Pear Walnut Salad with Red Quinoa:
½ cup quinoa (I used red quinoa, but regular quinoa is fine. Red quinoa stays firmer when cooked)
2 medium pears, diced (Bosc, D’Anjou, Bartlett, or Asian are all good)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T vinegar (sherry, balsamic, or apple cider)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups washed baby spinach (organic is best)
1. 1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove the pan from heat, uncover, and allow the quinoa to cool.
2. 2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, diced pear, walnuts, and cranberries. Add the olive oil and vinegar, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over a bed of spinach in a large bowl or on a platter.