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Spring Herb Quinoa Salad with Dandelion Greens and Peas

Posted May 16 2010 9:20pm
Light, refreshing, and full of Spring's intoxicating flavors. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and chives. Fresh dandelion greens, peas, and lemon. This quinoa salad is balanced and uber nutritious. I've added salmon and sheep's feta but it can be made vegan too. In fact, once you have the quinoa cooked and tossed with the simple herb dressing below, the options for creativity are endless.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and one of our favorite grains. It is high in protein, antioxidants, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. We cook it at least twice a week. I love that it cooks up in only 15 to 20 minutes! Here is a tip for cooking quinoa (actually most grains): Be sure to bring the quinoa to a boil when it first goes on the stove and then it bring down to a simmer. If it doesn't boil first, the quinoa can end up mushy and the grains stuck together.

Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

This simple grain salad makes a fantastic lunch or light dinner. Serve it with a fresh baby green salad tossed with toasted walnuts for a balanced meal. If you are citrus-sensitive then try replacing the lemon juice in this recipe with coconut vinegar. Refer to this post for more info on that. If you are vegan, replace the salmon and sheep's feta with either cooked garbanzo beans or chopped toasted walnuts.

Quinoa:
2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

Salad:
1 cup lightly cooked fresh or frozen peas
1 cup cooked salmon
1/2 cup chopped fresh dandelion greens
1/2 cup sheep's feta (or goat cheese)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

To cook the quinoa, first rinse well in a fine mesh strainer under running water to remove the bitter saponin coating. Then place into a 2-quart pot with the water and sea salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low (or medium-low) and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let cool for about 30 to 60 minutes before making this salad.

To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. The herbs don't need to be completely pureed into the dressing, just enough to release their potent flavors.

To make the salad, place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Pour dressing over it and lightly toss. Then add all other salad ingredients, gently toss, and serve at room temp. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


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