoa is done, season it with olive oil and a little more salt, to taste. Fold in some crumbled feta cheese and season with the spice mix as hot as you like it. Garnish with chia seeds and the rest of the parsley.