Sunday, May 31, 2015

Strawberry Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This salad has a little bit of everything, which is the only way I like salads.  There are strawberries, goat cheese and ginger, quinoa and pearl couscous, fresh basil and sliced almonds.  How's that for variety?  I added some baby spinach leaves just for fun.  Add to this mix an orange vinaigrette made with the juice and zest from fresh oranges, and you've got yourself a serious summertime meal.  Mark was a big fan of this and may or may not have polished off the huge leftover container after work one night.

This salad was all you need for a healthy, protein-rich meal when you want something cool to eat.  The next time you spend your day in a 90-degree classroom (true story), this might be what you crave. Yes, you'll have to cook the quinoa and couscous, but you could always do that on a cool rainy day (like today) and toss them into the salad later this week when it heats up :)


strawberry quinoa salad with orange vinaigrette 
from Cooking Quinoa
serves 6

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup red quinoa (I used white and it was fine)
1/2 cup pearl couscous
5 -7 basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 ounces crumbled herbed goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds
for dressing:
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon orange zest


1) For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.

2) Cook quinoa and couscous according to the package.  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool.

3) Add the strawberries and basil to the dressing.  Toss with vinaigrette until well coated.  Season to taste.  Place in the refrigerator for serval hours to let the flavors develop.  Don't worry if you're short on time - I skipped this step.

4) When ready to serve, add cheese and almonds

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