Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Toasted Quinoa with Mandarin Oranges

(You are about to enter my thought process. Beware.)

Tonight we're having broiled salmon, sauteed spinach and what? I've brown-riced myself to death the last few days, so maybe some quinoa. But not just plain quinoa. Something jazzier. That everyone will like. Hmmmm. Think I'll sit down with a few cookbooks for inspiration.

What? You need a ride where? Ask Dad. (sorry; thoughts were interrupted. Back to reality.)

1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes, a cookbook I received as a holiday gift from a gluten-free client, provided inspiration for tonight's side dish. I've sneaked a few tastes, and so far, so good... I think everyone will enjoy this, once my husband gets back home.

Toasted Quinoa with Mandarin Oranges

Serves 4 - 6 as a side dish

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa -- rinsed
1 14 ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 11 ounce can mandarin orange -- drained
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/2 small red bell pepper -- chopped
2 tablespoons green onion -- chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, cilantro or parsley -- chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In small heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Toast quinoa for 4 minutes, stirring, until seeds are lightly toasted.

Add broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let cool at least 10 minutes.

Combine cooled quinoa, oranges, almond, bell pepper, green onions and fresh herbs in a bowl. Toss well.

Combine dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake well. Pour most of dressing over the salad (I didn't use it all). Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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