Craisin & Almond Quinoa with Vinaigrette

Original Recipe: My own concoction

This is something I threw together when I realized we didn't have enough Christmas leftovers to feed the six of us.  It took less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and every person at the table gave it the thumbs up.

The portions can all be played with (except the water-to-quinoa ratio).  When I first stirred the vinaigrette into the finished quinoa part, I thought it was too much.  Luckily it absorbed into the quinoa or something, because it wasn't a soupy mess.  But next time I'd make a little more quinoa for better balance.

4 green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cups water or broth
2 cups quinoa
1/2 to 1 cup craisins
1/2 to 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
crumbled goat cheese [optional]
* For vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt

(1) In a large sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.
(2) Add onions.  Saute 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
(3) Add quinoa & water to saucepan.  Heat until boiling, then simmer about 15 minutes or until quinoa is done (drain excess water if needed).  About 10 minutes into the cooking, add craisins so they have time to soften.
(4) While quinoa is cooking, toast almonds in skillet or toaster oven until very lightly browned.
(5) Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together.
(6) Add almonds & vinaigrette to finished quinoa.
(7) After mixture has cooled somewhat, add goat cheese if using.

Kid Participation: None...I'd reached my limit on "kid help" while making Christmas cookies earlier in the week.

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