MOROCCAN QUINOA SALAD

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We are blown away by this Moroccan-inspired quinoa salad c/o close pal of The Vegan Project and mega babe Alex!  Although she is a full-on carnivore, Alex has a few signature vegan dishes and we can vouch that this sure is one of ’em!  It was the perfect blend of nutty sweetness, fresh citrus and smokey cumin.  It did take longer to prepare than the quinoa salads we’re used to making but well worth the wait! We also recommend doubling the amount of dressing and using it for other salads/veggies throughout the week– it’s THAT good!

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dried organic apricots coarsely chopped (not sulphite-containing kind)

2 cups water

2/3 cup Moroccan spiced dressing (below)

1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup cucumber, diced

1 small red onion, chopped

8 cups baby spinach

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup organic orange juice

1 ½ teaspoons agave nectar

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or less if desired)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Method:

Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle (about 5 minutes) then transfer to a fine sieve (or bowl) and rinse thoroughly.

Toast almonds over medium-low heat in same skillet until light brown (2-3 minutes.)

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly until golden (about 1 minute.) Add apricots and quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until quinoa has dried out and turned light golden (3-4 minutes.) Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed (15-18 minutes.)

Prepare dressing. Transfer quinoa to a medium-sized bowl and toss with 2/3 of the dressing. Let cool 10 minutes.

Toss spinach, tomatoes and onions in large bowl with remaining 1/3 of dressing just before serving. Divide spinach among 4 plates. Mound quinoa on spinach and sprinkle with almonds.

Make Ahead Tip: Proceed through step 4.  Quinoa can be kept in fridge for up to 2 days.

~The Vegan Project

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this amazing looking recipe! I love healthy recipes and I will look forward to trying it out and sharing it with my followers at TianaGustafson.com. As Arnold says “I’ll be back” 🙂 Thanks again!

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