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Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates, and Orange

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)
This side dish salad combines several influences: The dates and orange are an Israeli touch; the pecans pay homage to the American South; and the quinoa is a high-protein grain from South America.

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh orange sections (about 1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 5 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2-inch) slices asparagus, steamed and chilled
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Mint sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 164
  • caloriesfromfat 35 %
  • fat 6.3 g
  • satfat 0.7 g
  • monofat 3.5 g
  • polyfat 1.7 g
  • protein 4.3 g
  • carbohydrate 24.7 g
  • fiber 3.4 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 2.5 mg
  • sodium 186 mg
  • calcium 38 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare salad, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add white onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add quinoa to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large bowl. Add orange and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño); toss gently to combine.

  2. To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with chopped mint. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.