ISLAND QUIONA SALAD W/ AVOCADO DRESSING
If you are in search of a neutral creamy substitute to mayonnaise for your favorite creamy dressings, please give avocado a try! Not only will you reap the health benefits that come jam-packed in these little cuties, the creative blending possibilities are endless. I know that some of you are conscious calorie counters and maybe avoid avocados all together but I promise you these are good calories and will not do your body harm; a much better choice than those low-cal/low-fat bottled creamy dressings. I promise.
What better way to play up this zesty avocado dressing than some tropical flavors like mango and pineapple! This is a pop-in-your-mouth bright salad that will transport you straight to the tropics. Considering most of us are hightailing it into the dead of summer, this meal is also a perfect solution to cooling up your palate with light, refreshing food.
- Quinoa (1 1/2 cup)
- Poblano Pepper (1)
- Red Onion (2 tbsp diced)
- Beets (4 small)
- Tomatoes (2)
- Mango (1)
- Pear (1)
- Pineapple Salsa* (1/4 cup)
- Avocado (1)
- Lime (1/2)
- Brown Rice Vinegar (2 tsp)
- Dijon Mustard (1 tsp)
- Maple Syrup (1/2 tsp)
- Cilantro (Few sprigs)
- Water (1/4 cup)
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to package. I infuse the broth with a little olive oil, salt + pepper.
- Prep the beets in advance so they are fully cooked and chilled by the time you add them to your salad. Slice the cooked beets and marinade in a bowl with pineapple salsa, salt + pepper. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
- Quarter, and finely slice up the poblano pepper. Place in a salad bowl.
- Chop up the tomatoes, mango and pear. Add to the salad bowl and toss together.
- Finely julienne the red onion. Add to the salad bowl.
- Take the freshly cooked quinoa and transfer to the salad bowl. Cover the vegetables and fruit completely, and pat the quinoa down to create a sealer within the salad bowl. This will help the peppers and onions to heat through a bit, and the flavors to infuse in general.
- Meanwhile, place into a blender the lime juice, brown rice vinegar, maple syrup, dijon, water, macadamia nut oil, cilantro, avocado, and salt + pepper. Purée until smooth. Add more water if necessary to create a really smooth, creamy dressing.
- Add the marinaded beets to the salad and combine with the quinoa, vegetables, fruit so everything is well combined. Season with salt + pepper.