As fall begins, I always start thinking about the holidays. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to my Grandmother’s house for Christmas. We called her “Mama Tease”, a name my older sister came up with before she could really talk. Mama Tease had flaming red hair and lived her entire life in a small town in Georgia. She was an amazing lady who to my knowledge never had anything bad to say about anyone. She also happened to be an amazing cook. In addition to cakes, cookies and pies, one thing that she always had in her home for the holidays was ambrosia. Now, she made a spiced up version with coconut for the adults, but for us kids I am pretty sure it was oranges and sugar and not much else. To this day, I associate eating oranges without getting sticky hands as pure luxury.
Today I thought I would share a quinoa salad that I have been toying with for a while. I got the idea from a rice salad in clean eating magazine last spring. After some tweaking, I am happy with the results. Give it a try now and if you enjoy it don’t forget to try it again in a few months when citrus is at its peak.
Citrus Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature
1/3 cup Orange and Herb Dressing (see below)
½ cup orange slices, halved and peeled with membranes removed
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
Fresh baby spinach, optional
1. Combine quinoa, dressing, oranges, parsley pepper and onion in a large bowl. Toss. Top with pecans and serve. Serve over a bed of fresh baby spinach if desired.
Orange Herb Dressing
2 T fresh squeezed orange juice
2 T while balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil – best quality
1 T Dijon Mustard
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp orange zest
Fresh ground pepper
In a small bowl or blender combine all ingredients. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.
By the way, did you know that evidence suggests that pecans can help to lower your bad cholesterol levels? Like olive oil they have the powerful combination of beta-sitosterol and oleic acid. According to Clean Eating Mag, you should be especially liberal with them on your husband’s meals because they may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. You can eat a delicious meal and get healthier all at once!