Crunchy, soft, sweet, sour, salty and super healthy, this salad is always a hit and a breeze to make. And…did you know that quinoa is actually a seed?
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chickpeas, cooked and cooled (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
2 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey (preferably raw honey)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil, lower the flame, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed, and you can see the germ separating from the seed. Let cool a bit and fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to a large serving bowl.
2. While quinoa cools down, prepare dressing by blending the garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Add in the sunflower seeds, chickpeas, dried cherries, spinach, mint and chives into the quinoa bowl. Mix gently and drizzle in half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately (at room temperature).
Left over dressing can be refrigerated for one week and can be used with any salad.