Cranberry Orange Quinoa Salad

As part of my weekly meal prep, I make a big salad that Brian and I eat for our lunches for the whole week. We love this system because you never have to guess what you are eating for lunch and salads are super easy to throw in a bag and carry around. We also like to try and keep our lunches meatless as we find it helps us feel more energized for the afternoon. Quinoa is a huge part of our diet as it is an excellent plant based source of protein. We are crazy about this quinoa salad for spring, it’s light and tasty with big citrus notes that are evened out by mellow goat cheese. Yuummmmy! And it takes no time at all to make! Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chives, minced
Spinach and romaine lettuce
Low fat poppy seed dressing of your choice

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cool water, drain. Place quinoa in  a medium size pot. Add 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Once quinoa is boiling, cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the water has absorbed and quinoa is no longer crunchy. Cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a large container combine cranberries, oranges, sunflower seeds, goat cheese and chives and mix to combine. Add cooled quinoa to mixture and combine. Serve over spinach and romaine lettuce and drizzle with two tablespoons of the dressing of your choice. This saves well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.