These colourful and nutritious vegan radicchio cups are bursting with flavour from its quinoa, walnut and pear salad. Walnuts, quinoa and crumbled tofu feta cheese add a boost of nutritious plant-based protein while the radicchio is also rich in nutrients. The flavour combination of radicchio with quinoa salad is perfectly balanced. Try this radicchio cup recipe for a delicious and nourishing vegan meal.
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Are there Benefits to Eating Radicchio?
Radicchio is a leafy vegetable that somewhat resembles red cabbage but has a unique taste. This radicchio recipe is packed with nutrients and is a great way to add vitamins and minerals to a meal. Leafy greens with more pigmented leaves tend to have higher nutritional value; adding a variety of different coloured vegetables to your diet helps introduce a variety of nutrients to the body.
Radicchio is rich in nutrients including fibre, vitamin K, antioxidants, vitamin C, and folate. Fruits and vegetables with bright pigments are often rich in antioxidants. Two primary antioxidants in radicchio, zeaxanthin and lutein, play a role in the prevention of eye disease. Check out my article on Why It’s Important to Eat Leafy Greens Especially for Vegans for more information about the benefits of adding leafy green vegetables to your diet.
How to Balance the Bitter Taste of Radicchio
You may have heard that radicchio has a bitter taste, but don’t be too quick to judge! The sweetness of pear and maple syrup will overcome the bitter radicchio taste and leave a perfect combination of flavours. Another way to balance the bitter taste of radicchio is to soak its leaves in water. Try soaking your radicchio leaves for 30 minutes before using them to make these vegan radicchio cups; this draws out some of the bitter compounds and balance the bitter taste.
Now that you have an idea of how to add radicchio into your cooking, you’ll benefit from all its nutrients including fibre, vitamin K, antioxidants, vitamin C, and folate. This quinoa salad filled with pear, walnuts and vinaigrette sweetened with maple syrup is the perfect flavour combination for vegan radicchio cups. They also taste fantastic filled with my apple cranberry quinoa salad. Let me know in the comments your favourite way to eat radicchio!
Vegan Radicchio Cups with Quinoa, Walnuts and Pear
- Medium-sized Pot
- Cutting Board
- Large bowl
- Start by preparing a half batch of tofu feta cheese (link above).
- Next, make the quinoa. Place the quinoa and water into a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Place the lid on the pot, lower the heat down to a simmer (typically the lowest heat settinand cook with the lid on for 12-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Take the quinoa off heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, place into a large bowl and put into fridge to cool.
- While the quinoa cooks, chop pear into small cubes. If you need to, chop the walnuts. Toss these into a large bowl with the quinoa cooling in the fridge (or the bowl you will toss the quinoa into once it’s cooked).
- Prepare the radicchio by carefully cutting off the bottom of the head. Carefully pull back one leaf at a time, trying not to rip the leaves, so you have bowl-shaped pieces of radicchio. No worries if you rip a few (there are more than enough leaves in one head of radicchio for this recipe!)
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together (I like to shake them in a jar). Toss the dressing onto the quinoa, walnut and pear mixture.
- Allow the quinoa mixture to cool completely in the fridge (about 1 hour), while you let the tofu feta cheese marinate.
- Before serving, crumble the tofu feta cheese into the quinoa mixture.
- Spoon about ½ C of the quinoa mixture into each radicchio cup, or enough to fill the cup and serve immediately.
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Written with help from Katelyn Chadder, nutrition student at University of Guelph.