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When we saw this both delicious and beautiful salad on Gluten-Free Goddess, we couldn't help but try it.  It has the hallmarks of a perfect Winter salad.  Make sure to follow Karina Allrich (@gfgoddess) - her recipes are so flavorful and very inventive.

 

 

Karina's Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette

Recipe originally published October 2010 by Karina Allrich, Gluten-Free Goddess Blog.

Quinoa adds vegan protein and heft to simple green salads- perfect for lunch or a light supper. Use pears or apples in this recipe- either one will work.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic quinoa
Sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions:

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve. Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.