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Gluten-Free "Minestrone" Salad : Recipe & Pictures

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am shocked and excited by how many people have read my four-year Sparkiversary blog. I am so glad that I found this amazing website. I don’t think I can fully explain how much it has helped me! I know I would not have reached my goals if it weren’t for the people I have met here, the food and fitness trackers, and the articles and blogs that have taught me so much.

And now, since you all are so amazing, I need your help! I have been sliding back a bit into some old habits and I have learned that I need to be proactive to snip that in the bud. I am having problems getting enough protein each day without overloading on Greek yogurt.

I currently use Vegan Proteins+ protein powder and also Amazing Grass products as well. Which I love, but I don’t want all of my protein to come from just yogurt and powders. I’m still eating beans and nuts regularly as well as brown rice and quinoa. I even tried hemp seeds the other day.

Which were pretty interesting, I ate them straight out of the bag to see what they tasted like.

And found that they worked well on top of a salad.

I guess I’m just looking for any advice or inspiration to get my protein in without worrying about the calories. I am eating plenty to feel full, so it feels strange trying to find ways to add protein to my day without adding unnecessary calories. I know meat-eaters probably don’t have this problem, but it’s a bit harder for this gluten-free vegetarian! Right now I’m getting between 50-65 grams a day, so it could be better.

What is really awesome though is this salad I had the other day.

I have no idea what inspired this recipe, but I’m sure I didn’t create it on my own!

I combined:
¾ cup quinoa pasta
1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup broccoli stalks, chopped (I used broccoli slaw)

With this dressing:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried chives
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp sugar

In a medium saucepan, boil the pasta according to package directions. (Drain, but do not rinse so the dressing will stick).

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegars, sugar and spices to taste. (While I loved the spices I used, use what you like!) Add the pasta, beans, and veggies. Toss well to coat everything with the dressing.

Cover and refrigerate it for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. (I made this a day in advance and thought it brought out the best flavor!)

If all else fails in my quest for more protein, I’ll always have Chobani.

Can you tell I’m a wee bit obsessed? (Enough to also realize that is an OLD picture as their plain 0% yogurt is now blue!)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DNJEN471
    Can't wait to try this recipe!
    2648 days ago
    Sorry honey you know I am a meat eater so my advise is usually not helpful in this department.

    This is why our refrigerator is always full. CHOBANI!
    2648 days ago
    The salad looks great.
    I am having the protein problem myself.
    Good luck.Hope we find our answers.
    2648 days ago
    Your salad looks so good and healthy! I wish I had a solution for your protein intake. But I am at a loss. :( What about peanut butter? But that has a lot of calories.
    Hope you figure it out.
    2649 days ago
  • CAMELA_55
    The salad looks YUMMY!!!!!
    2650 days ago
  • RHALES199
    mmmm.... that salad loooks GOOODDDD!!!
    2651 days ago
    Do you drink any type of milk? I drink soy milk or nonfat cow's milk. I prefer the skim milk, because the calcium in it is more easily absorbed by my body. The soy milk is annoying to me, because of how even though you shake it up each time you have a drink, there's all this goop at the bottom. And when I drink soy milk, my teeth aren't as white! They have rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, which I'm pretty sure should have protein. Drinking some of your calories isn't a bad thing, despite what some of the people here say. They're bogus!
    2651 days ago
    Have you tried garbonzo beans - and there are bean flours you can add to your gf baked goods. I think the Bob's Red Mill gf flour mixes are bean based.
    Anyway - I found a recipe that uses canned garbonzo beans and bakes them to make something that is similar to corn nuts in texture. I haven't tried them because everytime I mention making them my son pretends to die.
    We also eat falafel and hummus which are garbonzo bean based. We buy Mary Jane's Farm falafel mix which is vegetarian and should be vegan as well (and gf). I like falafel with a yogurt sauce so that would get your yogurt in as well.

    2651 days ago
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