When the Carnival Season comes to a close with Fat Tuesday’s feasting and all that is left from my King Cake is crumbs and jewels, it’s definitely time to slow down the pace, clean up the eating and begin the Lent Season. I do observe these 40 days of Lent starting on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Easter.
Abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday, I am looking forward to cooking and sharing many of my fish and seafood recipes and veggie main dishes. And so my daughter doesn’t feel like her only option is eating tuna fish, I’m posting this salad for her as I heard the slight panic in her voice the other day when we were chatting over the phone about meatless meals. Her long busy day running from classes to work to all her activities does make it hard for her to take the time to eat well. And she knows that getting enough protein in her meals helps her stay fuller longer.
Quinoa is a perfect little grain, actually a seed; that is a complete protein and a great source of nutrients. I’ve purchased both the white quinoa and red quinoa, now preferring the red more for salads. But either will work well, as I used the white in my Quinoa Tabbouleh . For this salad I kept it light and citrusy with chopped oranges, green onion, bell peppers and pine nuts for crunch, but the possibilities are endless; from dried fruits to chopped raw or cooked veggies, various fresh herbs and chunks of cheese.
Citrus Red Quinoa Salad
Pinch of Kosher salt
Zest from 1 large orange, then peel and roughly chop orange segments
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Pinch of cumin
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper