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BlenderBottle winners….and a yummy quinoa recipe for you!

Congrats to

Melanie Wright of Katy, TX

Afton Blakely of Ankeny, IA

Ian Regis of Farmington, UT

who won a BlenderBottle by being the first to write us yesterday. Get on an RSS feed because I have a goal to do a lot more giveaways on my blog, and you have to act fast when you read we’re doing a giveaway. A company with a cool, healthy product I like can send us a sample for evaluation, and then just for giving at least three of my readers a free one, they get a link from our high-traffic site pointing to theirs. (Blendtec putting GreenSmoothieGirl.com on its site when we were new vaulted us into the Google stratosphere.)

Today I’m sharing a fabulous recipe from 12 Steps to Whole Foods that is a light meal we love in the summertime, with one of my favorite foods, quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain—only it’s not really a grain, it’s a seedfruit, but you can use it hot or cold as a bed for raw veggies and a great dressing.

People gobble this salad up at a party and then ask you what it was. You get to teach them about how yummy a plant-based dish can be, with a new grain they’ve never tried, and they LOVE you for teaching them something new that’s both healthy and yummy.

Some of my favorite reasons to love quinoa? It’s gluten free. It’s light and easy to eat, mild flavor, low calories, high in PROTEIN. Cooks in just ten minutes. Quinoa is so versatile (we have lots of quinoa recipes in 12 Steps). Cheap and filling. Cook up a bunch and freeze it in baggies to thaw and add fruit and almond milk for breakfast—or veggies and beans and dressing for lunch or dinner.

SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (soak for a few minutes, then drain in a fine strainer)

4 cups water

2 cans black beans, rinsed well

4 medium tomatoes, diced

8 green onions, chopped (including most of the green part)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DRESSING:

1 heaping Tbsp. grated lime zest

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. sea salt (best: Original Crystal Himalayan Salt)

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Whisk together the lime zest and juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a serving bowl. Simmer the quinoa in water uncovered for about 10 min. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand 10 min. Strain any excess water. Add quinoa to dressing and toss well, then stir in remaining ingredients (beans, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro).

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