This salad is modeled after my absolute favorite salad at Earl's restaurant. The combination of cooked quinoa and greens threw me off at first, but oh my gosh is it ever delicious. I have made my version of their "West Coast Prawn Salad", which I am sure is reduced in calories and vegetarian friendly! It is filling, yet light and has pecans and avocados so you get your healthy fats for the day!
Quinoa & Mixed Green Salad with Spicy Candied Pecans
2 handfuls of washed mixed greens
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup cooked & cooled quinoa
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 tablespoon cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat, and keep stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until toasted. Set aside.
In a large bowl add quinoa, avocado, and strawberries. Stir to combine. Add mixed greens on top and toss until the quinoa is mixed through. This is where you would add your dressing if you wanted. I made a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, raw sugar, and pepper. Just pour over the top and mix until coated.
Transfer salad to a plate and top with your candied pecans and feta cheese!