Hi, I'm Dr. Bianca!


I’m a menopausal woman. I write about what it's like to get through the hormonal transition we’ve come to know as menopause. My intent is to help us all age together in the best and healthiest way possible. Let’s not suffer in silence. Let’s normalize the conversation. 


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This is the BEST tricolor quinoa recipe and the perfect way to pack 11 grams of protein per serving! Add in some feta, lemon, garlic and toasted almonds and you've got yourself a winner!

Print out this best tricolor quinoa recipe and get crunching!


One Cup of Tricolor Quinoa

A small amount of quinoa goes a long way toward the perfect side dish or main meal.

You can eat it hot for dinner tonight or chill it for a great side salad. In addition, it is a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and essential amino acids. 

The best...It is also low in carbs

Add some fresh herbs for extra flavor, and you've got one of the healthiest and best tricolor quinoa recipes!

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a "pseudo-grain". It's not a grain; it's kind of 'like' a grain, making it safe for those with celiac disease

It has been an indigenous staple food of the Andean peoples even before the Incas. 

Quinoa is mainly produced by small farmers in Bolivia, Peru, and America. 

Quinoa has the perfect essential amino acid profile making it a 'complete' protein. It is made up of all 9 amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own, which is why it is called complete. 

best tricolor quinoa

What Makes Quinoa Taste Bitter?

It naturally tastes slightly bitter due to the saponin compound surrounding the quinoa seed. 

Saponins are nature's pesticide defense mechanism. 

This plant doesn't want birds or insects eating its deliciousness, in response it created its own insecticide system! 

Isn't mother nature brilliant? 

To cut the bitterness and enhance the nutty flavor of quinoa, lightly toast it before cooking

A Foolproof Method for Making This Tricolor Quinoa Recipe Taste Extra Nutty and Delicious


  1. Add a cup of dry quinoa, a pinch of salt, and some lemon juice to a small bowl with a few cups of water. 
  2. Let this soak for a few minutes. The acidity of the salt and lemon naturally breaks the saponin bonds down until the water appears soapy or sludgy. 
  3. Drain the quinoa from the bowl with a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. 
  4. Spread the rinsed quinoa onto a baking sheet and place it into an oven preheated to 350 deg for 15 min 
Roasting quinoa in pan

What Type of Quinoa is the Healthiest?

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors. Most grocery stores carry white quinoa. However, some specialty health food stores will stock their shelves with black quinoa, red quinoa, rainbow quinoa, and sprouted heirloom quinoa. All quinoa contains healthy fatty acids and is a good source of fiber. 

How To Choose The Perfect Quinoa 

There is no going wrong with any of the types of quinoa. Choose the color by your preferred taste or your choice of favorite tricolor quinoa recipes. 

types of quinoa

White Quinoa

  • the most versatile of the quinoa types
  • an excellent substitute for white or brown rice yet has a similar chewy texture
  • mild in flavor
  • the most fluffy quinoa

Black Quinoa

  • has more of a nuttier taste 
  • takes the longest to cook 
  • has the highest amount of fiber and the lowest amount of fat 
  • has more elevated amounts of folate (a B vitamin) and 15% of RDA of iron
  • high amounts of anthocyanins (a group of antioxidants found in red, purple, and blue vegetables and fruits)

Red Quinoa

  • crunchiest of the quinoas
  • contains higher amounts of Lysine (a building block of protein and a great anti-inflammatory) 
  • closest to white quinoa in flavor 
  • contains higher amounts of manganese which helps with regulating blood sugar 

Rainbow Quinoa

  • also known as tricolor quinoa 
  • a combination of white, black, and red quinoa blends

Sprouted Quinoa Benefits

Whenever I personally buy grains or beans (like lentils), I prefer the sprouted kind. Sprouting is a super healthy way to consume grains and beans.

Sprouted quinoa is when a regular quinoa seed begins to grow into a whole seeded plant, but the process gets interrupted. 

The sprouted seeds get soaked with water, moisturized, and begin to germinate. They are then dried, packaged, and sold to consumers for consumption. 

Pre digestion of Sprouting

Sprouted grains can be gentler on the digestive system since germination can break down anti-nutrients. These chemical compounds found in the seeds can cause inflammation when eaten. Think of it as a pre-digestion for your gut. Inflammation can cause bloat, gas and/or flatulence. Sprouted seeds, beans and grains can help you if are one to experience digestive issues with these foods.

tricolor quinoa

Sprouting quinoa at home

NOTE: If you want to sprout your quinoa at home, remove all the moisture after the sprouting process since this could be a breeding ground for bacteria. Once you dry out the sprouted quinoa, place it into an airtight container for safe future use. 

Eating Quinoa Can Help To Reduce Hot Flashes

If you are experiencing hot flashes, quinoa might become a staple in your meal prep routine. 

A study was done in the Dept of Endocrinology at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany. They found a compound in quinoa and spinach that can calm down the part of your central nervous system responsible for hot flushes. 

The best part: it is not estrogenic, so it is safe for women on HRT or undergoing treatment for estrogen-related cancers. 

Reduce Insulin Resistance During Menopause with this tricolor quinoa recipe

tricolor quinoa diagram estrogen insulin

Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53. Any food below 50 is considered "good" and does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. The fiber and protein content in cooked quinoa slows digestion, making it an excellent choice for the main dish like in this tricolor quinoa recipe!  

Quinoa: A Gluten-Free Food to Reduce Menopause Gut Distress & Improve Happiness

Estrogen helps to protect our gut. When this hormone drops, it leaves us with higher incidences of bloating, inflammation, and bowel issues (constipation/diarrhea) as we age. 

Adopting a diet with lower amounts of gluten (like quinoa) or going gluten-free can help us maintain a happy gut. 

Happy & Healthy Gut

When the gut is healthy and happy, so is our brain. Seratonin, our "happy" hormone, is primarily made in the cells of the intestines, even though it affects the brain and our emotions. So, keeping your belly happy will ultimately bring you happiness too! 

Gluten free Grain

Quinoa also contains a chemical called GABA, which helps to decrease the excitement of the central nervous system. So eating quinoa can have a calming effect on your nervous system! A great two-for-one: gluten-free and mood-calming food!  

Take Off the Menopause Belly Fat

This tricolor quinoa recipe is especially great for the menopausal woman who needs to find additional ways to add more protein to her diet.

Did you know that estrogen is responsible for helping you keep on muscle mass?

Losing estrogen during menopause makes it challenging to maintain muscle and take off belly fat.

The solution: Adding in extra protein, veggies and quinoa during both perimenopause and menopause can help you take the air out of that tire around your waist! 

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Tricolor Quinoa Salad Add more protein through menopause

Healthy Tricolor Quinoa Recipe (Add More Protein Through Menopause)

  • Author: Dr. Bianca Beldini
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This power-packed nutrient-dense balanced macro salad brings together the flavors of toasted nuts, lemon zestiness, and the tang of feta.Tricolor Quinoa Salad Add more protein through menopause


Units Scale

Lemon Garlic Dressing

  • 2 tbs EVOO
  • 12 cloves garlic crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground Pepper to taste
  • Squeeze one lemon
  • Zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch oregano

Supergreens Quinoa Lemon Feta Salad

  • 1 cup of quinoa (2 cups water with bouillon or use 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 cups chopped power greens (or baby spinach, baby kale or whatever your favorite raw green happens to be)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup basil chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint chopped
  • 1 cup of baby tomatoes
  • Extra addition (not necessary): 1 ear of grilled corn



  1. Pour  in the EVOO then crush the garlic into the oil (making it pasty)
  2. Add in the salt, pepper and oregano
  3. Add in the vinegar
  4. Squeeze in the lemon
  5. Add in the honey
  6. Using a small hand whisk or fork combine the ingredients together until the thickness of the honey becomes liquified along with the vinegar and lemon

Preparing the Quinoa (On stove or Instapot)

  1. Add 1/2 tsp of ghee to a small pot on the stove (if you have an Instapot press the saute section and add ghee to the Instapot).
  2. When the ghee is melted, add in the 1 cup of quinoa and coat it thoroughly. Stir the ghee and quinoa together until you can smell the nutty aroma.
  3. Add in 2 cups of water with 1/4 bouillon or 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  4. Bring the quinoa to a boil, lower the flame to a simmer, and place the lid on the pot. Do not fit the lid completely as you want to leave room for the liquid to escape.

Mixing It All Together

  1. Once the quinoa has been cooked, remove it from the stovetop or the Instapot and place it in a large mixing bowl. Let it cool while you are preparing the remainder of the salad. HINT: Use a spoon to mix it every few minutes will help cool it down more quickly and evenly.
  2. Add the other 1/2 tsp of ghee to a frying pan and melt it. Add in the slivered almonds and cook until the almonds turn golden (about 2-3 minutes).
  3. Into a big salad or large serving bowl, add the chopped supergreens.
  4. Wash and slice the 2 persian cucumbers lengthwise from tip to tip then across about 1/2 inch making way for small wedges. Add these to the bowl.
  5. Wash and scrub or peel the carrots then shred them with a grater (or purchase pre shredded carrots) and add these to the bowl.
  6. Chop the basil and mint (or also add parsley) and add these to the bowl.
  7. Scale the corn off the cob (if you have pre-grilled corn handy) or use a small can of cooked sweet baby corn. Add this to the bowl.
  8. Break and crumble the feta apart and add this to the bowl.
  9. Slice the baby tomatoes lengthwise then widthwise to make small wedges and add these to the bowl.
  10. Add the cooled cooked quinoa to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
  11. Finalize the dish by adding in the dressing and coat the entire salad well.
  12. You can add more salt, pepper or lemon to your taste


Preparing the Quinoa in an Instapot:

Put the lever to pressure cook. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes (it takes about 8 minutes for the Instapot to pressurize before cooking begins). Once the timer goes off, allow the steam to naturally release for 10 minutes, then open the pressure lever to release any remaining steam. Carefully remove the lid once the steam has fully escaped.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopping
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Tricolor quinoa, healthy side dish, gluten free side dish, meat free protein alternative

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Best Tricolor Quinoa Recipe (Add More Protein In Menopause)

Tricolor quinoa recipe add more protein in menopause


July 14, 2022


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Dr. Bianca Beldini

I’m your Doctor of Physical Therapy, Acupuncturist, Master Dry Needler, and Triathlon and Running Coach. I’ve been in the health, wellness and fitness industry for over 25 years, and I’m here to help you reach your optimal health.