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Living Well Recipes: Illinois Summer Salad with Quinoa

A celebration of the summer flavors you can find at your local farmers market!

"Illinois Summer Salad with Quinoa"
"Celebrating the Great American Farmer"
 By Chef Mark Shoopman of Lutheran Hillside Village.

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup Agave Nectar
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon Minced fresh garlic

Method:
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper and whisk together to mix completely. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the flavors are properly introduced!

Salad Ingredients:
cup Red Quinoa, prepared per package directions
cup Traditional white Quinoa, prepared per package directions
2 cups Baby spinach leaves
2 cups Baby kale leaves. Can substitute large leaves roughly chopped
cup Fresh cucumber, peeled, seeded, and small diced
cup Cherry tomatoes cut in half
cup Asparagus crowns cut small
cup Sweet orange, yellow or red peppers, small diced
cup Sweet Vidalia onion, small diced
cup Farmers cheese, small diced. I love aged Havarti for this!
cup Fresh sweet corn cut off the cob
cup Fresh green beans, small chopped


Method:
Steam the asparagus and green beans until tender-crisp and chill.
Lovingly toss the quinoa all the vegetables except the spinach and kale with rubber spatula being careful not to crush or damage the ingredients.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until fully chilled.  Just before serving, add the spinach, kale and cheese and gently toss to coat all the ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper.
Presentation:
On chilled salad plates, lovingly mound the salad onto the middle of the dish and garnish with a fresh lemon wedge.
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