YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lemon-Mint Quinoa Salad

There is a ton of mint growing near the door to my basement, and here’s a wonderful way to use it up and show it off!

1 c. mixed red and white quinoa, cooked and cooled
2 c. parsley (flat or curly leaf), rinsed and dried
1 c. mint (fresh), rinsed and dried
zest of 1 lemon, approx 2 tsp.
juice of 2 lemons, approx. 1/2 c.
1/2 c. pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper, medium
1 green bell pepper, medium
2 large tomatoes 

Toast the pine nuts in a hot, dry frying pan just until they begin to change color. Set aside and allow to cool while you dice the bell peppers and tomatoes. Set them aside as well.

Puree the parsley, mint, zest and lemon juice in a blender or food processor to create a pesto. Add the pine nuts, salt, and pepper, and puree 10-15 seconds more until smooth. While the blender continues to spin, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until smooth.

Mix together the garbanzo beans, bell peppers and tomatoes in a large, lovely bowl. Add the pesto and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature. 

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