Don’t remove carbs from your diet. Find better options like this quinoa-based dish to fuel your body.
The blandness in your diet can usually be blamed on one of three things: a lack of time, creativity, or variety.
An easy way to solve all three issues: a good side dish, which can be added to almost any meal or enjoyed as a snack. Enter the mediterranean quinoa salad.
Often mistaken as a grain, quinoa—pronounced keen-wah—is actually a seed. A complete protein and full of minerals, quinoa’s high-quality nutritional profile is undeniable. The taste, on the other hand, can be pretty bland.
Sure, eating basic nutrient-dense foods can help you with weight loss, but why suffer? This quick and easy recipe, created by Liv Langdon, Born Fitness meal prep specialist and founder of Liv Out Loud, can be made in less than 15 minutes.
If you’re a vegetarian, this is a go-to balanced dish with protein-packed quinoa and almonds. For the rest of us, add a grilled chicken breast or fish on top and lunch is ready to go.
- 2c cooked quinoa*
- ¼ c sundried tomatoes, sliced
- ½ c artichoke heart quarters, in water
- 1/3 c almond slivers, lightly toasted
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp. grassfed butter, unsalted
- 2 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
- ¼ tsp Himalayan sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 oz. crumbled feta cheese, just for taste (optional)
*Quinoa can be cooked in advanced using water (to keep it vegetarian friendly) or use a low-sodium chicken broth for added flavor.
- In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic.
- When the garlic is slightly toasted, add in the rest of the ingredients except the feta cheese. Stir until well combined.
- Cook for five to 10 minutes to let the flavors develop. Stir occasionally.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese, if desired.
- Serve up ¼ of the recipe for a light, vegetarian-friendly meal or add a grilled chicken breast to bump up the protein.
- Makes four servings.
Nutritional Information & Macros
Dietary Information: Gluten free, Vegetarian
**If you want dairy-free, omit the feta cheese.
Macros per serving (¼ of the recipe)
- 222 calories
- 10g fat
- 25g carbs
- 7.5g protein
Total breakdown for 4 servings
Quinoa: 444 calories, 8g fat, 80g carbs, 16g protein
Almond slivers: 170 calories, 14g fat, 6g carbs, 6g protein
Olive oil: 60 calories, 7g fat, 0g carbs, 0g protein
Butter: 50 calories, 5.5g fat, 0g carbs, 0g protein
Sundried tomatoes: 34 calories, 0.68 g fat, 7.4g carbs, 2g protein
Artichoke hearts: 35 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbs, 2g protein
Feta cheese: 74 calories, 6g fat, 1.2g carbs, 4g protein
Total: 889 calories, 41g fat, 100g carbs, 30g protein
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author and the author of You Can’t Screw This Up. He is the founder of Born Fitness, and the co-founder of Arnold’s Pump Club (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Pen Name Consulting. An award-winning writer and editor, Bornstein was previously the Chief Nutrition Officer for Ladder, the Fitness and Nutrition editor for Men’s Health, Editorial Director at LIVESTRONG.com, and a columnist for SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. He’s also a nutrition and fitness advisor for LeBron James, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to The Huffington Post, Bornstein is “one of the most inspiring sources in all of health and fitness.” His work has been featured in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN, and GQ, and he’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and E! News.