This salad combines a rather capricious combo of ingredients to form a balanced meal packed with plant protein. Sleek bosc pears, mild button mushrooms, peppery arugula, and soft quinoa melt together under a maple-apple finish fit for an elegant Autumn picnic.
Pear Mushroom Quinoa Salad:
- 1 cup organic pecans
- Lucini extra virgin olive oil (100% pure Italian olives with no canola or vegetable additives)
- 1 organic bosc pear, sliced thinly
- 2 cups organic white button mushrooms
- 1/8 cup organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
- 1/8 cup filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch, mixed with one tablespoon filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon organic dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- 1/2 cup cooked sprouted quinoa, prepared according to the package instructions
- 2 organic scallions, chopped
- Several handfuls of organic arugula or baby kale
[Optional technique to ease digestion]: Place the pecans in a bowl and cover completely with filtered water. Add a dash of salt and let sit overnight, or for 12 hours. Drain and rinse the nuts. Place the nuts in a dehydrator and heat gently at 105 degrees for an additional 12 hours, or until the nuts are completely dry.
Alternatively, roast the nuts at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the pears and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes to soften, stirring continuously. Add the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, arrowroot mixture, thyme, and maple syrup. Increase the heat to let the sauce thicken for another 5 minutes.
Place the quinoa and pear-mushroom mixture into a large bowl. Add the pecans (chopped if preferred) and scallions. To serve warm, mix in the arugula immediately, allowing the greens to wilt slightly. To serve cold, refrain from adding the arugula until the mixture has cooled completely.