Spring greens, apricots and quinoa salad with easy, peachy dressing

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sangeeta pradhanBy Sangeeta Pradhan

INDIA New England Columnist

Summer salad with super foods-quinoa and beans! Eat a rainbow of fresh flavors, colors, and nutrients, with this refreshing salad, replete with crunchy, mildly caramelized onions, sweet, sliced apricots, and garden fresh, spring greens. Cash in on the warm weather and enjoy eating this salad al fresco!

The tartness of the cherry tomatoes is complemented with the mildly sweet, but tangy, home-made peach dressing that looks and tastes like you slaved over it, but can be made in a snap! It’s rich, creamy flavor belies its caloric content and will have your fussiest family members flocking back for more.

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© Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Summer salad with peachy dressing © Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

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Easy-peachy dressing, © Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

For the salad:
Number of servings: Approximately 5-6
◾5 cups fresh, salad greens, washed and spun until dry in a salad spinner
◾1 cup canned, cooked beans, pink or white, drained and thoroughly rinsed
◾2 apricots, sliced
◾10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
◾3/4 cup red onion, sliced thin, and sautéed in 1 tsp of olive oil
◾1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

Method:
1.Gently combine all ingredients noted above, in a salad bowl until mixed.
2.Divide equally among 5-6 salad plates.
3.Drizzle approximately 2-3 tbsp of dressing*( or, per taste) over individual salad plates
4.Mix gently and serve immediately

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© Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Nothing cools the palate during the dog days of summer like fruit, and this peach- based dressing does not disappoint. It’s so versatile, it can do double duty as a delectable fruit dip as well! So go ahead, and dip those luscious strawberries in it! Finger-licking good!

© Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE
Easy-peachy dressing can double up as a fruit dip too! © Copyright, May 2016, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

*Ingredients for the dressing: Makes approximately 1 cup of thick, creamy dressing.
◾3 fresh peaches, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
◾3 tbsp freshly squeezed, lemon juice
◾3 tbsp extra virgin, olive oil
◾1/2-3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
◾4 tsp honey
◾Freshly ground pepper, optional

Method:
1.In the small jar of an electric, high-speed blender, combine all above ingredients until smooth.
2.Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
3.Store in an airtight container.

For the fruit dip:
1.Follow the same steps as outlined for the dressing, except omit the salt, and reduce the lemon juice by half, or per taste.

A Registered Dietitian’s tip:

Quinoa: What’s all the fuss about??

Is quinoa really as nutritious as it is made out to be?? Surprisingly, unlike many popular trends that may be unsubstantiated, quinoa is truly a nutrient super star. Please refer to this post to get the whole scoop!

As for beans, packed with fiber (approximately 8 grams for every 1/2 cup), protein, potassium, iron and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals, beans are truly nutrient power houses! Affordable on a shoe-string budget, they bring new meaning to the term, “getting the biggest bang for your buck”!!!

Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

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