Pear Cranberry Avocado Quinoa

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This is a perfect dish for the Fall. It tastes very  much like guacamole (It really does, really!). I read a tip on pinterest about soaking quinoa for a few minutes prior to cooking it and rubbing it with your fingers to release the bitter taste into the water that you then rinse off. This tip was helpful as the quinoa was not bitter at all. Feel free to be creative with additions into your quinoa recipes. Quinoa is so versatile. It is healthy, easy, quick, and delicious. I will be making this again for my family soon.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (soaked in water for 3 minutes and rinsed well)

1 and 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cumin

kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped

2 green onions, rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1 pear, diced

1/2 large avocado, diced

Soak quinoa for a few minutes (3-5) and rub quinoa seeds between your fingers to release bitter coating. Rinse well and place in a saucepan with water. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain excess water. Place quinoa in a large salad bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss. Serve. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Creamy Avocado Lime Cilantro Dressing

I was looking for a different type of dressing for our salads other than our usual balsamic vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, we love our vinaigrette but sometimes it is nice to add some variety. I love the salad dressings from Tacodeli, (a gourmet taco restaurant) in Austin, Texas. They offer a lime dressing and a creamy dressing which are so good we usually ask for both of them. While I do not have the recipe for either of them, I combined elements of both to create this version. I hope you enjoy!

For the Dressing

1/2 cup Oikos nonfat Greek Yogurt

1/3 cup Sour Cream

1/2 avocado

juice of 2 limes

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt/pepper

Splash of Tapatio Sauce

handful of fresh cilantro

;

Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If mixture is not liquid enough, add extra lime juice or 1 tablespoon of water.

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For the salad I used, chopped greens, diced fresh mangoes, chopped cucumbers, rinsed canned black beans, avocado slices, chopped carrots, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

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Mango, Avocado, Black Bean Salad

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Good! Good! Good!

This is my new favorite salad! I got the inspiration from a recipe on pinterest and from small herb garden in the backyard. (https://twostatesoneplate.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/herb-garden/).

Here is the link to the original recipe: http://naturalnoshing.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/mango-bean-salad/. I adapted the recipe slightly, based on what ingredients I had.

This is a great spring and summer salad! Sometimes when it gets extremely hot (and in Central Texas it can get really hot, especially the summer of 2011) you want to cook something that is refreshing and cool and that doesn’t involve turning on your oven or stove. This salad includes my favorite foods of all time: Mango, Avocados, and Black Beans. Next time I make this I plan to add red onions. It also would be good with chopped jicama.

This is my version of this salad.

Ingredients:

Your favorite greens (I used an arugula, chard, spinach mix and romaine mix), chopped. I used about 1/2 of a 5 oz box of pre-washed greens)

2 small avocados, chopped

1 and 1/2 medium sized mangoes, chopped

2 teaspoons, pickled jalapenos, chopped

1 can black beans drained ( I use Eden Organic)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped. I got this from my garden.

1 clove garlic, pressed,

juice of two medium sized-limes

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Dash of Cholula Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Salt and Pepper

Walnuts (optional)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, mix olive oil, lime juice, crushed garlic, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Toss in black beans, avocados, mangoes, and jalapenos and stir with two large salad spoons to coat. Add walnuts if desired (this is optional). Serve and enjoy.

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