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spiced curiosity | strawberry quinoa salad with a kick – summer strawberry pickin'
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Strawberry Quinoa Salad with a Kick - Vegan, Gluten-Free – Spiced Curiosity

Saturday, June 29, 2013

strawberry quinoa salad with a kick – summer strawberry pickin’

    serves 4!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup minced red onion
16 oz strawberries*
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup cilantro
6 mint leaves
1 jalapeño
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 limes
1 tsp honey
salt to taste

Recently my boyfriend and I wandered up to Hudson, NY for our second anniversary. Besides the sweet finds of boiled peanuts, lonesome fields, and tranquil drives — we happened upon a family-owned, organic strawberry picking field.

strawberry pickin'

strawberry pickin'

We found the ripest jewels nestled on spotty leaves and soft ground. We tried not to sneak too many into our mouths before they hit the basket.

strawberry pickin'

strawberry pickin'

strawberry pickin'

I love that tang, as it startles your mouth, then coaxes it into a smile with sweetness. This fruit is a bright treat that goes perfectly in a grain-based salad with protein-full quinoa. Throw in some healthy fats from avocado, almonds, and olive oil, and here’s a healthy yet satisfying meal. I like to spice it up with jalapeño and red onion, with peppery mint to finish.

Strawberry Quinoa Salad with a Kick - Vegan, Gluten-Free – Spiced Curiosity

Strawberry Quinoa Salad with a Kick - Vegan, Gluten-Free – Spiced Curiosity

I got inspired by a delicious dish in Plum. If you’re lucky to live in Seattle near its namesake restaurant, please try it out! I kept gobbling up every recipe on paper, so I can only imagine what the real deal is like.

Anyway, I hope you really enjoy this dish. I shared this with y’all along with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Gluten Free Friday, Wellness Weekend, and Healthy Vegan Friday.

1. Cook the rinsed quinoa for 15 minutes in two cups of simmering water. The grain is done cooking when you see the little tail emerge.

2. In a small, dry skillet, toast the almonds for three minutes over medium-low heat, constantly shaking the skillet or stirring the nuts. Once fragrant and slightly darker, remove from heat and let cool to the touch. Chop coarsely into quarters.

3. Prep the remaining fresh ingredients. Remove the strawberry hull, and vary the slices between large and small. When cooking, every piece should be uniform so the ingredients cook evenly. But in a salad, I love eating various sized chunks of fruit and veggies. Coarsely chop the mint and cilantro. Pit the avocado, and slice into half-inch pieces. Finally, once all other chopping is done, deseed, devein, and mince the jalapeño. This peppery guy will leave a hot oil on everything, so leave him ’til the end (and wash your hands afterward). Mix all these ingredients with the cooked quinoa, red onion, and almonds in a large bowl.

4. Whisk together the olive oil, limes’ juice, honey, and salt in small bowl. Pour over the salad, and toss until well-combined. Serve with a fresh glass of strawberry rosemary sun-tea and enjoy the sweet taste of summer.

*Please buy organic strawberries if you have the chance. These sweet berries are highly susceptible to soaking up pesticides used in conventional growing. For a light read on more fruits and veggies in the Dirty Dozen, click here.

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