Somewhere. . . over the vegetable rainbow

Hi all!  So, as a registered dietitian nutritionist, one of the biggest thing I tout is healthy variety, and a fun way to demonstrate this in a dish is by making it colorful (this also happens to excite young eaters!) In fact, this next vegetarian Instant Pot® (IP) recipe is so colorful, it has ‘rainbow’ in it’s name (the only color missing from this rainbow is blue. . . it sure is tough to find a blue veggie out there. . . he, he). I find this salad to be bright, fresh and delicious and I hope you do too!

*Instant Pot Rainbow Quinoa Salad
(Serves 4-6)

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Ingredients

1 cup dry quinoa (this will make ~3 1/2 cups, cooked) (I used tri-color quinoa in the picture above, but there are 120 varieties of quinoa out there!)
12 fluid ounces vegetable broth
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 cup red cabbage, chopped

Instructions

1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer for a few minutes then place the quinoa and broth into the IP.
2. Close and lock the lid of the IP and set to cook for 1 minute at Manual, High Pressure.
3. When the cooking time is over, allow the IP to naturally release. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let cool.
4. In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, minced ginger, sesame seeds, and salt.
5. Put the quinoa into a bowl, and mix in the edamame, carrots, peppers, and cabbage.
6. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggies, and mix thoroughly.

This salad is delicious on it’s own, but obviously could be a nice vegetarian side dish at a barbecue.  Alternatively, serving it with 1 or 2 poached/fried eggs on the top is quite delightful. There are, of course, other veggies you could add in that would still allow you to keep within the rainbow theme – red onions, orange bell peppers, green onions/scallions, and/or water chestnuts. . . just to name a few!  It’s also fun to add in some crushed red pepper if you have a spice-loving audience.

For today’s Nutrition Highlight, we’ll talk about the vegetable that gives our salad a splash of purple.  Let’s talk about . . .

CABBAGE

cabbage-1078163_1920

Cabbage contains:

β-carotene: Critical in proper immune function, reproduction and vision and is also involved in function of major organs like the heart, the kidneys and the lungs
Copper: Involved in antioxidant function and critical for growth of connective tissue, energy production, metabolism or iron and neurotransmitter function
Fiber: improves digestion and/or decreases blood cholesterol
Folate: critical in the synthesis of genetic material (i.e. DNA) and cell division
Manganese: critical component of enzymes involved in antioxidant function, bone development, metabolism, and wound healing
Potassium: helps maintain proper blood pressure and fluid balance, lowers risk for kidney stones and is associated with increased bone mineral density
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin):involved in creating energy from consumed food and is also critical for cell development, function and growth
Vitamin B6: necessary for many metabolic enzymes in addition to brain and immune function
Vitamin C: acts as an antioxidant (protect cells from damaging molecules [‘free radicals’]), is a requirement for collagen production, and is important for some neurotransmitter synthesis
Vitamin K: critical for blood clotting and bone structure

So, that’s all for now. Please feel free to ask questions about my experience with the IP, Weekday Vegetarianism, cabbage, general nutrition or whatever! See you next time!

References:
1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19
2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/
3. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper
4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/
5. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/manganese
6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/
7. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Thiamin-Consumer/
8. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/
9. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
10. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-Consumer/

Disclaimer:
Any content you find on Sunny Seeds Nutrition Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

*Recipe adapted from here: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Sesame-Ginger-Quinoa-Salad-Vegan-34682147

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