Healthy Eating: Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Minty Yogurt Dressing

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Quinoa makes a great gluten-free grain salad that is high in protein. For a salad, quinoa must be cooked properly so that the individual grains hold their shape and are fluffy and tender. The Moroccan spices are balanced by the creamy and cooling dressing.

Ingredients

11⁄2 cups - quinoa, soaked overnight
21⁄4 cups - vegetable stock or water
2 Tbs - raisins
1⁄4 tsp - ground coriander
1⁄8 tsp - ground cumin
1 medium - lemon, juiced
1⁄2 medium - orange, juiced
2 Tbs - plain yogurt
1⁄4 tsp - red pepper flakes, salt, to taste
1⁄2 cup - mint leaves
1⁄3 cup - olive oil
1⁄2 cup - dried apricots, or unsweetened dried cranberries, minced
1⁄2 cup - pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
1 head - lettuce, cut into pieces to make lettuce cups


Procedure

1  Drain and rinse the quinoa. Place it in a medium saucepan with 2 1⁄4 cups of water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy. Remove to a sheet pan and fluff out grain to cool.

2  Place raisins, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, orange juice, yogurt, red pepper flakes, salt, and mint in a blender. Blend on high to combine, scraping the sides as needed. Add the olive oil slowly to emulsify. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

3  Place cooled quinoa into large bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the dried fruit and pistachios. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat.

4  Place the lettuce cups on a large platter. Scoop some of the salad into the lettuce cups, either with a spoon or with a small ice cream scoop, for a more refined presentation. Garnish as desired with extra herbs and a drizzle of any extra dressing.

Servings: 12