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 Cool Quinoa Salad 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled The Nut Gourmet by . View all columns in series
A delicious, eye-appealing salad for a hearty family meal or the buffet table, this colorful medley of quinoa, broccoli, black beans, and fresh dill counts on toasted pecans to add the finishing touch. Serve it warm, immediately after preparation, or chill it and serve later.

In the nut kingdom, pecans contain the highest levels of antioxidants, registering 5095 TAC per 1-ounce. (TAC or Total Antioxidant Capacity is the measurement used for determining levels of antioxidants). Health researchers found that people who consume one ounce of pecans a day can lower their LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, while maintaining their HDL cholesterol, known as the good cholesterol. Although nuts are high in mostly monounsaturated fats, the addition of a daily serving does not translate into weight gain and may even result in a slight weight loss.

Yield: 7 to 8 servings

4 cups water
2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh dill weed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons organic canola oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the water, quinoa, and salt in a 4-quart saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low, and steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Cool until just warm, then transfer to a large bowl. .
  2. Fill a 4- or 6-quart saucepan two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets, and when the water returns to a boil, blanch the broccoli for 1 minute. Drain in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Add the florets to the bowl with cooked quinoa.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or thoroughly chilled.

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 About The Author
With a focus on healthy eating, compassion for animals, and environmental consciousness, her vegan journey led Zel Allen to partner with her husband, Reuben, to publish Vegetarians in Paradise. Their online publication......moreZel Allen
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