Salad a Day Contest Winner -- Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Apples and Almonds

1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 cups spinach leaves
1 cup granny smith apples, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Poppy Seed Dressing

Prep Instructions: 

In a 3-quart sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.

Simmer for 12 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the water.  Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.

Spread almonds on baking sheet, and toast 7 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

Lay 10 to 15 spinach leaves flat on top of one another on cutting board. Roll tightly into cylinder, then slice into slivers. Repeat with remaining spinach.

Toss together almonds, quinoa, spinach, apples, cucumber, chickpeas and red onion.

Pour Dressing over quinoa salad and toss to coat. Chill 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Number of Servings: 8
Prep Time: 40 minutes