Red Quinoa, Avocado and Spinach Salad

photo(274)How do you turn a salad into  your entrée while keeping it meatless?  Simply turn to quinoa. And how about some organic red quinoa? Warm or chilled, this salad combines this gluten free, protein-rich grain-like crop with salad mainstays like spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, onions and avocado, topped with peanuts and crumbled feta cheese. Who needs steak, chicken or seafood when you’ve got this totally vegetarian meal? On the other hand, this salad can be a perfect accompaniment to your meat entrée  if you want to go all the way for that special meal. What’s more, you can be as creative as you want with your dressing!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup, organic, gluten-free red quinoa

2 cups water

1 fresh avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced into small cubes

1/3 fresh cucumber, sliced into 1/2-inch thick crescents (unpeeled)

1 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

2 cups baby spinach, blanched

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup unsalted peanuts

1 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup Olive oil

2 tbsps freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Alternatively, cook the quinoa in an automatic rice cooker.  Set aside to cool. In a serving plate, spread the blanched spinach and top with with quinoa, avocado, onion, tomato, cucumber and peanuts.  Sprinkle feta cheesen and green onions  over the salad.  Prepare the dressing by mixing Olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour over the salad and enjoy.  (Salad may be served warm or chilled).

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