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Kickstart Spring with a Healthy Recipe

March 29, 2017

By Jocelyn Weiss, PhD, MPH

Cranberry Quinoa Taco Wraps

One of my personal favorite ways to eat sandwiches without bread is to create wraps using cabbage, lettuce, chard or collard greens. By using greens as wraps, you can avoid gluten (a potential allergen) and minimize the sugar surges associated with high carbohydrate, low fiber meals. They are easy, fast and make for a good way to use whatever you might have in the fridge – limited only by your imagination.

For this version, I included my favorite quinoa salad, baked sweet potato, black beans, avocado, red bell pepper, salsa and cilantro. These wraps provide a good balance of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. They are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, beta-carotene, B vitamins and vitamin C.

Ingredients

For the Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Add desired amounts of:
    • Dried cranberries
    • Almond slivers
    • Green onion (scallion), chopped
    • Celery, finely chopped
    • Fresh parsley, chopped

For the Wraps:

  • Cabbage, Collard Greens, Chard, Lettuce
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Black beans
  • Avocado
  • Red bell pepper
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro

Instructions

For the Quinoa Salad:

Add quinoa to a pot with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool for at least 5-10 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Serve warm or cold.

Note: Some people soak quinoa to reduce the chance of digestive issues. You can put quinoa in a bowl with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, cover and soak 12-24 hours. Prior to cooking, strain quinoa and rinse well until the water runs clear. You will need to reduce water to 1 or 1½ cups as the quinoa will require less cooking liquid after soaking. Another trick to help reduce digestive issues (and add nutrients) is to place a thumb-sized piece of kombu (seaweed) into the pot while quinoa cooks. It is then removed prior to serving or including into a recipe.

Also, the listed add-ins can be switched up or omitted for variety or if you (or your family) are sensitive or do not like certain items. For example, you could switch up the almonds with pumpkin seeds or other nuts/seeds, or use dried cherries or dates in place of the cranberries.

To Assemble Wraps:

Place some quinoa salad into a leaf of the green of your choice, along with desired extras such as those suggested (beans, avocado, bell pepper, etc.). Fold or wrap up to eat like a taco or burrito. Enjoy!

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