Monday, January 24, 2011

Orange Pistachio Quinoa Salad

My favorite winter fruit is the perfect satsuma mandarin orange.  They have no seeds and they’re very juicy and sweet and travel well.  By this I mean that you can toss a couple of them in your bag and they won’t make a mess of things.   They’re easy to peel and divide into segments so they don’t make a mess when you eat them either.  They’re also loaded with vitamin C.  The only problem I have with the satsumas is that they aren’t available all year like other varieties of oranges, so I have to get my fill of them while they last.  

I usually eat several Satsumas a day and try to work them into my this week I invented the orange pistachio quinoa salad.  This high protein salad is good for lunch or for dinner.  

Quinoa is a power house little grain, that, when combined with beans, has all the essential amino acids that you would get from an animal source.  Seriously, if you still haven’t tried quinoa yet, go buy some!  It’s a wonderful, gluten free grain that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I didn’t provide you with the instructions on how to cook this grain, it should be on the package or if you buy it in bulk like I do, you can find directions on the web, just google it.

Orange Pistachio Quinoa Salad
4 Servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
1/2 cup shelled and toasted (or raw) pistachios
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 Satsuma mandarin oranges
1 Navel orange
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put the lettuce, garbanzo beans, cucumber, cooked quinoa, pistachios and onion in a bowl.  
Toss then together.
Peel and segment the Satsumas and toss them on top of the salad.
Using a fine grater, micro plane or zester, remove the zest from the Navel orange.
(you really want to buy organic when you use the zest, otherwise it will be bitter from the chemicals)
Put the orange zest in a small bowl.
Cut the orange in half and juice the halves.
Add the juice to the bowl with the zest.
Add the olive oil, and salt to the juice and zest and stir vigorously.
Pour the juice mixture over the salad and toss right before you serve it.

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