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Fresh Cherry, Pistachio and Feta Quinoa Salad

Posted May 27 2011 12:00am
Good Morning and TGIF!!

I am a wee bit excited about this long Memorial Day weekend.  All of this working stuff can tire a girl out and my days of sitting around and eating bon-bon's are over.  Just kidding.  I am adjusting to change and am experiencing the learning curve of working somewhere new.  I have learned a lot in the last few days and am excited about the future.  I am heading to The Pearl today to the corporate headquarters for more training and then am officially off for the weekend.  Yah!

But before I head out I have to share with you a healthy and fabulous quinoa salad that I made to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.  I was inspired by my first sighting of cherries and knew I wanted to make something with cherries and pistachios that was healthy.  I love cherries + pistachios together- so beautiful. This salad has the sweet and savory combination that I so love.  The sweet cherries are balanced by the salty feta cheese, add a little crunch from the pistachios and freshness by the addition of mint. Yum.  This salad is loaded with flavor and would be great to bring to a Memorial Day picnic. 



Fresh Cherry, Pistachio and Feta Quinoa Salad

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cup waters
1 can 15oz garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed with water
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pistachios meats
1/4 cup fresh mint
zest of  lemon

Dressing
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tsp Lemon Pepper

Directions

Measure out 1 cup of quinoa into fine mesh strainer. Rinse very thoroughly .Bring  2 cups of water to a boil, then add the 1 cup of quinoa. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. All of the liquid should be absorbed. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then fluff with a fork. 

In the meantime, in a large bowl add garbanzo beans, cherries, mint and lemon zest. Prep the dressing and set aside. Add the cooked quinoa to the cherry/bean mixture and stir.Then add in the pistachios, feta cheese and dressing.  Stir everything together.  Serve warm or cold.  Honestly, it is good either way!

Enjoy.




Dressing
Fresh Cherries!

Super Salad.
I intially had plans to bake and cook a bunch this weekend but my dishwasher is broken and unfortunately it cannot be serviced until next week.  Hmm.... that puts a little dent in my plans because I don't really relish the idea of washing and drying a bunch of dishes.  Exploring Portland's restaurant scene may be better suited for this weekend.  We shall see how it plays out.  I am not sure I am capable of not baking something over the long weekend.
I am off for now but I hope you all have a great Friday!
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