Quinoa Salad With Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas
A tip for those new to quinoa- it adds protein and heft to simple green salads- and is perfect for lunch or a light supper.
Use pears or apples in this recipe- either one will work.
- 1 cup organic quinoa
- 2 good handfuls organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
- 1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh chopped
- 1 handful pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- sea salt
Adapted from webmd.com
1. First cook your quinoa. Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.
2. Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.
3. Whisk together the virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat.
4. Season the dish to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.
5. Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.
6. This recipe makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.
7. If you are making this salad ahead of time, I suggest you make the quinoa, fluff, and add the dressing while it is warm. When it cools to room temperature, add in the spinach, chick peas and parsley; toss, cover and chill. Before serving add the pears, and toasted pecans. Taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
8.. Some folks like a dab of Dijon mustard in their vinaigrette- I don't, especially. But if you love a mustard-y flavor spike, add a teaspoon of Dijon to the salad dressing. Just don't make it too strong- it may overpower the pears.
9. I prefer salads lightly dressed. But if you prefer more dressing, or find that your quinoa and spinach needs a bit more dressing, double the vinaigrette recipe.
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