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Being a vegetarian I’m always on the lookout for protein packed meals. Minus the meat, of course. When I read the ingredients for this salad, it was drool at first sight. Plus, I had recently become obsessed with Bosc Pears and I knew they’d be a perfect fit for this salad. I made it for our Christmas Eve dinner and have made it several times since. I keep the vinaigrette in the fridge and it uses ingredients that I always have on hand so it’s super easy to make. And divine. D I V I N E, I tell you! Enjoy. Marla
3 ounces organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1/2 cup organic quinoa
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1 cup chick peas, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Combine 1 cup of water, the quinoa and a pinch of sea salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. [If your quinoa is not pre-rinsed be sure to rinse as this takes away the bitterness.] Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed; fluff with a fork.
Spray a baking sheet with butter spray. Toss on pecans and sprinkle with salt. Preheat oven to 350 and bake pecans approximately 5-10 minutes until they are lightly toasted.
Place the washed spinach in a medium bowl. Add quinoa, pear, chick peas and parsley.
Pour the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour over the salad and toss gently to coat [you may or may not want to use all the dressing depending on how heavily dressed you prefer your salad.] Just before serving add the toasted pecans.