Healthy And Zesty Quinoa Salad With Chickpeas

Indulge in a burst of flavors with this vibrant, Healthy and Zesty Quinoa Salad with chickpeas – a delightful fusion of wholesome ingredients and zesty dressing. It is a great addition to your diet if you are looking to manage diabetes and kidney disease.

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Healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickpeas

This refreshing recipe combines the nutty goodness of quinoa with the satisfying creaminess of chickpeas. Crisp cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and red onion offer a combination of textures and tastes in this recipe. Drizzle this salad with a zesty dressing made from olive oil, salt, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and a hint of garlic. 

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Quinoa and diabetes

Quinoa can be a beneficial food choice for individuals with diabetes. Quinoa is a whole grain that contains complex carbohydrates, is high in protein, and is rich in fiber. In 1/4 cup (uncooked) of quinoa, you can expect the following approximate amounts of carbs, fiber, and protein:

  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

The fiber in quinoa helps to regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote better overall blood sugar control. Additionally, quinoa is a good source of protein and contains essential nutrients such as magnesium, which may play a role in blood sugar management. 

Quinoa glycemic index and glycemic load

Quinoa has a relatively low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food (usually glucose). The glycemic index of quinoa is typically around 53, which is considered moderate.

However, it’s important to note that the glycemic index alone doesn’t provide a complete picture of how a food affects blood sugar levels. The glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the glycemic index and the portion size of the food consumed. The glycemic load provides a more accurate measure of the actual impact of a food on blood sugar levels.

Quinoa has a low glycemic load, primarily due to its high fiber content. The exact glycemic load of quinoa can vary depending on the specific preparation and cooking method. However, as a general guideline, quinoa has a relatively low glycemic load, making it a favorable choice for individuals seeking to manage their blood sugar levels.

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Is quinoa good for kidney disease

Quinoa can be a suitable food choice for individuals with kidney disease, but it’s important to consider a few factors. Quinoa is a whole grain, which means it contains slightly higher amounts of phosphorus when compared to white grains, breads, and other food products. However, since the body does not completely absorb phosphorus from plant-based products, this is not a cause for concern for most people with kidney disease. 

Being a whole grain, quinoa is naturally low in sodium, which makes it a beneficial option for individuals with kidney disease who need to limit their sodium intake. Additionally, just like most whole grains, 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa contains less than 200 mg of potassium, making it suitable for managing kidney disease.

Quinoa is a great choice if you are on a restricted protein diet due to kidney disease. It contains all the nine essential amino acids and being plant-based, the waste produced from the breakdown of proteins from quinoa are easier for the kidneys to clean. 

Are chickpeas good for diabetes

Chickpeas can be a beneficial food choice for individuals with diabetes. Chickpeas are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, which can contribute to better blood sugar control. The fiber content in chickpeas helps to slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, the protein in chickpeas can help promote satiety and regulate blood sugar levels after a meal.

Furthermore, chickpeas have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they have a slower and more gradual impact on blood sugar compared to high-glycemic foods. Including chickpeas in a balanced meal or snack, along with other low-glycemic foods, can help support stable blood sugar levels.

Are chickpeas good for kidneys

Chickpeas can be a suitable food choice for individuals with kidney disease. Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, which can be beneficial for individuals with kidney disease who may need to limit their intake of animal protein. 

Plant-based proteins are generally lower in phosphorus, which is a mineral that can accumulate in the blood when kidney function is impaired. Therefore, incorporating chickpeas into a kidney-friendly diet can help meet protein needs without overloading on phosphorus.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients that you need to make this salad:

  • Vegetables and beans: I have used red bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and chickpeas. Feel free to add other vegetables, as this is a very versatile salad. Some other vegetables that go well with this salad are celery, corn, peas, grated carrots, arugula, spinach, etc.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of protein for those following a vegetarian or a vegan diet.
  • Dressing: The dressing is made from combining olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and salt together.
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Ingredients for Healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickpeas – cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, lemon, cucumber, and chickpeas
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How to make healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickepeas

  • To prepare the quinoa, start by rinsing it under cold water using a fine-mesh sieve. Washing quinoa before cooking will remove saponin from quinoa, which usually tastes bitter. In a small pot, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and set it over high heat. Allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Once done, remove the pot from the heat, keeping the quinoa covered, and let it sit for an additional 10–15 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa, and if desired, cool it to room temperature by placing it in the fridge or freezer.
  • While quinoa is cooking, get the vegetables ready. Peel and mince garlic. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, slice cucumber, finely dice bell pepper and onion, and chop cilantro. Drain and rinse chickpeas to remove added preservatives from the can.
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Chop the vegetables, Cook quinoa, and prepare the dressing.
  • Make the dressing: In a wide-mouth jar, gather all the dressing ingredients: olive oil, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Shake the jar vigorously to blend everything.
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Put the vegetables, chickpeas, and quinoa in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix well.
  • Put all the vegetables, quinoa, and chickpeas in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Serve with your favorite soup or as a light meal.
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Healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickpeas – On a plate
Healthy and zesty quinoa salad with chickpeas-recipe card

Healthy And Zesty Quinoa Salad With Chickpeas

8f7236c9626d7dcca9cca39f75b7f03fArchana Singh, PhD
This Healthy and Zesty Quinoa Salad with chickpeas is made from quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. The dressing is made from olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and salt. It is a great addition to your diet if you are looking to manage diabetes and kidney disease.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 384 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the quinoa, start by rinsing it under cold water using a fine-mesh sieve. In a small pot, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and set it over high heat. Allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Once done, remove the pot from the heat, keeping the quinoa covered, and let it sit for an additional 10–15 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa, and if desired, cool it to room temperature by placing it in the fridge or freezer.
  • While quinoa is cooking, get the vegetables ready. Peel and mince garlic. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, slice cucumber, finely dice bell pepper and onion, and chop cilantro. Drain and rinse chickpeas to remove added preservatives from the can.
  • Make the dressing: In a wide-mouth jar, gather all the dressing ingredients: olive oil, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Shake the jar vigorously to blend everything.
  • Put all the vegetables, quinoa, and chickpeas in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Serve with your favorite soup or as a light meal.

Nutrition

Calories: 384kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 11gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 302mgPotassium: 453mgFiber: 8gSugar: 2gPhosphorus: 215mg
Keyword Diabetes Friendly, Healthy Beans Turkey Chili, Kidney Friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Are chickpeas healthy?

Yes, chickpeas are considered a healthy food choice. They offer a range of nutritional benefits and are a part of various cuisines around the world. Here are some reasons why chickpeas are considered healthy:

Nutrient-rich: Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins (such as folate and vitamin B6), and minerals (such as iron, magnesium, and potassium).

High in fiber: The high fiber content in chickpeas supports digestive health, helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes satiety, and aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

Plant-based protein: Chickpeas are a valuable source of protein, making them an excellent option for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets, as well as those looking to reduce their meat consumption.

Low in fat: Chickpeas are relatively low in fat, particularly saturated fat, which is beneficial for heart health and weight management.

Versatile and satisfying: Chickpeas can be used in various dishes, such as salads, soups, stews, and spreads like hummus. They offer a satisfying texture and can be a flavorful component of a well-rounded meal.

As with any food, moderation and balance are key. Including chickpeas as part of a varied and balanced diet can contribute to overall health and well-being.

Do chickpeas spike blood sugar?

In general, chickpeas are less likely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Chickpeas have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they have a slower and more gradual impact on blood sugar compared to high-glycemic foods. Cooked chickpeas have been reported to have a glycemic index in the range of 28 to 42. This is due to their high fiber and protein content, which helps slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.

Including chickpeas as part of a balanced meal, along with other low-glycemic foods, can help support stable blood sugar levels. However, individual responses to chickpeas and other foods can vary, so it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels after consuming chickpeas to understand how they specifically affect you.

Archana Singh, PhD

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