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Herb and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing (vegan, gluten free, candida diet)

Herb and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing (vegan, gluten free, candida diet)

I really enjoy watching cooking shows on the Food Network and one of my favorite shows is the Barefoot Contessa. Ina always has the tastiest recipes and they are inspiring even if I can't eat a lot of the ingredients she uses. Her life always looks so quaint...gardening, hosting outdoor parties, boating, taking walks on the beach with Jeffrey...it makes me want to move to the east coast! I saw an episode the other day and she was making a dish with Shrimp and Orzo. It looked so fresh and flavorful and I remembered that I had made something similar with quinoa in the past. I decided to make a version of Ina's dish but I substituted quinoa for the orzo, left out the cheese and kept it vegan. Of course, you could add grilled chicken or shrimp and some goat cheese or feta and it would be delicious. The salad is perfect side dish for a bbq or picnic and it only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish. 

Herb and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Ingredients:

2 cups of quinoa, rinsed

1 large hot house cucumber, chopped (peel on)

1 pint of mini heirloom or cherry tomatoes, cut in half or fourths

1/4 cup of basil, julienned 

1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

2 green onions, white and green parts, diced 

3 Tbs of chives, diced

Dressing:

juice of 3 lemons

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed or minced

sea salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each) 

Directions:

Add the 2 cups of quinoa to a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 15 minutes and drain in a fine mesh colander. 

While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables and herbs. 

In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together. 

Transfer the drained quinoa into a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the quinoa and stir to combine. It is best to do this when the quinoa is still warm and will absorb the dressing. When the quinoa has cooled slightly, add the vegetables, herbs and remaining dressing. Stir to combine. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy! 

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