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Summer has finally shown up around here (along with a glorious sunburn I managed to obtain yesterday taking advantage of the sunshine). This means the reappearance of cold grain salads and the like in my books. This one was a happy combination of flavours and textures that came mostly out of the mixture that was the dregs of my pre-grocery shopping trip pantry.

2 cups dry quinoa (or 1 cup if your prefer a lower quinoa to add-in ratio)

2 navel oranges, cut into inch segments

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (I would say about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of minced cilantro)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2-3 tsp cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine quinoa with 4 cups water (2 cups if you are using 1 cup of quinoa) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the white centres have dissapeared and tails are visible on the grains. Set aside to cool.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add cooled quinoa. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

I’m also submitting this to Ricki’s weekly blog event “Wellness Weekend” where it can mingle with plenty of other, healthy vegan summery recipes!

-Kathleen

These moist muffins have a good dose of orange flavour and delicious pockets of fresh cranberry. What could be better than a combination of sweet muffin and tart berry? I don’t know!

Orange Cranberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy…)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cups flour (I used half all-purpose whole wheat and half all-purpose regular)
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp. canola or other light tasting oil
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (zest the orange first!)
1 tbsp. orange zest

Whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in the fresh cranberries.

In a smaller bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, thickened milk, and sugar. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Pour into lined or greased muffin tins (don’t be afraid to fill a little bit past 3/4 full!), and bake at 350F until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Makes 12 regular sized muffins. Delicious!

-Eve