Monday, March 21, 2011

Quinoa, Orange, Fennel and Avocado Salad

I made an orange and fennel salad around the holidays that I really liked. As I was looking at some avocados at the store the other day, I was thinking it would make a great main course salad with the addition of quinoa. And it did. It seems a little monochromatic from the picture, but it didn't taste that way. I also went a little crazy on this website buying white truffle, avocado, and hazelnut oils, so I've been trying to figure out how to use them. (I also bought some sesame oil, but that won't be hard to use up!). The hazelnut oil was a great addition to this salad, giving it a nice toasty nutty flavor.

1 3/4 cups quinoa, soaked and rinsed
2 1/4 cups of water
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 tangelo, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite size pieces (I should have used two, and will next time)
1 avocado, cubed
Cilantro (parsley or basil would also be good)

For the dressing:
1/2 shallot, diced
2 Tbsp hazelnut oil
juice of half a lemon
splash of red wine vinegar
drizzle of honey
salt and pepper
more oil as needed

Bring the quinoa and water (with salt) to a boil, then reduce cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). In the meantime, chop all the veggies and put the oranges and fennel into a large bowl. Start the dressing by sauteing the shallot in heated oil until soft (this takes the potency out of it). Pour into a small bowl, and whisk with the other ingredients. Vinaigrettes are very taste and go, so I don't really have exact measurements. When quinoa is finished, allow it to chill a bit.Toss with the veggies in the bowl, then stir in the dressing while it's still warm. Add the avocado, cilantro and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve or chill.

I wasn't sure how Graham would like this, and he mostly ate the avocados and oranges out of it. But, they were coated with all the grain goodness of the quinoa. G2 and I loved it. It's a great light but filling lunch.

*Quinoa has all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Avocados are super rich in monounsaturated fat (helps lower bad cholesterol and raise the good), essential omega-3 fatty acids (may help prevent heart disease) and vitamin E, fennel is a fairly good source of vitamin C and fiber, and of course, the orange is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. So, this salad is a great nutrient booster, as well as being vegan, gluten free and delicious!


  1. Looks simply amazing and yummy!! Avocados are a huge weakness of my kids ;-) Especially my youngest!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  2. This looks fantastic!! Yum :-)