Pecan Cranberry Quinoa

This pecan cranberry quinoa salad has to be one of the healthiest non-green salads. It is simple to make and is sure to become a family favorite. Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which make it beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains small amounts of the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in comparison to common cereal grasses has a higher content of monounsaturated fat. As a complete protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids – including the elusive lysine and isoleucine acids, which most other grains lack. Naturally high in dietary fiber, quinoa is a slowly digested carbohydrate, making it a good low-GI option

Ingredients
Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (soak for a few minutes, then drain in a fine strainer)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro or 3 drops cilantro essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

D ressing

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1 medium/small orange)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest or 2 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon basil or 1 drop basil essential oil

Directions:
Toast the pecans in a saute pan. Set aside. In the same pan, briefly saute the garlic in the oil. Add the quinoa (uncooked) and stir until quinoa becomes coated. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Quinoa should be dry with minimal amounts of liquid left. Add in the bell pepper, cranberries, green onions, cilantro & sea salt. For the dressing: blend all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Combine the quinoa with the dressing and serve. This can be served hot or cold the next day after the flavors have incorporated more.