"Crunchy red quinoa is tossed with baby beets, red bell pepper, orange zest and mint in a honey-mustard pomegranate vinaigrette, and served with sweet apple chicken sausage and orange slices for a delicious lunch or dinner salad." — al fresco all natural
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1 (12 ounce) package
al fresco® Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage
red quinoa, dry
baby beets*, cooked and quartered
orange peel, freshly grated
red onion, finely chopped
red pepper, diced 1/4 inch
fresh mint, chopped (reserve leaves for garnish)
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper, ground
navel oranges, trim peel and membrane and cut into round slices
Cooking spray, extra virgin olive oil
Don't be confused, the recipe is not accurate since there is no Dijon mustard listed in the ingredient list, but it's in the description and directions.
HOWEVER, this salad is to die for. I normally do not use that phrase, but it truly is a phenomenal creation. All of the ingredients are fresh and natural, including the sausage. This was one of my first experiences cooking with al fresco chicken sausage, but it will not be my last! I could eat something like this every day for lunch, especially in the heat of Spring or Summer. The flavors are bright with some sweetness from the honey, and my family really enjoyed it. Although not as much as I did! I'll be sure to save this in my Family Favorites recipe box so I can make it again.
*One tip--red quinoa can be hard to find, I happened to have some on hand. I easily found some tri-color quinoa which consisted of black, red, and regular. I'm not sure this recipe would be as good with plain quinoa due to the softer texture it has when cooked. Red is heartier, which is why it works so well in this salad.
I LOVED the viniagrette...I used about 1/3 less than suggested so the salad would not be too liquidy. All the textures and different tastes were wonderful, but I'm giving it 3 stars because the cold sausage really took away from the salad. (Although the sausage when warm is wonderful.)
This recipe was like nothing I have ever tried before. I never would have thought to put together those particular ingredients. It was great! I only had to substitute a couple of things because I didn't have some of the ingredients it called for. I couldn't find the Smoke-Apple Chicken Sausage so I used the Sweet Italian and sauteed them with chopped apples. It worked! The apples mixed with the juices and the flavor was great! It called for Dijon mustard which I didn't have but, yellow mustard worked just fine. Also, there were no further instructions on how much Dijon to use so I winged it. I probably added maybe 2 tablespoons. I did add the juice of a half of an orange to the dressing and substituted an Orange Champagne vinegar and that only increased the rainbow of flavors. Those were the only things I would keep changed. Only because it blended so well with an already yummy recipe. I gave it 5 stars because, had I had everything it called for, I still would have thought this fantastic! So flavorful!
This salad was really good. I made the salad portion in the morning to allow the flavors to blend. Topped it with warm sausage, orange supremes and a fresh toss of cool mint for serving. Note that the dijon mustard called for in the directions is not included on the ingredient list. You'll have to watch for that.
This salad is FABULOUS and I am going to be making it again. Everyone I served loved it, but for me, I didn't care for the sweet apple sausage, but I'm not a fan of sweet sausages and maple syrup. The flavors really come together and is such a unique dish. Definitely give it a try and if you aren't a fan of the sweet sausages like me, substitute another flavor...al fresco brand is definitely good in my opinion.
Beet lovers take note: This is a refreshing salad that would make a lovely lunch. I made the recipe as stated, except for slicing the sausage before browning. I found myself adding more and more orange slices, because I found they added such a bright, sweet taste, and they complement the tasty sausage bites. It is an unusual color combination, and the salad dressing is light tasting, tangy and sweet. The orange slices stay pretty if they are left on the top.
I'm always looking for another way to prepare Quinoa, and this recipe is absolutely delicious! It was finished in no time, but I did let it set in the refrigerator the rest of the day before serving. The dressing for this salad is oh so incredibly yummy! Love the chicken sausage used in this, too!
The mustard referred to in directions but not listed in ingredients is 4 tsp Dijon mustard. This is an excellent salad, very bright and refreshing, with healthy ingredients. If you are counting on leftovers, only add oranges to portion you are serving. I also prefer to slice sausages before browning rather than brown and slice as listed.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Inca Red Quinoa Salad with Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage
Serving Size: 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 92
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