Nutrisystem Quinoa Salad With Almonds, Coconut, Apple and Asian Flavors

Quinoa is cooked in carrot juice to give this healthy grain a huge boost of vitamin C and beta-carotene. The original recipe comes from Eating Well magazine and was far too sweet for my taste so I gave it an Asian flair by adding garlic, a fresh red chile, some green onion and a drizzle of sesame oil. The end result was light, flavorful and more balanced. A very welcome change from all of the heavy winter braises and gravies that I’ve been making. Here’s to Spring! Enjoy!

Recipe: Quinoa Salad With Almonds, Coconut, Apple and Asian Flavors
Adapted from Eating Well; March 2010

quinoafinal

Ingredients
1/3 cup of slivered almonds (1-1/2 oz.)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh red chile, finely diced (optional)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups 100% carrot juice
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium apple, diced
1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

Directions
Toast almonds in saucepan over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to brown, stirring often. Cool.

Wipe out saucepan; add oil and onion. Saute onion 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Stir in ginger and garlic and chile (if using), and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add quinoa and carrot juice. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or untill all of the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat, and scatter peas over cooked quinoa. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, until peas have thawed.

Stir in apple, coconut, almonds, green onion into salad. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.