Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avocado, Strawberry, & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing - and a giveaway!

I realized that I only have *one* quinoa recipe on this blog. It's our favorite chili, but we're moving into summer now, so I wanted quinoa that could be eaten chilled. If you're not familiar with quinoa (keen-wah), we eat it frequently because it's a versatile, inexpensive, plant-based source of protein. And it's ridiculously easy to prepare.

I thought we'd also have a giveaway since we've reached 3,000 facebook friends! Keep scrolling to the bottom of the page for the details on our lovely etsy-themed giveaway.

quinoa

I've been in a lemony mood lately and made a bright lemon poppyseed dressing for it, which is a bit unexpected for quinoa but really delicious.

I prepared my quinoa, chilled it in the freezer for a few minutes, and ate a barely warm salad, which I loved. I see no reason why you can't just use cold quinoa from the fridge for a chilled salad, if you prefer.
avocado and quinoa



Printable Version Here

Lemon Poppyseed Quinoa Salad Ingredients 
2 c water
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
1 large Hass avocado, diced***
about 6 strawberries, tops removed and roughly chopped**
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice***
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T. honey
1 t. poppy seeds
handful of cilantro, rinsed and chopped (optional)
spinach to serve (optional)**

*This makes a really bright, lemony dressing. If you want a more subtle flavor, try using 1 1/2 T. lemon juice first.
**These ingredients are part of the Dirty Dozen and contain high levels of pesticides. Buy organic, if possible. Click the ingredients to read more about the pesticides commonly found.
***Avocados are part of the Clean Fifteen and have negligible pesticide residues. If across the board organic is too expensive, you can feel good about buying conventionally grown avocados. Similarly, pesticides used on lemons will be concentrated in the peel.

1. Prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Chill in freezer for a few minutes when finished.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice and honey.
3. In a slow, steady stream, whisk the olive oil into the lemon mixture. Julia Child taught me that this process emulsifies the dressing so the oil and lemon don't separate out. :-)
4. Whisk the poppy seeds into the dressing.
5. Stir the dressing into the quinoa.
6. Toss strawberries and avocado into the quinoa.
7. Serve on a bed of spinach and top with cilantro, if desired.

quinoa fruit salad

The giveaway!
We hit 3 thousand followers in my facebook page, so I thought a celebration was in order. I contacted a few of my favorite shops on Etsy, and they'll be contributing prizes for one lucky reader. He or she will win a hand-made retro apron courtesy of Creative Chics, a child-sized apron from Blue Genes (red or white - winner chooses), and a set of beautiful seasonal produce in card-sized prints from Red Cruiser



To enter, complete one or all of the following tasks! You can like my facebook page, subscribe to email updates (it's how you'll know who wins), or leave comments about what you like at the giveaway sponsors' shops.  

I will draw a random winner on 5/19 and will post the results on facebook and in a follow-up post on Monday, 5/20. The winner will have 5 days to claim his or her prizes by messaging me on facebook or by submitting a mailing address to acmyer@gmail.com. 

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