What you fuel your body with matters, and adding this quinoa recipe to your cooking repertoire is a sure way to get a fresh source of protein, iron and fiber all at once, says Chef Xavier Duclos at Mad Fresh Bistro in Fort Myers. One of the most nutrient-rich grains around, quinoa is an especially great option for athletes looking for a non-meat protein source that is low in fat, cholesterol-free and naturally gluten-free. (Just one cup of cooked quinoa has more than eight grams of protein!) This superfood is also easily digestible, making it an ideal pre-race day meal.
Mad Fresh Quinoa
2 cups quinoa
¼ cup sweet rice wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup red onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup spinach
½ cup arugula
6 heirloom tomato slices
Make quinoa exactly to package instructions, then refrigerate to allow it to soak up excess liquid.
Mix the scallions and red onion into the cooled quinoa. Gradually add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. (The exact amount needed varies due to the differences in the textures of quinoa from grain to grain.)
Use a measuring cup to place quinoa on bed of spinach and arugula. Arrange slices of tomato. Sprinkle extra olive oil if desired.
Duclos describes himself as a runner, cyclist and “generally overactive adult.” He combines his French training background, years of top restaurant experience, imagination and a love for fresh ingredients to create dishes that are healthy and delicious—and don’t require ketchup. (As chef at Mad Fresh, he reserves the right to refuse it to anyone over the age of 10.)