Quinoa Watercress Salad

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Last night with both Jon and I feeling under the weather, I decided we needed a dinner with lots of healthy ingredients. This salad definitely fits that description! It contains quinoa, watercress (or arugula if you prefer), fresh peppers, and the dressing includes fresh orange juice.

I started off by cooking the quinoa. While the quinoa was cooking, I mixed up the dressing: zesting and juicing two oranges and a lime, adding in some rice vinegar, a little sugar to balance the flavors, salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil. Into this mixture went thinly slice red onion, diced red pepper, and cannellini beans.

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After the quinoa had absorbed all the water, it went into the fridge to cool. Meanwhile, I cleaned and prepared the watercress and added it to the veggie mixture. This bowl also went into the fridge to stay cool.

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Once the quinoa had cooled, I mixed everything together in this beautiful wood salad bowl that my sister gave me. Although you could serve it immediately, it’s really better to let the quinoa absorb the dressing.

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The salad tasted great, and we both felt healthier after eating it!

Quinoa Watercress Salad
(Adapted from Forks Over Knives)

1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed
4 cups watercress or arugula
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or one 15oz can)

Boil 3 cups of water. Add the quinoa and reduce the heat. The quinoa will take 15-20 minutes to absorb all the water. Once the quinoa is cooked, spread it on a plate in the fridge to cool.

Make the dressing with the zest and juices, rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. The original recipe did not include the sugar or oil, but I found the dressing too bitter without it. Maybe it was just my fruit! Add the onions, red pepper, beans, and watercress and mix gently to coat.

After the quinoa has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture and combine. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
Note: This salad also holds up really well overnight. I had some for lunch today and everything was still crisp and flavorful.

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2 thoughts on “Quinoa Watercress Salad

  1. I love the pictures that accompany this post — I can almost reach out and touch the ingredients. Everything looks delicious. Thanks for including the detailed recipe also. Hope you two are feeling a bit better today!

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