Living in San Diego our winter has been nearly nonexistent this year... and I'm not complaining in the least. With recent highs tipping 78º, my roses are filled with foliage, the irises are sporting buds a month early and the orange trees are heavy with fruit. Dad has been by weekly with bags of orange overflow from his tree, and now with our tree in peak condition I've got oranges everywhere.
Trying not to let any of the precious fruits go to waste we've been sharing with neighbors as well as dropping whole oranges into our smoothies. The fruit has been popping up in nearly every meal. From scones to salmon to simple salads, orange is a flavor my entire family embraces, and this California Quinoa Salad is no different.
Filled with my beloved, protein-rich quinoa, the tiny seeds soak up the orange flavors and combine with spices and cilantro to bring a winter salad, San Diego style, to the table. Black beans up the protein content and a bed of spicy arugula, or rocket as they call it in Australia (I love the name rocket!), rounds out the ingredients. Only a perfect avocado could have made this concoction any better, and word has it that a certain teenage boy finished off the last avo, hence we find ourselves completely unexpectedly "avocadoless" and in need of a run to the grocery store.
Bright and flavorful, this salad will bring a little sunshine into your Polar Vortex... wishing you all sun and warmth soon!
California Quinoa Orange Salad
Light and bright, this protein-rich salad will bring a little sunshine into any wintry day. Top with fresh, ripe avocado for a true California experience! Adaptable to your tastes, the salad can have more or less quinoa depending on your preference.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups prepared quinoa
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2-4 Tbs cilantro
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs good quality olive oil
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp mustard (we like Maille Dijon)
salt and pepper to taste
Avocado to garnish
Place black beans, quinoa, oranges, scallions and cilantro in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the dressing - in a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently to combine.
Place arugula on a serving plate and top with the salad. Top with sliced avocado if desired.
> Liv Life Note: Adapt the salad to your tastes... more or less quinoa, a bed of spinach in place of arugula, lots of cilantro or just a sprinkle. Be creative and enjoy!