Parents juggle a lot and mealtime is no exception. There are days when you have time to cook and days where you just want something on the table in as little time as possible. Not wanting to sacrifice taste and health, this quinoa salad is my simple solution. It’s full of sweet blueberries, tangy clementines, crunchy almonds, and earhty kale. The quinoa cooks in less than 20 minutes, is protein-packed, and a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous. Does Audrey need to know that? Absolutely not. All she knows is this dish is fruity, refreshing, and super yummy for lunch or dinner. Quinoa is also easier on the digestive system than many other whole grains and little bellies appreciate that.
* Be sure to wash your quinoa well, as its natural saponin coating is quite bitter, and is not always fully removed during processing.
Fruity Quinoa Salad
12 months + up
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice (or the juice from 2 clementines)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 clementine, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup kale leaves, very finely chopped
Rinse quinoa with water through a fine mesh strainer. Drain well. Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, juice, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl add blueberries, almonds, clementines and kale; mix in cooled quinoa. Pour dressing over the quinoa salad and stir well to combine.
Variations: Use baby spinach leaves or fresh herbs such as parsley instead of kale, orange segments instead of clementines, chopped pistachios or pecans instead of almonds, or fresh blueberries instead of dried.
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