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Cherry, Arugula, & Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds

I always seem to struggle with entitling the salads I create for the blog. On the one hand, the recipe title should encompass the main ingredients so that you know – at a glance – what the salad is comprised of; on the other hand, the title shouldn’t be so long that you lose interest halfway through reading it.

I attempted to find the middle ground with this one!

I love including grains in salads, not only for the nutritional boost but also for the textural element. True, quinoa isn’t technically a grain, but its chewy texture and satiating quality mimic that of brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, couscous, etc. Quinoa cooks in about 10 minutes and is filled with protein.

If you have yet to try the ancient Inca staple, here’s the perfect opportunity!

The tender quinoa – along with sweet red cherries, crunchy sliced almonds, and tangy soft goat cheese – is dressed with a simple vinaigrette and served atop a bed of peppery arugula.

A light – but filling – summer salad, this works equally well as a packed lunch or as a side dish at an evening BBQ (simply double, triple, or quadruple the ingredients as necessary).

Cherry, Arugula, & Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds

Printer-Friendly Recipe

yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground mustard
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked & cooled quinoa (I followed Ashley’s instructions for perfectly cooked quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup pitted & halved sweet red cherries, preferably organic
  • 1 Tbsp crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 packed cup arugula, preferably organic

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 2 tsp olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup until emulsified. Season to taste with salt.
  2. Add the quinoa and cherries to the dressing; toss until coated. Fold in the goat cheese and almonds.
  3. Separately, toss the arugula with the remaining 1/2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  4. Plate the dressed arugula and top with the cherry-quinoa mixture.
  5. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:

404.7 calories, 22.7 grams fat, 4.1 grams saturated fat, 5.5 grams fiber, 16.6 grams sugar, 11 grams protein

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