The edamame, quinoa and almonds in this hearty salad provide lots of protein and fiber, making it a satisfying main dish for those who eat exclusively whole plant foods. For those choosing a whole food plant-predominant diet, it can be a hearty vegetable-filled side dish to a small portion of fish or meat.
11⁄2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
1 large red pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 of a medium red onion, diced
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1⁄3 cup sliced almonds
1⁄3 cup unsulfured, unsweetened coconut flakes (available at specialty and health food stores)
1⁄3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1⁄4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries or cherries
1⁄4 cup aged balsamic vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar for tarter flavor)
juice of 1 medium lemon
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Combine water and quinoa in medium pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and transfer to large bowl. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator until cooled, about one hour. If desired, stir frequently to facilitate cooling. Quinoa can be made ahead of time and kept covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.
To quinoa, add all remaining ingredients except vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil gradually.
Immediately before serving, pour dressing over quinoa and toss until coated.