I love bright fresh salads with a hint of richness. This Citrus Quinoa Salad is refreshing and light, zesty with fresh cilantro, and with an added creaminess from the avocados. It’s chock full of super-foods, and the quinoa makes it high in protein as well. If I’m making extra for leftovers, I leave out the avocado. That way, you can add it as you go and it doesn’t turn brown and mushy.
For the citrus in this salad, peel it, and break it up in sections. Then slice across the sections into bite sized pieces.
This dressing is super simple and inspired by Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen (cookbook) where she uses whole oranges, apples, and cucumbers to create a base for her dressings.
Break the orange into sections and place it and the cilantro in the blender.
Blend on low to medium until the dressing is combined but small pieces of cilantro remain.
I love this new way of making fresh dressings! It’s simple, fast, and this one doesn’t contain any oil at all, so it’s the ultimate low-calorie dressing!
Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a big bowl and mix to combine. This is best if served immediately because of the avocados, as I mentioned above. When I want to keep part of this salad for the next day or two, I simply keep some back and add avocado only to the amount we’ll be eating right away.
Hope you enjoy this healthy start to the New Year!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1 grapefruit, peeled
- 2 avocados
- 1½ cups pomegranate arils (see how-to deseed a pomegranate)
- Cilantro Orange Dressing:
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
- 1 orange, peeled
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then place it in a medium sauce pan. Add the water and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until tender and fluffy, about 20 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before combining it with the rest of the salad.
- Break the oranges and grapefruit into sections and slice the sections crosswise into bite sized pieces.
- Peel, pit, and cut the avocado into bite sized pieces as well.
- For the dressing, break the orange up into sections and place it in a blender. Add the cilantro and blend on low to medium until well combined with small pieces of cilantro remaining.
- Combine the citrus, avocado, pomegranate arils, and quinoa in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and mix to combine.
- Serve immediately.
- If you’re keeping the salad for more than just one day, add the avocado as needed. After 2-3 days the pomegranates will turn the quinoa purple, but the salad still tastes delicious!
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