Excerpt from a blog post by Jamie Burgess, Boston University Dietetic Intern
Fun, flavorful and festive – Part 1 Appetizer With the start of summer and July 4th right around the corner, you may find yourself with an abundance of cookouts to attend and beach days to plan…but what can you bring that will please the crowds, provide a nutritious punch and be ready in less than 30 minutes all at the same time?  An avocado quinoa walnut salad might be the perfect appetizer.             Avocados are a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, and these micronutrients help you convert your food into energy, keep your immune system running in tip-top shape and support strong bones.  In order to stop your avocado from turning brown through oxidation, be sure to gently coat with lemon juice.  Fun fact – Lemon juice is high in Vitamin C and interacts with oxygen before it can turn your avocado brown keeping the beautiful green color.             Quinoa, (yes, it gets a bad rap) has naturally gluten free, high protein, whole grain.  Talk about a superfood! But why are whole grains better than refined grains like white flour or white bread? Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain- the bran, the germ and the endosperm providing more fiber and more micronutrients than refined grains. To bring this appetizer together, sprinkle on some walnuts.  Research shows that hose with a walnut rich diet have lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Woohoo!! Walnuts also pack in the fiber and micronutrients for a wonderful snack or addition to any salad!
Avocado Quinoa Walnut salad2 avocados2 cups quinoa2 cups grape tomatoes¼ c chopped walnutslemon juice (prevents the avocado from browning) Olive oil2 lemons, juiced

1. Prepare quinoa according to directions on package (making sure to rinse before using). Allow to cool.2. Dice avocado into bite side pieces and spritz with lemon juice3. Cut grape tomatoes in half4. Add in ¼ cup chopped walnuts.5. Gently stir and enjoy!  

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