Minty Honey Tangerine Quinoa Salad

We eat Quinoa at least once a week and this is one of my husband’s favorite salads.  It has a wonderful crunch and goes well with Ahi Tuna steaks that have been grilled over a charcoal fire.  Coat the tuna with Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce.

Makes 8-10 generous servings.

Salad
¾ cups uncooked Red Quinoa, rinsed well, drained
¾ cups uncooked White Quinoa, rinsed well, drained
1 ½ cups Celery, diced (about 2 stalks)
¾ cup unsweetened dried Cranberries, plus 1 cup boiling water to soak
 2 small Scallions with tops, sliced
1 cup Carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 medium)
¾ cup Whole Raw Almonds
6 small Tangerines, peeled, seeded, sectioned with pith removed
½ cup fresh Chives, chopped
½ cup fresh Orange Scented Mint, chopped
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

DRESSING
3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes
Tangerine juice (from fruit)
3 Tablespoon Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sea Salt and dash of Pepper to taste


Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl using a fork or whisk until well blended, set aside.
 
Cook Quinoa:  mix the red and white quinoa together, rinse several times in cool water, drain; follow package directions for cooking or use a rice cooker  add 3 cups of water to 1 ½ cups of dry quinoa.  Rice cooker will automatically shut off when quinoa is cooked. This has never failed for me and is the only way I cook quinoa.

Place dried cranberries in a heat resistant bowl and pour the boiling water over the berries. Allow to soak and plump up for about 10 minutes.
Place the cooked quinoa in a large 3 or 4 quart bowl.  Fluff with a fork and let cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Place the whole, raw, almonds in a skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and toss to coat.  Stir the almonds until lightly toasted; about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool.  Once nuts have cooled, rough chop them, I like to leave these in good size chunks for the crunch when mixed with the salad.
Dice the carrots, scallions and celery into a small dice, about a ¼ inch dice.  Chop the, chives and mint.  Peel, seed and remove as much pith from the tangerine’s as you have patience for.  Cut into small chucks; about three per section.  Save any juice that remains to add to the dressing.

Drain the cranberries in a mesh strainer, pressing just a bit to remove the moisture. Give the berries a rough chop to make a bit smaller.

Toss the quinoa with all the about ingredients and add the dressing. Mix until blended.  This is great at room temperature but is equally as good cold. 
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