Monday, October 11, 2010

Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (keen-wa) has more hunger-taming protein and fiber and less carbs than most other whole grains. Swap it for white rice and other refined grains. Whether you're trying quinoa for the first time or just trying a new recipe this mixture of quinoa, apples, onion and sausage will make this dish a new favorite.  I'm on always searching for a salad recipe that keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.  It's easier to eat right when you stock your fridge with good for you snacks.

Here is my recipe for Sweet Apple Quinoa:

12 oz Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage (Alfresco or your favorite chicken sausage)
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 cup Inca Red Quinoa, dry (you can use any quinoa)
3 small beets, cooked & quartered (or canned)
1 tsp orange peel, grated
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup orange or red pepper, chopped
1 large granny smith apple, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (reserve leaves for garnish)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup tangerine pomegranate juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp local honey
4 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper, ground
2 navel oranges, segmented or you can use 1 can of mandarin oranges


Using a medium skillet coated with pan spray, brown the chicken sausages over medium high heat.

Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan, add the Inca Red Quinoa and cook slightly according to package instructions. Strain and chill with cold water, drain well. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and toss in the beets, apples, orange peel, red onion, pepper and fresh mint.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad mixture and mix well.
Slice the browned sweet apple chicken sausage ¼” on the diagonal, and toss with the quinoa salad. Chill or serve immediately
Arrange with the orange slices and garnish with fresh mint.

*When using canned beets, be sure to drain well. When using fresh beets cook until tender, drain, chill with cold water and peel. Both are good options, but fresh beets will have less sodium than the canned version.

** Beats can be easily cooked in the microwave.  Wash the beets and trim the ends off before cooking. Place trimmed beets in a microwave safe pan and add a little water for steam. Cook the beets with a little water for 8 to 15 minutes.


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