It's Tuesday night, Girls' Night and I'm hosting at the cottage. I need something easy to make and also vegan and gluten-free. If it was summer, it'd be no problem to meet my guests' dietary restrictions...I could throw together a simple salad, but being as it's late fall I need to make something hearty, heavy and substantial...or do I? Why not make an autumn salad? Maybe something with pears and candied pecans? Sprinkled with a few plump golden raisins? We can save our calories for dessert. ;)
Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
(adapted from a recipe by the Gluten-free Goddess)
Ingredients for Salad
1 cup organic quinoa
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves- washed, drained
1 large ripe Bosc pear- washed, stemmed, cored & cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2 T chopped fresh parsley
sea salt & pepper, to taste
1 handful golden raisins
1 handful candied pecans
Ingredients for Maple Vinaigrette
4 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T white balsamic vinegar
2 T pure maple syrup
- Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 2 cups fresh water or vegetable broth. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Move quinoa into a salad bowl.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.
- Add the baby spinach, pear, chickpeas, chopped parsley, raisins and candied pecans to the quinoa and fluff/mix.