Awesome Quinoa Salad

Awesome Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Apples & Red Grapes

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How would you like a totally awesome, totally delicious, totally nutritious way to start the New Year?  Try this recipe.  It’s loaded with superstar ingredients and tastes fantastic.  It’s great anytime, but I highly recommend it as a take-to-work lunch.  Make it on the weekend and enjoy it all week long.  My eldest daughter Chelsea helped me create it.  Thanks Chelsea!  I hope you love it as much as we do!  It’s so good!

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients:

3 cups (750 mL) cooked quinoa (1 cup of uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked)

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) of black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed

2 diced Gala or Fuji apples (leave skin on)

2 cups (500 mL) red seedless grapes, halved

½ cup (125 mL) fresh chopped cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 mL) orange juice

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp (5 mL) freshly grated lemon zest (peel)

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup

2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 mL) cumin

2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh ginger root

3 green onions, diced (including the green part)

1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.  Cook 1 cup (250 mL) of quinoa according to package directions.  Cook with low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, instead of water, for more flavour.  Set aside to cool.

2.  Put chopped apples, grapes and cilantro, along with black beans in a large bowl.  Add cooked quinoa.

3.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad ingredients.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Enjoy immediately or put in the fridge and enjoy later the same day or later in the week (keeps for about 3 to 4 days.).  My daughter and I both enjoyed it most served cold – the time spent in the fridge gave the flavours a chance to mingle and come alive!

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 ¾ cup/435 mL):  350 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 58 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugars, 9.5 g fibre, 11 g protein, 166 mg sodium

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